down by the tracks

order on Flickr”>down by the tracks

These vintage chrome relics were haphazardly parked on old train tracks near the Brooklyn Army Terminal waterfront, looking ready to jump into action at a moment’s notice. I waited around to catch a glimpse of the drivers, but they were nowhere to be seen.

Ahh, this is the stuff that old Brooklyn movies are made of… all I needed was a cannoli and an egg cream.

secret sunset

ampoule on Flickr”>secret sunset

It was a shame no one was watching the sunset from these benches. They were the perfect spot this night, medicine amidst the flowers, recipe overlooking the Hudson. This park is located in Cobble Hill on Hicks Street between Amity and Pacific, just above the buzzing BQE. It’s surprisingly quiet and a lovely spot to spend an hour or so reading in the afternoon light. …Or a good place to take a sanity break from the Long Island College Hospital emergency room, located across the street!

According to the NYC Parks Department, this park strip belongs to Van Voorhees park, which is predominantly on the west side of the BQE. Named for Tracy S. Voorhees (1890-1974), “an attorney and decorated World War II veteran” who eventually served as the President of LICH next door, this park celebrates the Van Voorhees family’s history in New York, which is definitely worth the read:

The Van Voorhees family traces its lineage to Steven Coerten Van Voorhees who settled in Brooklyn in the mid-17th century. He established himself in the neighborhood of Flatlands, became a magistrate, an elder in the Dutch Reformed Church, and the head of a formidable clan. His ten children bore 20 grandchildren. The grandchildren amassed 85 children themselves, among them Tracy Voorhees, to carry on the family name. The “Van” was eventually dropped from the name.

[ed. update] Thanks also to Brownstoner for featuring the shot!

pretty in pink

find on Flickr”>pretty in pink

This pink cruiser was parked outside the tiny Has Beans Cafe [WHICH NOW SERVES BEER!] on Fifth Avenue, cost just south of 17th Street. Has Beans serves great coffee, not only by the cup – you can purchase a wide variety of beans there whole or ground! (And pretty reasonably, too!)

This whole stretch has changed so much in the past couple of years, it’s unreal. An old photography shop has turned into a new wine store (same owner, new gig). A new organic food market has come in, owned by a lovely Indian family. It’s called Balance Life and she now home-cooks Indian entrees you can take home for dinner.

Eagle Provisions remains the stalwart [and beer heaven] of this block, but across the street, it’s party central with the new Ellis Bar, another rotating bar space (should be called ‘South’ in later this year, formerly called Vin Rouge), and a sushi joint. Earlier this year, New York Magazine profiled the hood from a both a newcomer’s and an old-timer’s point of view. Well worth the read, especially if you’re thinking of moving to the area!