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Fort Totten is the official headquarters of the U.S. Army Reserve’s U.S. 77th Division, the “Statue of Liberty Division”.
Construction began on Fort Totten in 1862 after the land was purchased by the U.S. Government in 1857 from the Willets family. The fort sits on Willets Point, near Bayside in Queens County, New York. The original purpose was to protect the East River approach to New York Harbor, along with Fort Schuyler, which faces it from Throgs Neck on the opposite side of the river entrance. The fort was named in 1898 after Joseph Gilbert Totten.
In 1954, the fort became a Project Nike air defense site. Although no missiles were located at Fort Totten, it was the regional headquarters for the New York area; administrative offices and personnel housing was located at the fort. Fort Totten was also the headquarters for the 66th Anti-Aircraft Missile Battalion, Battery D, whose missiles where located at nearby Fort Slocum on Hart Island. This use of Fort Totten was discontinued in 1974.
Much of the fort has become a public park and is open to the people of NYC for tours by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. During the winter months, a large variety of migratory waterfowl can be observed in the surrounding Long Island Sound and Little Neck Bay. Most of the buildings are now run-down and not used. Fort Totten is also a sports complex, as it holds baseball fields and three soccer fields used for youth soccer.
“Originally inhabited by the Weckquaesgeek Tribe, who lived in the area until the early 17th century, this densely forested high ground at the northern end of Manhattan was Lang Bergh or Long Hill to the early Dutch colonists. The Continental Army called the strategic series of posts along the Hudson River Fort Washingtonâ€? during the summer of 1776, until Hessian mercenaries fighting for the British forced the troops to retreat. The British then renamed the area for Sir William Tryon (1729-1788), Major General and the last British governor of colonial New York.”
“Containing one of the highest points in Manhattan, Fort Tryon Park towers above the Hudson River, offering magnificent views of the Palisades and the lower Hudson Valley that challenge the notion that Manhattan’s best vistas are experienced from its skyscrapers.”
Open city (n.): a city that is declared demilitarized during a war, thus gaining immunity from attack under international law.
Read Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_city
Information on Roberto Rossellini’s Roma, CittÃ Aperta (1945): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome%2C_Open_City
I was at The Tank the other day and picked up a postcard with information about current projects of The New York Society for Acoustic Ecology (NYSAE): Sound-Seeker, Giant Ear))) and City in a Soundwalk. I noticed how similar the concepts from Audile from Abecedarium: NYC are, although much smaller is scale and simplified. All of the NYSAE projects listed are very intriguing. Here is more information:
Sound-Seeker: What kinds of sounds can you find in New York City? With sound-seeker, you can zoom, pan and search for sounds with interactive satellite photos or detailed maps. Click on hot spots to listen to the recorded sounds of a location pin-pointed by gps.
Giant Ear)): A monthly, two-hour radio show webcasting recordings of the NYC soundscape, (wo)man-on-the-street public interest interviews, live on-site sound explorations, special guests, and more on free103point9 Online Radio.
City in a Soundwalk: Composer Michelle Nagai leads you through various soundwalks in the city. Through a practice of focused listening, move through an environment with complete attention to sound. Any environment, at any time of day or night, can become a soundwalk. Anyone, anywhere, can make a soundwalk.
The tippity top of The Bronx? no problem. Fieldston hill here I come.
First, i did a little research here: http://americasroof.com/nyc-bronx.shtml, then i discovered that, for some grand reason, a few members of the bourgeoisie have decided that the tippity top, the culmination, the highest point of the Bronx (with what I imagine will be the best view of the borough and beyond) –will be gated. Off limits. Inaccessible to proles like myself.
I found it ironic, but strangely typical. i debated risking what could have been my second trespassing conviction, (the first was a blueberry patch in upstate New York when i was 16) but my colleagues convinced me that there were other safer, legal alternatives…
I headed to the second highest point in the Bronx, Wave Hill: http://www.wavehill.org/about/history.html
It was beautiful, serene, and far enough away from the city to really feel outside of it (and only a half an hour north from grand central!). I had to keep reminding myself that it was the Bronx.
Before I arrived at Wave Hill park, I had to walk a bit from the train through a little town, which i thought of as a mini-suburbia, but not in that cookie cutter way. The trees were tall and each house was different.
At the park, the gardens were breathtaking, and the staff were helpful and informative. A young gardener pointed me to the highest point in the park – at the wild garden. In between shooting, I admired plant life I’d never encountered, watched bees do their busywork, and contemplated whether i could live this far outside of “the city.” In the end, i think i was sold…
How can I possibly convince a Diamond District business owner to allow me into his stone cutting workshop to film the almost alchemical art of transforming nature’s mineral creations into high-end jewels? After a week of non-stop phone calling and perseverance, I discover that a little southern charm can occasionally take me a long way. I successfully convince a jeweler to allow me into his small workshop full of Brazilian craftsmen, only to discover that stone cutting is perhaps the noisiest art on the planet. The occupational hazards of playing the electric guitar are nothing compared to this!
Once I have finished shooting, I step into the afternoon sunlight of 47th Street and immediately notice an entirely different array of auditory sensations — equally particular to this New York City neighborhood. As long as no uniformed police officers are in sight, a steady stream of hawkers are beckoning each and every passer-by to buy a bracelet, a ring or simply an undocumented raw stone. Straight from our exotic, diamond mine to your fiance’s finger?
- Country fair: in former times, an annual country fair held in the Netherlands and northern Germany.
- Fundraising festival: a festival or fair held to collect money for charity.
Origin: Late 16th century. < Dutch, "mass on the anniversary of the church's dedication" < kerk “church” + misse “mass” >.
Selected New York City Street Fairs:
06.20.07 – 06.24.07: St. Antonio Abate Society of Castrofilippo
Location: Ditmars Boulevard (between 35th & 38th Street), Astoria, Queens
06.23.07: Coney Island Mermaid Parade
Location: West 10th Street (at the Boardwalk)
08.16.07 – 08.19.07: Borgetto Cultural Association
Location: Steinway Street (between 25th & 28th Avenue), Astoria, Queens
NYC Parades + Annual Events: http://www.carnaval.com/cityguides/newyork/parades.htm
Central Astoria Local Development Coalition: http://centralastoria.org/news.htm
“Parks Commissioner Robert Moses (1888-1981) first proposed this playground in February 1954. In a letter to the Board of Estimate, he requested the assignment to Parks of “the entire easterly frontage of Sixth Avenue between 55th and 56th Street.” According to the letter, “this parcel is the only vacant area in a densely built-up community in [this] section of Brooklyn and the nearest recreational facilities are over half a mile away.” The Board of Estimate assigned the property to Parks a month later and it became the 56th Street Park In the 1970s, in an effort to revive the deteriorating park, Community Board 7 and other local residents formed the Friends of the 56th Street Park. The group organized a cleanup, initiated supervised play, and banished undesirable elements, all in the hopes of making their park more enjoyable. The organization sponsored a contest to rename the park and “Rainbow Playground” won. A 1984 Local Law formally named it.”
- The Daily Plant. Volume XVIII, Number 3868. Wednesday, May 21, 2003. http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/daily_plants/daily_plant_main.php?id=16879