Night Vision

Went out to the 69th Street Wharf here in Sorrentinostan, a.k.a. Bay Ridge, Brooklyn with Nicole last night to have a look at Manhattan from down here. The first snapshot (basic iPhone stuff)  shows WTC1 lit from half way up & the surrounding dark of lower Manhattan (the big lights on the right are the Owls Head Wastewater Treatment Plant.) The second, 180 degrees in the opposite direction, shows … Read more Night Vision

Robert Kelly on Brooklyn (4 & final)

CITY AS PILGRIMAGE (continued…) Even before the monastery, I happened on what struck me as peculiar, in this very ordinary neighborhood of dry cleaners and groceries and funeral parlors – an actual bookstore.  The kind that sold used books.  My treasures.  The fact that most of the books were in German makes it clear now what it meant to have an educated lower middle class that read books.  Germany … Read more Robert Kelly on Brooklyn (4 & final)

Robert Kelly on Brooklyn (3)

CITY AS PILGRIMAGE (continued…) After the movies,  a hot potato knish, square as a stiff cushion, peppery, greasy fingers you could lick after the main dish, a delicate aftertaste.  A good cure for memories.  A good banishment of sentimentality.  Lick the salt, lick the skin.  And then go left again, down to the end of Pitkin Avenue. Hopkinson was an open side street,  but most of the side streets … Read more Robert Kelly on Brooklyn (3)

Robert Kelly on Brooklyn (2)

CITY AS PILGRIMAGE (continued…) East:  Sunrise, the highway to the book I would set out, down the four steps cement steps of Mrs. Shevlin’s house where we rented our apartment, cross the little cement patio, turn left. Pass the stoop where Loretta sometimes stood, the Polish girl next door, innocent slinky and pretty and sad with acne.  Pass the ever-open Italian social and athletic club where old men, never … Read more Robert Kelly on Brooklyn (2)

Robert Kelly on Brooklyn (1)

CITY AS PILGRIMAGE by Robert Kelly You don’t live in a city. You live across it.  Or athwart it, or through it.  You live through a city, and the routes of your travel are mapped by your own compulsions, infatuations, dreads.  Your sense of identity,  your sense of the task that lies before you, your work, the enterprise that the city will shape.  Your whole nature inscribes a Milky … Read more Robert Kelly on Brooklyn (1)

Serializing Robert Kelly on Brooklyn

It is just five months now that I call Brooklyn home, though given the nomadicity of teaching at Albany & traveling nearly weekly elsewhere for readings or conferences, I’ve barely had the time to savor living in Yellow Hook, aka Bay Ridge — except of course for the long walks along the Narrows from the 69th street pier to the Verrazano Bridge (2.4 miles, one-way) with Nicole when we … Read more Serializing Robert Kelly on Brooklyn