Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A partial walk through and around the eastern end of the footprint, and an encounter with a security guard unmindful of rules on photography

Continuing the trip I took May 20 up Vanderbilt Avenue to look for blight near the eastern edge of the Atlantic Yards footprint, in the video below I walk from Vanderbilt Avenue and Atlantic Avenue south to Pacific Street, west to Carlton Avenue, and south to Dean Street.

The walk traverses part of Block 1129, which is being used for construction staging and interim surface parking. The demolition of the Ward Bakery led to the provision of significant surface space.

(Note that in the beginning of the video I identify the starting place as Vanderbilt Avenue and Pacific Street, whereas it's actually Atlantic Avenue.)



Private street?

Even though there are signs professing that the street is closed, the street remains unblocked, at least during off-hours, and I saw a few bicyclists and cars passing through. There was no guard at either end of the street, but there was a guard outside one of the buildings, presumably protecting it from any incursion.

I turned off the camera before I got to the building and chatted briefly with the guard as I passed.

When I got to the corner of Carlton and Pacific, I turned the camera back on and looked east, pointing out that the street was still open.

I walked south to Dean, capturing the block of row houses on Carlton between Pacific and Dean, a finger of the Prospect Heights Historic District. As I note on the video, blight is supposed to cause deterioration of surroundings--though that's not the case.

An encounter with a guard

Curiously enough, after shooting the wall that once was full of graffiti ("Gehry, thy name is eminent domain," by the Prospect Heights Action Coalition), I got to Carlton and Dean.

Then, oddly enough, the security guard from Pacific Street followed me and confronted me, telling me I shouldn't be taking pictures. He threatened to call the cops. I told him the cops said it was OK.

(Security guard training apparently doesn't encompass informing them about photography on public streets.)

I turned the camera off--why make an example of a low-paid guy with little training?--and we jousted a bit more. He made a feint at calling his security partners down the block. I asked him if he knew of [insert name of Forest City Ratner executive]. He said no.

I walked away and he didn't follow me. That much training he had. He and others could use a bit more.

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