29 March 2009

A Few Last Photos

Recently I was going through some old folders on my hard drive and discovered several photos I'd never posted. I make no claims as to the quality (since there's probably a reason I hid them away in the first place), but here are a handful anyway. They were all taken during the second half of 2006.

grocery, east new york
East New York

garage, sunset park
Sunset Park

congregation adath jeshurun, flatbush

grocery, bed-stuy

wall+grill, williamsburg

mural, bed-stuy

sign, midwood

laundromat, sunset park
Sunset Park

07 November 2008

Post-Election Note

I'm so proud to be an (adopted) Iowan. It's been a long ten months since the caucus, but it's been worth the wait.

more snow in iowa

Our car last February. No one moves to Iowa for the weather.

11 July 2007

Making it Official

This shouldn't come as a big surprise to anyone (at least anyone who's read this blog lately), but I've decided to officially hang up my running shoes and end the quest to run every street in Brooklyn. The final tally was 872 unique miles, or just over half of the total. I'll leave it up to my loyal readers -- all three of you -- to work out whether the glass is half empty or half full, but I figured it was time to own up to the fact that I'm simply not going to run the other fifty percent.

It certainly was fun while it lasted, though. I got to see just about every neighborhood in the borough (okay, I didn't actually run in Brooklyn Heights or Dumbo, but I've been to those places on other occasions), and ride almost every mile of subway. Along the way I also took over 2000 photos (some of which came out pretty cool, if I do say so myself), and met some great people. When I started this, one of my stated reasons was to "get to know the place a little better." Well, I think I did. You could probably blindfold me, drop me off anywhere in the borough, and I'd know (well, within a minute or two) where I was and how to get home. I might not have accomplished everything that I set out to do, but I can't complain, either.

So there it is. And, just in case anyone wants a little more information, I've included the following exclusive interview. It's followed by two of the first pictures I took when I moved here, before I even started the running thing. Enjoy.

So, you've ended your quest.
That sounds like it ought to be on a greeting card. But yes.

What happened?
A couple of things. The primary one is that I injured myself pretty badly. I started having problems with my hamstrings and heels as early as October or so. But I often tend towards obsessive behavior, and continued to run while I was hurt.

That was stupid.
Agreed. It just made things worse. I rested for eight weeks or so this past spring, and then went on a couple of short "trial" runs in April and May. I tried to pretend I was healed up, but I was still hurting. I'm just now starting to feel 100% again.

Any other reasons?
Well, the other big one is school. Ostensibly, I've been working on my PhD in history, and all I need for my degree is to finish writing my dissertation. But last fall, when I was running 50 miles a week, the whole thing became a major drain on my time. There was the running, of course, but also the subway rides to and from the day's run, the recordkeeping, the blog, and planning the next day's run. By October or November I was probably spending six hours a day on it. And afterwards, I'd be too tired to do anything with the dissertation. I don't think it's a coincidence that once I stopped running, I drafted a full 60-page chapter and part of another in just a month or two.

So you hurt yourself, and you want to write some long paper that no one will ever read.
Correct. Except it's actually more like a book that no one will ever read.

Duly noted. Was there anything else that led you to your decision?
I suppose I do have this habit of getting really excited about new projects, but then losing interest later on.

Like your dissertation.
Or this interview.

Although you didn't get anywhere close to running the whole borough, you still managed to run about half of it. Any thoughts about where you did run, what you did see?
I think what I liked best was spending so much time in the neighborhoods that people often forget are even part of Brooklyn. It's almost like there are two separate boroughs. There's the swath that runs from Greenpoint and Williamsburg through downtown and Park Slope, basically everything to the north and west of Prospect Park, with a little bit of Bushwick and Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights thrown in. And then there's everything else. But I ended up spending the majority of my time in the latter. I ran all of Flatlands, for example, and all of Gerritsen Beach. All of Mill Basin and Sheepshead Bay and Gravesend and Bensonhurst. And I was within a few streets of running all of Canarsie. I ran half of East New York, most of Borough Park, and a majority of East Flatbush, Sunset Park, and Midwood. The blogs and the mainstream media do a good job of covering places like Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg. But it was really great to get at to see the rest of the borough. Even if it was at seven in the morning, and I was covered in sweat.

Speaking of blogs, what are you going to do with Runs Brooklyn?
I figure I'll just leave it up there. You know, as a kind of historic artifact -- all the maps and photos and everything. Or as a tangible reminder of failure, in case I ever get too full of myself.

