We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Here we go - planning a Maggie's Farm Urban Hike is a great Valentine's Day conversation for your spouse, significant other, or someone you'd like to impress. It's time for the first glimpse of the 4th Annual Urban Hike Itinerary. As we ate pizza last year outside of Chelsea Market, there was a general consensus that we needed to see the sights a girl can see from Brooklyn Heights. As you know, there's nothing in Brooklyn aside from a bridge, some heights, and possibly Patty Duke's identical twin cousin. And for those of you into bad 1970's B movies, The Warriors. Fuhgeddaboudit. Leave the gun, take the cannoli (Clemenza's house is in Gravesend, Brooklyn, but Paulie was probably killed in NJ since we see the back of the Statue of Liberty).
We're only about 60 days away. Halfway through February, then March, and right now we're pegging some weekend post 4/13 (so we're thinking 4/14, 4/21, or 4/28). Sundays are a possibility, but much more difficult. Saturdays are always better, so we're planning on those 3 weekends for now.
As usual, all are invited and welcome. I expect this may be our most well-attended hike yet. Last year I was surprised to learn one couple was from my hometown (hope we see you again), while yet another travels quite a distance from the MidWest just to share a few hours with us. They've attended the last two, and I hope we see them again, as well (my wife and I speak about your wandering ways often). A number of people in my office heard about last year's hike and asked me to inform them about this upcoming one.
Last year we were all dazzled by the 'secret lair' of the Manhattan Contrarian (my wife is still gushing). I suspect we'll be equally dazzled by some new sights this year. So feel free to add comments, observations, or suggestions. Even if you're not plannning on joining us (please join!), but you have suggestions, we'll welcome them if they fit into the time span/distance. We encourage additions, we encourage any additional commentary during the walk which you find useful (last year we even managed to glom on to a professional tour at one location). This is all about knowledge sharing.
The current plan is to start in Manhattan, possibly at a Dunkin' Donuts on Fulton, by Gold, about 3 blocks from the Brooklyn Bridge. We'll walk over the bridge, then head north to Dumbo, east to Vinegar Hill, the Navy Yard, and Admiral's Row. We'll then double back to the Heights where we'll take a look at Roebling's apartment (I think I've got the right address - 110 Columbia Heights at Orange and Pineapple), a brownstone that isn't a brownstone, the Atlantic Avenue tunnel, the original Abraham & Straus (a New York thing, A&S was an iconic store), the Wyckoff Street Mosaic, Gowanus Ballroom, the Gowanus Canal, the Red Hook Warehouse and the Red Hook Grain Terminal. Some other places of note where there may be stops include 299 Sands St (King's County Distillery - but it's early in the hike so maybe not), 141 Lawrence (Circa Brewing), Cacao Prieto (chocolates!), Prospect Park (a bit of a stretch, but we'll see), 195 Centre St (Other Half Brewing), 40 Van Dyke (Sixpoint Brewing), and 218 Conover (Widow Jane's Distillery - great bourbon). Once we're in Red Hook, we can take a water taxi back to Manhattan, which I've heard tell is good fun.
So that's a preliminary plan. I think it came out to about 11 miles. That's a good stretch of the legs, but we're open to changes and ideas.
Of note, The Warriors is based on Xenophon's Anabasis, about a Greek mercenary force, "The Ten Thousand", fighting in a Persian civil war. The Greeks help win the battle, but their prince dies, meaning the war is lost. All the prince's allies defect to the other side, leaving the Greeks stranded and surrounded in enemy territory. Anabasis is the story of how the Greeks marched and fought their way across Persia to freedom.
Not only is it a great adventure story, but it demonstrated the power of the Greek phalanx and military discipline.
You have to be the right age to appreciate it.
It's more comic drama than good cinema. Definitely a B movie. Plenty of B movies get good ratings from Rotten Tomatoes. As for the critics, they give lots of good ratings to really lousy A movies.
Me? I'm a fan. I grew up on stuff like that. But I'm willing to bet 80% of the audience here on Maggie's either isn't familiar, or wouldn't find it enjoyable.
Of course, many 70's movies look pretty bad today. I watched several last week and my wife just sat there shaking her head asking if I really "liked that crap". Yes. Yes, I do.
The elvator was a textbook case of Government trying to pick a winner and fund it with taxpayer's money. By 1922 grain marketing channels had changed and Brooklyn was not the cheapest point to export grain. Buffalo was a major player back then. By the 60s the marketing channels had changed again. With the opening of the St Lawrence Seaway, the Great Lakes ports eclipsed Buffalo and the Gulf Coast was also exporting large quantities of grain. The Red Hook Terminal should never have been built.
An anachronism in its own time, the Red Hook Elevator was finished in 1922 and almost immediately dubbed the “Magnificent Mistake.”. . .
In 1944, after 22 years of profitless operation, the state deeded the elevator to the Port Authority, which rehabilitated the structure and continued operation. But by 1964 it was clear the building was in financial havoc, . . .
So in 1965, after 40 years of under-use, the grain terminal was officially deactivated. In 1987, state officials remembered the structure long enough to demolish its conveyors and loading pier.