…is HUGE. And diverse. We took the ferry over and walked around the ruins near the terminal. Then a short bus ride to an old theater that is currently under restoration. The St. George is beautiful and crusty, with a vaguely nautical theme as evidenced by the gold maidens jutting from the high walls near the balcony. Next, we took a bus up into a typical neighborhood of the outer boroughs with bungalow style houses all in a row decorated with bathtub Jesus and Marys and shell embellishments. At the end of Hylan Boulevard stands the Alice Austen House. She was a photographer of the late 19th century and of recent renown. She was a bicycle-riding, always socializing photographer who lived with a woman and didn’t care who knew it – a rarity in the barely post Victorian era. The house is lovely and situated for maximum viewage of the Verrazano Bridge (which, of course didn’t exist in the house’s heyday) and lower Manhattan. Alice photographed mostly family and friends, occasionally venturing into Manhattan for some street photography. She developed her 8 x 10 negatives in a closet-sized room upstairs and had to trudge downstairs and out into the garden to wash her negatives. The house contains several binders of her contact prints, passable, but in need of TLC.
We boarded the bus and headed back to the ferry terminal. I would like to return by car to drive to South Beach and check out the boardwalk, to explore the ship graveyard at Arthur Kill, and Castleton – the last stop on the underground railroad after New Jersey. More photos will follow in a week or so.
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