What's next? Planning to embark on any other big endeavors you probably won't finish?
Who knows? Maybe I'll start writing a novel. But seriously, the big news is that Kate and I are moving next month.

Where to?
Back to Iowa City.

Just couldn't handle it here in the big city, huh? Maybe Christine Rizk was right, after all.
Yeah, she's good. But the move is mostly the result of other factors: First, I received a substantial writing fellowship for the coming academic year, and I really want to work on finishing the dissertation. In fact, with the fellowship money rolling in beginning September 1st, I'm feeling a certain obligation to do so. I figured that being in an academic setting -- with the university and my advisor right there -- would help facilitate that. Second, Kate loves living here in the city, but she's not digging the museum scene and wants to go back to school and get another master's degree, probably in library science. And finally, it's really, really expensive to live here. We've already got enough debt, you know?
So last month I went out to Iowa City and rented us a little house with a big yard, in a quiet neighborhood. It's got a garage, and a basement, and a washer and dryer. I can bike anywhere I need to be in ten minutes. It's pretty sweet.

But Iowa's in the middle of nowhere!
Iowa City's a college town. There's plenty to do. Besides, I'll be writing for ten hours a day.

Are you going to start a blog out there?
My main goal for the next year is to work nonstop on the dissertation, and I want to minimize the distractions. So probably not. But I do hope to start running again.

Do you think you'll miss anything about Brooklyn?
Sure. I'll miss walking around, mostly, seeing the different neighborhoods. I'll miss a couple of restaurants. I'll miss seeing stuff at BAM. I'll miss the view from our kitchen window.
I'll miss the Cyclones. And I'll miss being so close to everything in Manhattan, especially the opera. Kate's definitely going to miss her friends, but thankfully, I don't have any, so it's not as much of a problem for me. I was also going to say that I'll miss reading all the local blogs, but I suppose I can still do that in Iowa, and probably will.

Anything you won't miss?
Well, there's the G train, of course. Alternate side of the street parking. Car alarms. The BQE, that Target downtown, and all those kids with exactly the same haircut, tattoos, and eyeglasses. There might be others, but that's most of it.

What about Greenpoint? Will you miss living there?

To be honest, I got a little tired of living on a busy street, what with all the noise and everything. Otherwise, I suppose it's a perfectly fine neighborhood, although being neither Polish nor particularly hip, I sometimes felt a little out of place.

You're not hip at all.
True enough. But I think that only proves my point.

It seems that we're running short on time, so let's try to wrap things up. Two final questions: First, any shout-outs? Anyone you want to thank?
Absolutely. In fact, the most unexpected aspect of the whole running and blogging thing has been the amount of interest, encouragement, and support I've received. Even from complete strangers, some of which I'm now very pleased to call friends. In fact, there are a number of folks I probably ought to single out by name (at least first name -- you know who you are): Stephanie, Michael, Renee, Kristen, Susan, Kathleen, Don, Julie, Claude, Ron, Mel, and Dad. And special thanks to Linda, Bob, and Jen. Thanks again, everyone. Sorry if I let you down.

Last question.
About time. I feel like this has been going on forever.

If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
There are a few things, I guess. I wish I'd paced myself better, especially in the fall when things started really hurting. I think, in retrospect, that perhaps walking all of Brooklyn might have made more sense. Kind of like what Jen is doing in California. It would've taken longer, sure, but there'd be less opportunity for injury. And then I could've stopped and explored more places, gone into stores or museums or whatever. Oh, and I wish I could've had lunch or coffee with Christine Rizk. Seriously. It would've been a hoot.

That should do it. Good luck in your post-Brooklyn life.
Thanks. It's been fun.

The promised photos:

truck, red hook
Red Hook

gate, park slope
Park Slope

10 June 2007


Though it's pretty obvious I haven't been running lately, I've still felt the need to get outside and move around a little. So, over the past few weeks, I've started walking quite a bit, which seems like a good compromise for now. Most of the walks have been between five and seven miles long, though two weeks ago I made a 3.5 hour, 10+ mile trek that took me from Greenpoint down to the Williamsburg Bridge, over into Manhattan, up to the Queensboro Bridge, across into Queens, and then back home. Some of the shorter ones have included walking from home to a doctor's appointment near Columbus Circle (via the Queensboro) and walking to Union Square (over the Williamsburg Bridge).

