Sunday, September 16, 2012

At the Edge

The first time I lived in New York City, over one summer during graduate school, I lived at the heart of it, in the 30's on Third Avenue.  I wanted to be in the center of things.  I craved crowds and anonymity. 

When I moved back years later, I was pushed out towards the river and lived on First Avenue.  This was completely dictated by real estate prices.  The farther you are from the subway in New York City, the less expensive the rent.  I stayed on the far East side of Manhattan for several years and, slowly, I began to set up a life on these quiet edges of Manhattan. I preferred less crowds, the East River running path, the quiet streets.

Now, I live on the other side of the river. In Brooklyn.  I live on the 'wrong' side of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway in a neighborhood no one has ever heard of (the Columbia Waterfront District) so I have to claim a different neighborhood in conversation (Carroll Gardens).  I live far from the subway next to shipping containers and terminals and abandoned lots teeming with stray cats.

Today, Tyler and I rode our bicycles along the edge of our Brooklyn, to Greenpoint.  He watched the tugboats.  I became fascinated with these statues.  While there is so much to see in the center of New York, I always point visitors towards its edge. A river path, a pier, a park.  The ghosts of people sit here, looking as water laps against the rocks. It's strange, and empty and beautiful. And there is, in my opinion, just as much inspiration, if not more, at the edge of things.

What lies at the edge of your world?


  1. the statues are oddly creepy AND beautiful...

    at the edge of my world lie groundhogs and anger, Republicans and laziness, Waffle House and worry.

  2. I love these! I have to find them myself. I am also an edge liver (Alphabet City), but the center seems to be visiting the edge these days, especially on the weekends. At the edge of my world: fishermen and junkies and marathon preparers, and overdue renovations and dog walkers...and interesting things to eat.

  3. Very strange statues, but yes, beautiful and I'd be drawn to them...edge of my world? It's always the ocean. It wants to take me somewhere but I don't know where and I can't go yet. But I will someday. If I fall off the edge, know that I really did believe the world was round :)

  4. A brick yard, a recording studio you can hear in the summer time if the windows are open, an enormous mountain of garbage courtesy of Waste Management, cheap rent, and unexpected surprises. The statues are amazing. I love what you can find when you just open your eyes.

  5. My conservative little town would implode if it saw those statues :) I'm pretty much hemmed in by Walmarts - there are at least five within a 30 mile radius. Also, the Blue Ridge Mtns.

  6. Those are incredible statues! How amazing to have art practically on your doorstep. I mean, we have dancing horses, but that ... THAT is WAY COOL! We live on the edge of our town, up on a hill. I kind of like it. (Though I don't enjoy pushing the baby jogger up the hill after I've gone down.) :D