Vernon Boulevard, 5
A dodgy-looking motel near the bridge is undergoing enlargement, and possibly, transformation. I will keep my eye on this and report back if anything interesting develops. The motel is directly opposite the promised Silvercup Studio site; is there a connection? A nice motel/hotel right here might be an affordable alternative to much more expensive lodgings across the river.
To the north of the bridge is Queensbridge Houses, a New York City public housing project that was once the country's largest such development. Across the street is a lovely amenity, Queensbridge Park. If the weather is warm, you can almost be guaranteed an enticing smell of grilled meats.
The next stretch of Vernon Boulevard is not as interesting as Hunter's Point, unless you have a taste for power of a certain kind. This is Ravenswood, home to a sprawling generating plant, including "Big Allis" on the west side of the boulevard
and one-story industrial building of various kinds on the eastern side.
The gray building may have started out as a stable.
At 36th Avenue, in the midst of the industrial landscape, is the Roosevelt Island Bridge.
It is long overdue for a painting, but it was a riot of of reds, blues and purples at one time. The center span of the bridge is an elevator that rises to allow tall ships to pass underneath, not used very often nowadays. Here is Big Allis, (Allis-Chalmers) with the 59th Street Bridge in the background, seen from the Roosevelt Island Bridge.
Opposite the Roosevelt Island Bridge is a tenement similar to many in the East Village. but, most of the housing along this section are more like this although there are signs of change just a bit farther north.
A neon sign fabricator has been here for ages. Years ago, I thought about having a sign made for my kitchen that advertised, "Mom's Eats."
Rainey Park has a view of the Octagon on Roosevelt Island. This is a recently restored designated landmark (called Octagon Tower) that is the only remaining part of the New York Lunatic Asylum, A.J. Davis, 1835-39. It now houses a fitness center for one of the newer residential buildings on the island. The complex recalls the original configuration of the A.J. Davis structure, two wings extending from the octagon, at right angles to each other.
The Noguchi Museum houses the work of the prominent sculptor in a building designed by Shogi Sazao in 1985 and recently renovated.
Those more interested in commerce than in art can visit Costco instead.
Socrates Sculpture Park was founded by Mark Di Suvero, with sweat equity from local artists. It is now a city park. At the time of my walk, preparations were being made for a new installation
and many of the familiar pieces I had expected to see were tucked away
Looking over the park is the former Sohmer Piano Company factory. (Steinway Pianos are still made not far from here.)
The building was constructed in 1886, designed by Berger & Baylies, but the clock tower and mansard roof were added in 1910.
Don't mistake this painted metal fence for graffiti.
It's a palette knife!
Many of the clients of metal fabricators here are artists.
And some fabricators think they are artistic, too.
And what's this? The Jersey shore?
Well, no. There's the Manhttan skyline from Hallett's Point, at the northern end of Vernon Boulevard.