A week and a half ago, I walked to downtown Brooklyn (I rode the G train home, though I think I could've walked back faster). Unlike some of the other long walks I've done lately, this route was entirely within the borough, and the route took me along a number of streets that I hadn't yet run on. They were "unique miles," in other words, but since I wasn't running I haven't counted them toward the total mileage or anything.

Not yet, at least. In fact, I'm not really sure what I'll do. Part of me thinks that walking might be a great way to see some of the neighborhoods I haven't spent much time in, and add some miles to my totals. But another part thinks that anything short of running would be cheating, for lack of a better word. Walking certainly has its advantages -- I can carry more stuff with me, it's much easier to stop and look at things, and I'm a lot less conspicuous than I am in sweaty running clothes.

But it's not running. I have to do some traveling over the next few weeks, so it's not like I have to figure it now. Anyway, here's a map of the route, and a few pictures from along the way:

5/30/07 (Walk)

Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Downtown

Distance: 4.94 miles
17:12 (!)

click on the image, etc.

leonard street
Leonard Street

myrtle avenue
Myrtle Avenue

bedford ave
Bedford Avenue

liu-brooklyn, willoughby street
Willoughby Street

schermerhorn street
Schermerhorn Street

24 May 2007

Robert Moses Wrap-up

Last Saturday, Kate and I went up to the Museum of the City of New York to see the final installment of "Robert Moses and the Modern City," the tripartite retrospective devoted to the impact and legacy of the former city planner. This one, titled "Remaking the Modern City," focuses mostly on roads, bridges, and other aspects of the city's transportation infrastructure (especially in Manhattan and the Bronx), though there are also displays on other projects like Lincoln Center and Central Park.

The exhibit (which, by the way, runs only through Memorial Day) evinces the same revisionist tone as the other two, and argues that the only way to fully assess the mark that Moses left on New York is through providing the necessary historical context, and by presenting both the man and his motivations as being much more complex than they are often portrayed. In other words, the remarkably pervasive caricature of Moses as imperial megalomaniac, decimating entire neighborhoods with haughty indifference, is both overly simplistic and ahistorical.

Not that the exhibits are especially apologetic, mind you. A focal point of this one, for instance, is a 10-foot long scale model of midtown with the multi-lane elevated Mid-Manhattan Expressway running where 30th Street used to be (see the picture below). It was never built, of course, and I don't think anyone these days can look at something like that without reflexively wondering, "what the hell was he thinking?" Other examples of Moses' failures and defeats -- like his proposed bridge connecting lower Manhattan and Red Hook, Brooklyn, which would have turned Battery Park into a multi-leveled maze of access ramps -- are presented as well.

Most of the current anti-Mosaic sentiment, of course, is derived from (or, at the very least, influenced by) Robert Caro's highly critical and widely-read 1974 biography of Moses, The Power Broker. But implicit throughout the entire exhibit (and just about spelled out at one point in the text) is the idea that perhaps Caro himself was a product of his time as well, and that the widespread sense of decay and doom pervading New York during the early 1970s necessitated pinning many of the city's woes on a scapegoat. Moses, who was at times demonstrably arrogant, racist, unconcerned about the lower classes, and who fervently wanted to reshape the city to accomodate the automobile, fit the bill perfectly. Now that the city has rebounded from its disco-era nadir, however (and become what is, essentially, a global luxury brand), these exhibits suggest that maybe it's time to take another look at things and reassess.

I'll leave it up to others to debate the details and argue about who's right or wrong or whatever. I don't know whether any ardent critics of Moses will have their views changed by these exhibits. In fact, I'd pretty much doubt it. But people often prefer simple explanations of things, and many tend to see historical events as black-and-white issues with clear heroes and villains. (As someone who's tried to explain to undergrads the complexities of events like Reconstruction, the Great Depression, and the civil rights movement, I speak from some experience here.) Overall, though, I think that the three exhibits generally succeed in their goal of demonstrating that the legacy of Robert Moses -- like virtually all history -- is sometimes much more complicated than it appears at first glance, and often defies oversimplification.

Anyway, don't forget to head up there this weekend if you've been meaning to see the exhibit. The portion at the Queens Museum of Art, by the way, runs through this Sunday, but the one at Columbia has already closed.

