The Sunflower that Ate Brooklyn

The Hungry Sunflower

Maybe not what springs to mind when you think “Brooklyn,” but our neighborhood wasn’t called Carroll Gardens for nothing — we in the ‘hood are serious about our flowers.  And yes, watch out for the bees.

Okay, I admit, the bees have only gotten me once.  Lately, I’ve been more worried about being stung by developers.  Enticed by rising property values, they push to erect outsized structures that will cut off our sunlight and threaten the water table of our low-lying streets here, near the Gowanus Canal.  Last night, Rick and I were among the hundred or so neighbors at a community planning board meeting who opposed the development of a monster project a block away from us.  Click here for a model of the project.  Good news:  the board voted against the developer’s proposal and called for further study, including examination of the environmental impact.

Why are we willing to sacrifice free hours after work at a community board meeting?  Because for years we lived under the shadow of the “tumor” of Carroll Street.  It was the architect Scarano’s most infamous project, designed to convert an old warehouse into apartments towering stories above us all.  To see the construction in its glory, click here (and scroll down).  Due to community protests, Scarano’s extra floors came down.  The building, still under construction, although under a different architect, is now essentially back to its original height — big, but not so massive as to cut off light for blocks around.

At least for the moment, all we have left to worry about are the sunflowers . . .

The Former Scarano “Tumor” Building
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2 thoughts on “The Sunflower that Ate Brooklyn

  1. I just found your blog through your comment on TriathlonObsession’s post about the Mighty Many Sprint. I live in Carroll Gardens, too! And I’ve been painting sunflowers the last few days while I stay off my sprained ankle. What a coincidence.

  2. Love your sunflower painting! I have to say, I have nothing even close to that cool to show for the times when I’ve been grounded:-) Too funny that we’re neighbors — I’m now following your blog, looking forward to the post when you announce that you’re ready for PT.

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