Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Brooklyn Cobbles

Or, why George Hincapie should come train in Brooklyn for next year's Paris Roubaix.


Went for a spin the other day and decided to swing over to see how long it will be before Ikea opens down in Red Hook and we are inundated with all the extra traffic.
It's amazing how quickly you can build something when you really want to - they are almost done with the landscaping, so I'd say it will be open any day now.

I know they say there won't be traffic problems because this Ikea is accessible by mass transit, but first; the closest subway stop is at least 15 blocks away, and second, who actually wants to carry furniture home on the subway?


I'm hoping this Red Hook landmark survives, but chances are if you never went to this bar when this was the ass-end of Red Hook, you won't be going now.

The single most glaring change (other than the giant yellow and blue box store that takes up the entire pier) is that they've repaved the street leading around to the parking lot. Gone are the famous cobbles, replaced by vehicle friendly asphalt.

Cobbles and trolley tracks are some of the more picturesque remnants of old NY that still linger in Brooklyn, and most of the outer boroughs. In the last 20 years, Manhattan has been stripped of much of it's physical history in the name of progress and I've been saddened to see it erased. I still remember the hollow, glass block sidewalks that lined SOHO and the blue slate streets of the west Village.

Lucky for us Brooklynites, not only do we have a lovely assortment of cobbles and trolley tracks that wend their way through DUMBO and Red Hook, but for those looking for the real deal, we've got Industry City.

Industry City is the name for the four million square feet in 10 industrial buildings between 37th and 32d Streets just off the Gowanus Expressway. It's desolate, dusty, and absolute hell on wheels - for those of us on two wheels.


I found an interview where George Hincapie talks about his training regimen and the fact that he sometimes has problems training for the spring classics because of snow.

Well, I say 'Come on over to Brooklyn George! We've got plenty of cobbles, and almost no snow."


ilya said...

Don't invite George to train in Brooklyn on cobbles. The man will break his bike, his leg and then sue Brooklyn, which will be forced to pave over all the cobblestones. Watch, it'll happen!

bikebrooklyn said...

Hey! Don't rag on George, after all, he's officially become one of the 'old guard'... and unlike some *cough* (Floyd), I believe he is honest and true... I also believe in the tooth fairy, that Tom Cruise is straight, and the unassailable accuracy of our voting system.