If you've read this far, and you're still interested in reading more on the whole Moses thing, try these articles in the International Herald Tribune, Metropolis Magazine, and the Washington Post.

mid-manhattan expressway
Model featuring the Mid-Manhattan Expressway (looking west)

16 May 2007

On Buses and Baseball

Cities are noisy places, and no one who lives in a densely-populated urban area can honestly have much expectation of enjoying the kind of quiet environment found in a small town or suburban setting. Still, in the nine months I've lived in my current apartment, I've been continually surprised by just how loud things can get. We knew, of course, that by moving into a building facing a busy commercial district we'd encounter our share of street noise wafting up to the fifth floor. And considering the very modest rent we're paying for the sublet here, it was a tradeoff we willingly made.

There are two city bus routes that run right by our building, and the buses contribute significantly to the volume level around here. But until this morning, I never thought to check just how many buses we were hearing every day. It sure seemed like a lot, I thought, but was I just being overly sensitive to the noise? So out of curiosity, I spent a few minutes earlier today looking at the schedules for the B61 and B43 routes over at the MTA website, and counted the number of buses on the schedule that run by our place. And the numbers were pretty remarkable -- it turns out that a city bus passes directly in front of our apartment 434 times each weekday. Of this number, fully 374 pass by between the hours of 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM (since they run much less frequently at night) -- a rate of one every 2.5 minutes. That's a lot of buses. I guess it wasn't just me, after all.

On a completely unrelated note, Kate and I took the train up to see the Mets on Saturday and again on Monday. It'd been a while since I'd been to a game at Shea (at least since May 1994, as far as I'm able to tell), and we had a great time at both games (at the latter, we split scorekeeping duties -- I kept score for the home team, Kate for the Cubbies). I've always loved baseball, and I still get a kick out of going to a big league game.

That said, overall I prefer the more intimate setting (not to mention the cheaper tickets) that minor league ball offers. Now that I think about it, actually, I really miss seeing my Kernels up in Cedar Rapids. From 1997 through 2004 I had season tickets in the first row behind the home dugout, and probably went to 300 games. Maybe more. Over the years I got to see dozens of players who subsequently went on to enjoy significant success in the big leagues, including Albert Pujols, Adam Dunn, Miguel Cabrera, Jason Bay, Prince Fielder, and Joe Mauer. And those were just the visiting players. I have, of course, also been to games at Coney Island and Staten Island, both of which are great places to watch baseball. But since these teams play in a short-season league, opening day is still more than a month off. I guess I'll have to make do with the Mets for now (or head out to minor league games in Connecticut or Jersey). Anyway, I've included below a (crudely stitched-together) panorama of Shea Stadium, taken last Saturday from our seats in the last row of the upper deck.

And no, I haven't run lately. But I did complete a chapter draft this week, so that's something.

shea stadium 1

11 May 2007

Notes on the Brooklyn Blogfest

I'd be a poor Brooklyn blogger, indeed (if you can call infrequent posts about the state of my physical health "blogging," of course), if I didn't at least mention the 2nd Annual Brooklyn Blogfest, which I attended with Kate last night at the Old Stone House in Park Slope. It was organized by Louise Crawford over at Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn, and a capacity crowd of well over 100 folks showed up for what was basically a two-part event. The opening half consisted of a more formal program with a number of speakers who talked about, well, blogs. And Brooklyn. And blogging in Brooklyn. Following this was an informal gathering with free food and drinks, and everyone just sort of mingling and introducing themselves, which I enjoyed very much (though we couldn't stay too long due to the late hour).

In the interest of providing some appearance of objectivity, I'd be remiss if I didn't offer two (relatively minor) criticisms, so let me get them out of the way. First, at several points during the opening half, the proceedings threatened to devolve into a rally against local developer/bogeyman Bruce Ratner. (To be sure, Ratner's Atlantic Yards project is one of the biggest and most controversial stories unfolding in Brooklyn right now, and I'm certainly no fan of zillionaire developers getting even wealthier through tax subsidies and incentives and the propagandistic manipulation of public opinion, but still.) Moreover, and on a somewhat related note, the invited speakers seemed to represent a relatively narrow cross-section of the local blogging community. Brooklyn, of course, is home to over 2.5 million people, but it seemed that the overall discourse was skewed a little too heavily toward neighborhoods like Clinton Hill and Park Slope and topics like gentrification and development. Not that these aren't important, mind you, but as someone who's logged considerable time over the past year goofing around and taking pictures in neighborhoods like Canarsie, East New York, and Gravesend (and, frankly, as someone who had a gross income last year under $15,000), I can personally attest to the fact that Brooklyn is a bit larger and more diverse (in terms of both geography and population) than might have been in evidence last night, and that not every Brooklynite is obsessed with real estate. Or can even afford a parking space here.

