Four Gals by the Fountain

The three ladies together are admiring the Arch I believe (correction: one is texting or looking up directions on her cell phone); the lone gal leaning against the (plume-deprived) fountain is perhaps reading a book.

Summer 2011: The Fountain Plaza At Night

Seen On the Fountain Plaza

Tic Tac Toe

(Fun & ) Games on the New Fountain Plaza.

Brooklyn Book Festival Held Sunday on Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza

Brooklyn Borough Hall

Brooklyn Borough Hall

book fair-10-1

International Stage

International Stage

book fair-100-1

Parks Department Logos Abound!

Parks Department Logos Abound!

A free public event, the annual Brooklyn Book Festival was held yesterday, Sunday, September 13th, honoring writing and publishing with focus on a wide range of literary stars but also emerging authors.  You can find information about new authors, books and indie publishing companies at the many booths and there is a day long program of talks and panels, all mostly outdoors.  There’s a very open, electric – and very Brooklyn! – feeling to the event and it is worth checking out.

All the Brooklyn ‘stars’ come out (Jonathan Lethem, Jonathan Ames, Paul Auster, Amy Sohn, etc.) and Haitian-born, Brooklyn-raised novelist Edwidge Danticat was honored with a “Best of Brooklyn” award.  Other appearances:  Naomi Klein, Amy Goodman, Pete Hamill, Lewis Lapham, and many more! The event is held once a year on the Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza and apparently the New York City Parks Department is proud to be a sponsor (note: excessive signage)!  But, nonetheless, I applaud this over some of their other ventures.

Photo #1: Tom_Hoboken

Photo #2: Jon Nalley

Photo #3: minicloud

Photo #4: Jon Nalley

Photo #5: Cat

Updated: Today’s Los Angeles Times reports back on the Brooklyn Book Festival here.

Not Quite Finished… Lookin’ Like Tomorrow Tuesday May 19th for Fence to Come Down at Washington Square Park

Lots going on today at Washington Square Park. I gather there were some last minute details to finalize — watering the plaza down (to rid it of construction dust), mowing the lawn – by hand, testing the Fountain again … — before tearing down the fence that has long surrounded the Fountain Plaza and NorthWest Quadrant. Word is the date is now tomorrow, Tuesday, May 19th. Pictures of the scene today:

Watering the Plaza

Watering the Plaza

Watering Plaza -- Fountain ON

Watering Plaza -- Fountain ON

About those four “Historic Plazas” (circa 1871) in the redesign plan at Washington Square Park …

siteofplazabehindgates0508Pictured here is the North West quadrant of Washington Square Park. When you study the City’s redesign plan, you’ll see that the diagram calls for a “plaza” in this location and that is currently being constructed here. The word “plaza” conjures up 18th or 19th century ladies with umbrellas sipping tea. Except I realized maybe that image became imprinted in my mind because on the design plans it states that there will be a “central flower bed” within the “1874 1871 historic plaza.” (Because, of course, that’s what we all think of when we envision what Washington Square Park is about … )

There will be a “historic plaza” at all four corners of the redesigned Washington Square Park.

It leads me to believe that when designer George Vellonakis was sitting down with his guidelines from the NYC Parks Department about the “renovation” of this Park, that, instead of recognizing the strengths of the park, he approached it as if the Park needed a total overhaul in character and orientation. Except it doesn’t. (There are other theories on why this might be happening.)

I watched the workers working at the corner spot at Waverly and Washington Square West a couple of weeks ago and they were digging up dirt and pouring it on living plants. I found that a bit puzzling to say the least. Also, the care being given to the living trees with the construction swirling around them is of great concern.