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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Cycle of Decay

Ruins in Red Hook
Photo by myself in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Behind a series of warehouses near the water, there is a ruined building from a different time. There's a mysterious and sculptural air about it, like a Rube Goldberg contraption.


There's a community garden a few streets from us in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where members pay yearly dues to work a plot of land. People plant flowers and vegetables, landscape gardens and create little ponds with koi.

Most neighborhoods have a community garden. It seems as if there are quite a few in Red Hook for instance, for whatever reason. There are some prominent ones in the East Village, along Houston Street. You're welcome to wander off the street and walk inside, provided you stay on the paths.

As a city dweller it's great to be able to get your hands dirty or compost your food stuff. Mark and I feel like we're doing our little part.

We haven't joined the garden near us, but we're going there to compost. On weekends, we dump a week's worth of odds and ends into the bin. People are there constantly, shifting the heaps from one bin to another, then using the final, rich compost for their gardens.

Last weekend, I was in such a rush, I brought the wrong bag with me. When I emptied the bag in the bin, I was surprised to find a pair of shoes I was going to leave out on the stoop. Egad!

The woman tending the compost pile and I were both surprised. I made some sort of lame-o half-funny comment, then took the shoes and skedaddled.


Spandrel Studios said...

How funny you took your shoes by mistake - that's exactly the kind of thing that I would do! Despite the embarrassment factor, I'm sure you brought a smile to someone's face that day!

The Barber Bunch said...

Great Picture. I would love to see some pics of the Gardens.


Gudl said...

I didn't know that there are community gardens. That is a great idea!
You posted a great photo.

Kitty said...

Hi Spandrel
haha, I those mistakes often it seems, and I'm glad to entertain!

Thanks Carolyn
I'll have to get out there soon. Some of the little details are cute

Thanks Gudl
I think it's a great idea too. Gardening is such great exercise, and the membership is reasonable. It's something like $50 a year, which is great for those who don't have backyards (which is most of us)

Kelly said...

I love these community gardens! We have one not far from here, although I don't tend one. Funny about your shoes! Although you wouldn't believe the things I have dug out of my garden here over the years! Shoes might not surprise me!

Dana said...

ok! Back to that picture for a minute... is that always falling down like that? Maybe our building codes are stricter here in San Diego but that doesnt look too safe! really cool shot by the way :)

Kizz said...

I have no idea what is OK to compost, the whole process baffles me. Clearly I'm not much of a gardener - eco person. They do a LOT of composting at the greenmarket near my house, though. No idea where the finished product is used.

Reluctant Blogger said...

Oh I love that photo. You know me and industrial landscapes - love 'em.

I also love the word "skedaddled" - it's in a children's book I read often and can't think which one. Maybe a Hairy Maclary" Book?

CHEWY said...

Hi kitty,
I so enjoy your pieces of the apple. You must have covered just about every square inch by now... but it is always changing, isn't it?

Olivier said...

cette photo est magnifique, la déchéance de ce vieux quartier qui va bientôt retrouver une deuxième jeunesses. bravo.

this picture is magnificent, the revocation of this old neighborhood that will soon find a second youth. Bravo.

Ruvym said...

That photo reminds me of every thing I saw in Mexico on the way down from San Diego to Rosarito.

Tammy said...

Why were you going to leave shoes on the stoop?

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Kitty said...

Kelly, lol, it's nice to know I might not be the only one to donate shoes to a garden.

Hi Dana
I think whatever that is is in disrepair. I doubt it's in use!

Hi Kizz
The finished compost stuff is used for new plants. You can use foodstuffs but nothing with animal protein (egg shells, however, are okay), and nothing you're cooked already.

You should try it!

I love photos of ruins and industrial stuff too. There's something romantic about them. :-)

Thanks Chewy
Sometimes I feel at a loss of what to write about, but there's always more. It's truly surprising.

Thanks, Olivier
I know how much you like Red Hook. It's a cool area that not many people know about.

lol, Ruvym.
I have yet to go to Mexico. Someday.

Hi Tammy
there's a tradition of leaving stuff that is old but not completely horrible on one's stoop or sidewalk. There's always someone looking for stuff.

You'd be surprised. You can leave an old paperback out there and 1/2 hour later, it'll be gone. It's a natural recycling that I enjoy in the city. Perhaps it occurs in other cities, too.