To be fair, however, both Ms. Crawford and Bob Guskind spoke eloquently about the need to support blogging in some of these underrepresented neighborhoods and by individuals outside the white, professional, upper-middle-class demographic that appears to dominate the community thus far. And regardless of where they were from or what they were taking about, all the speakers were thoughtful, smart, and clearly very passionate about what they are doing.

One of the major themes of the night was the ways in which the local, neighborhood-level work by bloggers fills the vacuum left by the tendency of the city's conventional media to turn its attention to Brooklyn only when reporting car crashes, fires, and shootings (I forgot who said that -- was it Steven Johnson? -- but it was a good line), and I completely agree. I certainly rely more on a handful of blogs than anything else for my local news. The work of bloggers is even more impressive when one realizes that very few of them get paid for it, either.

When all was said and done, I think that the Blogfest was generally successful, and I commend Ms. Crawford and all the others involved for their hard work in organizing it. I do hope it will become an annual institution, but also that it'll offer a more representative sampling of the incredibly diverse range of topics covered by bloggers doing their thing here in Brooklyn. Kate and I enjoyed ourselves, though, and I'm already looking forward to next year's event. Maybe I'll even have run a few times by then.

Whatever. As is my wont at public events, I kept a low profile -- I felt self-conscious even wearing my little name tag -- and appear to have successfully avoided all microphones and cameras (oops, except here). We sat near the back of the room, and I refrained from participating in the "open mic" portion of the evening in which some two dozen individuals briefly introduced themselves and their blogs. (I enjoyed watching this, though, as it was great fun attaching faces to names.) After the "official" program concluded, however, and everyone was mingling downstairs partaking of food and margaritas, I had the pleasure of meeting several folks whose blogs I admire and read regularly, but with whom I'd previously known only through email if at all. A brief rundown of my encounters:
  • Gowanus Lounge was the first local blog to pick up on my whole running thing last summer, and has been very generous with the links and stories over the ensuing months. So it was a real pleasure to meet Bob Guskind -- the hardest working man in the Brooklyn blog biz -- and discover that he's as affable and gracious in person as he comes across electronically. (This is particularly remarkable, of course, given the combined 17-hour days he puts in at GL, Curbed, and his day job.)
  • I was also pleased to spend a few minutes chatting with Claude Scales, the creative force behind the relentlessly eclectic, often-entertaining, and always-intelligent Self-Absorbed Boomer. It's the only blog I read regularly where I can find trenchant insight on both recent developments in astrophysics and the state of the Mets' pitching rotation.
  • Though I'll confess I was previously unfamiliar with his blog Old First, it was great meeting Daniel Meeter, blogger and Pastor at Old First Reformed Church in Park Slope. I was flattered to learn that he seemed to know who I was, and so in a belated effort to balance things out I've bookmarked his blog and added it to the links on the side.
  • I spent most of my time, however, talking with Patrick Kwan and Jason Das from SuperVegan. I know, it's not a Brooklyn blog, per se, but it's one of my favorite NYC websites, and Kate and I use their "Amazing Instant New York City Vegan Restaurant Finder" all the time. Well, at least when we're looking for somewhere new to eat. Anyway, I admire their enthusiasm, energy, and dedication to what they're doing, and it was terrific meeting them. Patrick even listened patiently when I momentarily slipped into academic mode and began to ramble on about my dissertation (which is, by the way, about the role of ethical vegetarianism within the broader progressive reform movement in the US and Britain from 1883-1919, just in case you were curious). Sorry about that, Patrick. But hey, if you guys ever need an official historian, well, you know where to find me.
That's about it. I had also wanted to say hello to Jonathan from Brownstoner and Brooklyn Record (and thank him for using a number of my photos on his blogs over the last year), but he was an awfully popular guy and I didn't get the chance before we had to leave. Maybe next year. Regardless, most of the people in attendance last night can no doubt offer a whole lot more on the event that I ever could, so check out these links if you're interested:

