Atlantics Yards on Stage

Drawing inspiration from interviews conducted around the Atlantic Yards footprint, Brooklyn at Eye Level is a take on the Atlantic Yards story through theater, dance and music. The Civilians Theater Company will be performing the show at the Brooklyn Lyceum this week. I got to sit in on an early rehearsal to shoot it, and found it fascinating. Looking forward to seeing the finished work.

Brooklyn at Eye Level from The Civilians theatre company at the 4th Avenue Lyceum.

December 4 – 7, 2008
The Brooklyn Lyceum

227 4th Avenue
(M,R to Union St. or 2,3,4,5,N,B,Q to Atlantic)
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm
Saturday and Sunday at 3pm
Limited seating! Click here to reserve seats or call 212-730-2019

The Future of Coney Island

Visitors looked a little lost outside the gates of Astroland today, peering through the fence and taking pictures under the entrance sign. I also noticed the banners (which also feature in the Coney Island Development Corporation newsletter), designed to “showcase iconic neighborhood landmarks.” The baseball banner, for example, hangs next to where all the batting cages used to be.

 Earlier this week, I attended the panel discussion Coney Island at the Crossroads, hosted by the Municipal Arts Society to discuss the new zoning plan for Coney (the “next act”). Speakers included MAS president Kent Barwick; Purnima Kapur of the NYC Department of City Planning; Lynn Kelly, President of the Coney Island Development Corporation; Carol Hill Albert, owner of Astroland; Dick Zigun, director of Coney Island USA; and Sheryl Robertson, director of South Brooklyn Youth Consortium.

You can find out more about the plan here, and download the PDF brochure here, with plenty of seductive “renderings.”

A surprise pleasure was meeting Harold Kramer, grandson of the Thunderbolt roller coaster owners. He now runs a bar in Williamsburg.

Astroland, Coney Island: Last Weekend Ever

In a statement released yesterday, the owner of Astroland, Carol Hill Albert, confirmed that this weekend would be the last for the amusement park. Claiming months of attempted negotiations with “no answer” responses from the developer that owns the site, Thor Equities, Albert says that time has run out. Astroland will be open this Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon before it closes forever. Albert will also appear at one of two Coney-themed events at the Municipal Art Society this month


Coney Island: A Ride Through History
Wednesday, September 10, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., at the Municipal Art Society MAP
Charles Denson, author of Coney Island: Lost and Found, will give an illustrated talk on the history of this neighborhood in transition.

Coney Island at the Crossroads
Wednesday, September 17, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., at the Municipal Art Society MAP
Representatives of the Department of City Planning will present their Comprehensive Development and Rezoning Plan for Coney Island. Featured speakers include: Kent Barwick, president, MAS; Purnima Kapur, director, NYC Department of City Planning, Brooklyn Office; Lynn Kelly, president, Coney Island Development Corporation; Carol Hall Albert, co-owner, Astroland; Sheryl Robertson, director, South Brooklyn Youth Consortium; Dick Zigun, founder and artistic director, Coney Island USA; and moderator Jonathan Bowles, director, Center for an Urban Future.
$15, $12 MAS members/students.

Brit Photographers Get Intimidated Too

There’s an interesting article in the Torygraph about photographers in the UK being harassed by all manner of security personnel. In April 2006, I took the above picture of the 2012 Olympic construction, which is now policed — overzealously, it would seem — by the Orwellian-sounding Olympic Delivery Authority. My old home town of Ipswich gets a mention in the article: A photographer there got hassled for taking pictures of Christmas crowds. Then there’s the good citizen that called 999 (911) on a photographer-blogger for taking pictures in a park.

One apparent difference between the US and Britain: If you have a camera round your neck in public in the UK ,you are more likely assumed to be a pedophile than a terrorist.