Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A Fourth Avenue Protuberance

When is the subway not a subway? When it's elevated

On days when I'm not meant to be in any particular place at any particular time, I might find myself exiting the F train at the Smith and 9th Street stop for no particular reason. 
I'm hovering now over the wanton Gowanus Canal some 88 feet above the ground. From this highest of all heights, I can watch a grounded worker below toss windows one after the other from the back of an albino box truck into a 40-yard dumpster. His partner standing in the midst smashes the plate glass with a metal rod and salvages the aluminum frames.  The dumpster already contains a vast amount of glass shards. They've obviously been doing this for a long while.

From this heavenly place, one can almost certainly behold, day or night, an endless queue of 18 wheelers stranded absolutely still on the BQE. Their drivers again, almost certainly, believing they are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Loitering as I do on the platform, I peer through its stainless steel mesh windows down into The Canal.  When her surface is absolutely still, it reminds me most of a can of freshly spilled oil-based enamel paint spreading out in front of me, not quite the iconic color of historic Charleston's ironwork... Close to, but not exactly, Hunter Green with a fair amount of Lamp Black.

If I was as accomplished a painter as say John Singer Sargent I'd ask her to pose for me.  Her portrait I would likely carry with me from place to place until my death.


Thursday, January 10, 2019

BIG DATA WEEK: ZoLa Show and Tell.

We're back on the ZoLa again!  

Scroll down the feature menu to the very bottom under  Basemaps and check the 3D feature, then check the Aerial Imagery box and you can choose any one of 11 different years dating all the way back to 1924 and as recently as 2016.  

Over the years, we've covered a lot of new development in the South Slope.  Here's one that we spent a good deal of time with...Lake Windsor a.k.a. 1638 Eighth Avenue, located between Windsor Place and Prospect Avenue. ZoLa offers us a chance to show off the property's unique, elongated land-locked lot over the history of development.    
In the year 2001,  1638 8th Avenue was a single story commercial warehouse with a driveway entrance on 8th Avenue.  There was a very large rear yard that extended down the block between Windsor and Prospect.

In 2006 the building was demolished to make way for a multifamily development.

ZoLa's 3D mapping feature allows you to define current as built mass.

You can tilt and rotate your viewpoint.  1638 8th Avenue as seen from 8th Avenue.

1939-1940 Tax photo of 1638 8th Avenue from the NYC  Municipal Archives. Over the years the property functioned as an office?garage for a home heating fuel oil delivery company.  Old timers say that's where they would buy their block of ice for their home iceboxes.  In 1922 ice plants in NYC and Long Island electrically manufactured over 1 million tons of ice, with an additional 20 tons of ice still being naturally harvested.

ZoLa Pretty Data: New York City's Zoning and Land Use Beta Beauty

NYC Civic Technologists and Open Source Social Coders producing vibrant interactive maps and data visualizations that we here at IMBY Labs find optically arousing.  The next generation of WEB MAPPING technology allows us to tilt, zoom, and rotate to our heart's content.  Add this to your box of hammers.  Clik for link  ZoLa: NYC Planning and Land Use Map  

What you got planned? 
Weave your own layered BIGDATA tapestries.
Start with a base warp map of Zoned Building FootPrints, Aerial Imagery or 3D Building Masses then layer on the weft Districts...Residential, Commercial, Manufacturing, Community, Assembly, Senate, Council, Business Improvement, Limited Height, Historic.
Bedazzle it up on over the top with Flood Insurance Rates, Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Areas, Outdoor Sidewalk Cafe requirements and Transit Zones.  Don't forget to check the box "Show Land Use Colors".

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

FOR SALE: 243 15th St. Wood Frame Tiny Home to Meet its Maker?

243 15th Street, South Slope between 5th and 6th Avenues has been on the market for awhile now, asking price $1,948,000. I think the current owner has already fracted a good deal of the equity from this little goose.
Real estate sites say it's currently in contract.