Blogfest: A Great Event (Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn)
Brooklyn Blogfest Rocks (Gowanus Lounge)
2nd Annual Brooklyn Blogfest Yearbook (Dope on the Slope)
Blogolicious Brooklyn (Crazy Stable)
Second Annual Brooklyn Blogfest (Brooklyn Record)
The 2nd Annual Brooklyn Blogfest, For Real (Flatbush Gardener)
Out of Brooklyn, Endlessly Blogging (NY Times)


01 May 2007

Baby Steps

Tuesday 5/1: Greenpoint & Williamsburg

Distance: 3.42 miles
Time: 0:30
Pace: 8:44
Temp: 54
Dewpoint: 36
Weather: Sunny

click on image for interactive map

Unique Miles Today: none!

This morning, I woke up early and decided it was time to give the legs another test. So I headed out, hit the sidewalk, and ran a big loop through Greenpoint and Williamsburg. No, I didn't log any unique miles, and I didn't even take my camera with me. But it was my first run on my home turf here in Brooklyn in over three months (though I'd done similar half-hour runs two weeks ago in Georgia and four weeks ago in Iowa), and I realized after a few minutes that I'd really missed it.

But here's the thing -- most everything hurt. My hamstrings, my ankles, my chest, my lungs, everything. Of course, I realize that most (if not all) of this discomfort was directly related to that whole fourteen-weeks-of-physical-inactivity thing. But I also find myself in a real quandary now, with the desire to resume my pursuit of "unique miles" (at least in a limited fashion) pulling me in one direction and the nagging suspicion that I'm not fully healed in the other. What's an obsessive runner to do?

Not a whole lot, apparently. It's not much, but here's what I've come up with: I'll see how I feel tomorrow and the next day. If everything seems in order, with no major residual physical effects from this morning, I'll shoot for a "real" Brooklyn run this weekend or early next week. It'll be a short one -- no more than a half-hour, or about 3.5 miles -- but I'll plot out a new route, take the camera, and generally try to ease back into things. It's pretty safe to say that I won't ever approach my mileage totals from last fall, when there were some weeks where I logged more than 40 unique miles, and at a 7:30 pace, no less. Creeping physical decrepitude is part of the reason, of course (and I've got yet another birthday this Thursday -- seems like I just had one), and after the number I did on my body last year I want to be particularly careful about not hurting myself again. But there's also the matter of the dissertation. Since the University of Iowa has seen fit to throw me a substantial wad of money to write the damned thing, I'm feeling a certain obligation to buckle down and do just that. What I hope, however, is that I can start getting back to a routine, maybe running three or four times a week. And of these three or four runs, I'd like to devote at least one (and hopefully, two) to visiting more neighborhoods, covering more ground, and just seeing more of Brooklyn.

Whatever happens, I'm sure I'll write some needlessly long post here with all the details. So stay tuned.

28 April 2007

Spring Cleaning

Not much new to report of late. Mostly I've been plugging away at the writing, while still waiting for the legs to get back to 100%. I feel like I'm getting pretty close, but plenty of folks I know (and even a few I don't) have reminded me not to jump back into anything until I'm sure I'm completely healed up. Sound advice, of course, but it doesn't make me any less impatient. The only other news is that I received a fellowship for the next academic year, which will allow me to continue writing (and hopefully, to finish up) without having to worry too much about money, at least between September and May. Alas, I'll still need to look for some part-time work over the summer to carry me through until the funds kick in. If anyone knows of something that'd be suitable (after all, who doesn't need a part-time historian around the house?) be sure to let me know.

Anyway, over the last week I sifted through the dregs at the very bottom of the Runs Brooklyn photo barrel, and turned up what will probably be the final installment of pictures I've taken so far. I've posted about 30 new images on my flickr page, but I've also included a few below. It turns out that there's an interesting story behind the first one (which was actually taken on the Queens side of the Brooklyn/Queens boundary). Read all about it here.

leatherworks by rufus
78th Street between East New York and Lindenwood

livonia & hinsdale, east new york
Livonia Avenue, East New York

purple door, flatbush
Nostrand Avenue, Midwood

marine parkway bridge
Marine Parkway Bridge

storefronts, sunset park
5th Avenue, Sunset Park

senator street, bay ridge
Senator Street & 5th Avenue, Bay Ridge

generator motor room, bay ridge
Also in Bay Ridge, though I'm not sure where