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This is one of the many staircase entrances to Lookout Hill, and at 186 feet above sea level it’s the highest point in Prospect Park. Battle Hill in Green-Wood Cemetery takes the prize highest point in all of Brooklyn at 220 feet above sea level. I visited Lookout Hill just before the leaves started turning in early autumn. To my surprise, it’s an abandoned part of the park. These staircases used to lead up to a summit in which visitors could once look out over Prospect Lake below, and see all the farmland south to Coney Island and the Narrows. Since park is no longer manicured as it was 100 years ago, trees have now obstructed this view. The top of Lookout Hill contains the remains of this popular viewpoint. There are rusting light posts and fire hydrants scattered about the bushes. It’s actually a scary place to be alone and some web research reveals that a few murders happened up there over the last few decades.
See the map of this post from New York, New York, United States.
This woman features in my GEORGIC cine poem. Her reverie on planting kept me going during the making of the film. I met her two years ago when I was shooting in the community garden at 4th Avenue and Baltic in Brooklyn. She talked about her garden as if it were her best friend. I tried to find her a few weeks later by asking people in the garden who she was and nobody could identify her. Recently, my husband Mark saw her picture on this billboard. I still do not know her name, but I do adore her hair, as it reminds me of the roots of a tree. I am sad to say that the garden itself is gone. They paved over paradise, just like the song. Lynne
part one is floating somewhere in this blog. it’s much more developed. probably because I had some sort of passion to actually finish it. i was bored with a lot of things when i made part one. the only thing that gave my life have some sort of movement was my ex-dude. i’m in a completely different state of mind. now, my life seems to be a bit too hectic (a good too hectic) so hence the under-development of this. making this was probably a good way to [finally and officially] pave over that part of my life.
Darkness, amplified by polluted waters and urban hubbub, formed the backdrop in which thirteen Brooklyn artists embarked on counting crickets and katydids. In five canoes, they paddled down Gowanus Canal and into its shallow arms. Armed with MP3 players holding reference recordings of the seven prevalent species found in the five boroughs, they kept their ears peaked. Expectations of an auditory experience were quickly overwhelmed and enriched by the urbanity of the environs. How come crickets and katydids keep calling, if they are outscreamed by cars, trucks, elevated trains, and plant machinery easily filling 99% of the air dome circumscribed by invisible horizons? How come crickets and katydids keep calling in the stench of petrol punctuated by whiffs of sulfur more potent than those Woody Allen alluded to in Deconstructing Harry, if wind in its purest form, silences them?
But yes, in this landscape of silhouetted industrial and traffic structures, against a cloudy night sky of drizzle, and a syncopation of clearly audible sewer spouts, they did hear populations of field crickets, jumping bush crickets and angel-winged katydids, in rhythms breaking the roar of Brooklyn, like the lit windows of the F train periodically sends a floating ribbon of light into the clutter of stationary light specks, to disappear into the dusk of the Smith and Ninth Streets’ tunnels until a next population comes down the line.
The members of the Gowanus Expedition, guided by Tammy Pittman, co-director of Proteus Gowanus, and Bill Duke, captain of the Gowanus Dredgers, called in the GPS position, time, and identity of the species heard, to the AMNH head quarters to be added to the findings of others participating in the Cricket Crawl.
An hour’s worth of canoe travel below street level, looking down at reflections and up out of the dismal olfactory, their ears made them see their hometown differently. Their ears informed their bitten nostrils that even in the grime of our local Styx there are the sounds of nature they were looking for, extended with an illusion of country, by way of the swishes of the soft waves created by their paddles that helped them glide over Lowe’s blue sign, shimmering upside down in the undulating rainbow stains split by the bows of canoes.