This 25 foot wide wood frame with no basement measures in at a meer 960 square feet and sits on a 1,654 square foot lot. Not sure what you can build on a 66 foot deep lot but it has the width, and the zoning...R6B gives it a FAR booster but still that's not much of a rear yard.  U. Santini owns the parking lot at 245 and they use it to park their moving trucks. 247 15th Street is privately owned as well.

Dug up these depression era 1940's tax photos showing the property in its glory days. Beautifully laid cobblestone street with trolly tracks.  The lettering in the window says ROOFING. The adjacent faimily owned U. Santini moving and storage warehouse has been around since 1930.

Another photo of the property with the Tax Man in plain view.  These 1940's photos are available for sale online at NYC Department of Records

Just in case they decide to demolish this home I thought I would record this detail of the original surviving cornice.

Aerial map showing the property (tiny pink square) and neighborhood as it existed in 1921. 

Occasionally you'll find a gem or two on the NYC Department of Buildings BIS property information web site. Here is a copy of the 1931 Certificate of Occupancy which officially defines and gives the owner permission to use the address for a "Private Garage for three (3) machines.  Also listed are the original owners William H. Kane and Helena J. Kane.  

William H. Kane's obituary from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle dated June 20th, 1944.  Mr. Kane, a master plumber, died in the house after 35 years of owning and operating his own business. Looks like he might of done some roofing as well as plumbing according to the sign in the window.  IMBY will keep an eye on this property and let the reader know what becomes of the little wood frame. Stay tuned.       RIP    W. H. Kane.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

IMBY TOOLBOX Casting Shade in NYC

Noon time Brooklyn: South Slope's segment of $th Avenue way under construction.
Spelunking down amongst the seething mob, living in the bleakness, slithering from there to there, picking up her dry cleaning.

Some people of the Earth are hard at work transcribing and converting our physical man made structures into digital bits. Rendering an accurate virtual illusion of the three dimensional world takes modeling skilz in order to fool the eye.  Who's behind this Herculean effort?
A not for profit global community of data sharing freaks ( Open Geospatial Consortium, a.k.a.  O.G.C.)   

Information Technology & Telecommunications 
Link to DoITT NYC 3D Building Model

The Grey Lady created this interactive truth map of New York City's shadier bits.  Click here to see who's living in the dark,  CLICK LINK and the lite.

From the New York Times Shadow map South Slope Winter Shade captured from their interactive map.

Summer Shadows, my new porn name.

Awwww, Spring Fall Shadows!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Flavor Cannon of Mediocrity: New JUUL for 4th Avenue & 15th Street

E-Cigatecture. South Slope Soul Sucking Skyline streaming bluevanilliaberry & banana ghost vapor.
Sunlight graciously reflected back down to the street.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

IMBY TOOL: NYC Active Construction

Ok my loyal followers, I have another great voyeur tool to appease our insatiable appetites.  Play with this site awhile and see if it doesn't itch your scratch and scratch your itch.

NYC Active Major Construction

NYC Department of Building's Active Major Construction tool is an interactive map and dashboard that provides real-time insight into all currently active major construction sites. Buildings on the map are categorized by square footage, estimated cost, and proposed dwelling units with larger points denoting higher values. Click on any of the points to get more details as well as a direct link to the permit info on DOB's Building Information System (BIS). The sidebar also contains various interactive filters.

Scroll down to view daily Top 10 lists of active sites with the most square footage, most expensive, tallest, and most dwelling units. Additional Top 10 bar graphs show general contractors with the most active city-wide square footage and cost, as well as occupancy type information.

The data used to create this application consists of all active New Building (NB) and Alteration Type 1 (A1) Enlargement permits and is updated daily. (LINK)


What's up with the Pavillion Theater remodel in the South Slope?  Click on any construction site to pop open a window, peer in, see property DOB BIS links and transparent permit info such as type, issuance and expiration dates, square footage, cost estimates, occupancy class, and proposed dwelling units.   

New Architectural Voyeurism: Reimagining Brooklyn's Fourth Avenue

uadO  moN:  You asked for it and IMBY, as usual, provides.  All our residential centerfolds come with out aggravating staples.  For your viewing pleasure, Brooklyn's Fourth Avenue.  

Take the GOWANUS side of the Avenue.