Tuesday, February 8, 2011


For my pathways drawings I chose to sit at my window on the 11th floor and draw what was below me. I can hear faint sounds that reverberate between the buildings and wanted to examine what was below compared to the sky above.

Through the process of creating observation drawings from my window on the eleventh floor, I became increasingly fascinated by the multitude of separate paths created by humans, birds, and cars. At first it was quite daunting when I realized how many of these paths intersect with my own without any recognition or relation to the dimensionality of neighbors in my environment.   

Interested in exploring relations between separate yet similar paths ways outside of my window I chose to symbolically pattern the paths I had previously observed. These path makers were: people tromping through snowy sidewalks, cars sleepily parked and the birds that draped themselves through the cluster of apartment buildings.

After completing the couplet of etchings where I studied the paths of inhabitants I wanted to look closer at what caused these paths to made. In the clay slabs I made the first one to represent the contour of the land where my burried stream existed in 1609. Amazed at how different the mass of land looked as well as the dramatic amount of birds, plants and reptiles that occupied this land due to its abundant abilities. In my second clay slab I wanted to represent stacked layout of the area today as well as note the little amount of green space.

 For my final project I wanted to link all of my previous studies and interests in contrasting land use and path ways in order to house both. After researching the habitat of both 1609 and today, I decided to ease the dangerous paths for native birds in this area. Since this location is right by the FDR and surrounded by fenced in housing projects, there has been recent danger to the Wood duck when taking them across the roadway and to the East River. By creating these wooden housing complex near the waters edge these birds will no longer have to sacrifice safety as they are able to reclaim lost land with out displacing others.

Vacant Lot on 6th Ave

These drawings stem from a space I've been passing frequently, a lot in lower Manhattan overgrown with weeds. This particular day was quite windy, and what I saw was the motion that took place. The first drawing was an observation of ground movement. I saw flowing patterns in the topography of the snow, and I tried to explore that.

These were very quick sketches I did of the waterways I go over every day using NJ Transit. The first one is right after leaving Newark Penn Station, sitting on the left hand side of the train, and the second is right before pulling in to Secaucus station. It's usually very quiet on the train, the only noise coming from the tracks, and I wanted to use the windows as a frame, since I was viewing these sites from behind a window. The first one, the water was flowing outward, but in the second one, the water seems to have a light film of ice over it, and is still as far as I can tell from my post.

Cooper Sq in the AM

(facing north)

This sketch depicts the flow of traffic (both human and non-human).

(facing south)

This sketch depicts movement/intensity of sound, direction of some water flow, and movement of light as seen from traffic light to traffic light.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I was looking at the staten island ferry terminal in manhattan. I focused a lot of on the coming and going of people.

Subway Sketches

My original place was Brooklyn Bridge park near the Manhattan Bridge... I wasn't able to go on my free day because of the weather, so I decided to sketch my subway trips... The first sketch was based on where people went in the cart when they entered. The arrows represented their traveling and the spirals were the spots that they stayed in. The second sketch was more detailed because I mixed in both my vision, my feel of personal space, sound, and distractions.

This third drawing is done in Brooklyn Bridge Park near the bottom of Manhattan Bridge.

The chose to draw the entryway and main lobby of the 13th Street dorm. There is always a lot going on inside and outside the building. The drawings map sound and movement through out the space.

Field Drawings Gowanus Canal

The territory which I drew from was the 9th st bridge on the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. Living only 2 blocks away from this spot I have had an ongoing interest in this spot, as an area of highly concentrated traffic and industry. I love imagery that surrounds the canal, open water flowing through a neighborhood. The area is still pretty active industrially, thus sees boats which pass underneath, traffic that passes above, bike pedestrian, and vehicular, as well as directly above, it is right under the elevated subway line (the highest station in New York City). There is also a surprizing amount of animal life, as well as sounds from the nearby BQE, vibrations of the drawbridge, and of the trains over head. The water below, constantly in motion adds yet another element. I thus thought it was the ideal location for the study. Though it was hard to draw with no table or chair!

Oh No Wait I Can

I suck at drawing, but these are somewhat close. The first shows the structure of the spot, and the second shows the directions that things (trains, taggers, rats) move through it.

Drawings 1 & 2

This drawing I did at the end of Broad St over the weekend. The street hits a horizontal of traffic from both cars on South St. and those entering the South St. Viaduct, bikes and pedestrians, and even helicopters flying in over the East River.
This drawing I did on Broad St around 7 o'clock at night. I thought this would be a heavy commute time for people, but think I hit it too late. The street has a strong slope downwards to the river and has a ceiling of lighted windows from buildings. Out to the East River is the only real opening to the sky and is where people disappear into and where cars appear out of.

Field Drawings of Lincoln Road Bridge

I can't seem to upload my field drawings. I will try later.
The "Add Images" link won't respond.


Minetta Brook Maps

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Broad St Canal / Heere Gracht

I chose this stream because it is located in the Financal District, the oldest part of the city, and an area that is not a part of the Commisioner's Plan of 1811. It interested me that the stream is now technically inland, because the lower part of the island has been expanded.
I also chose the stream because when it was in use, it basically became a sewer, and stank profusely. This led it to be covered up, and informs it's basic use today; a sewer.

These three maps were taken from the Watercourses blog article on the Heere Gracht, the Mannahatta GIS, and a current google map. I also found this picture from the NY Map Library that shows the canal in use back in the day.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lispenard's Creek System

Collect Pond II

This is the earliest map I found of the pond in addition to the maps posted in Marco's entry dating from 1766. In this map, we can see the original name of the Collect Pond, and the habitats that were marked surrounding the pond. For most of its history, Collect Pond has always been a resources for those who lived around it--for fresh water, transportation, as well as fishing and oyster catching.

This is a copy of the Vielle Map of 1874 overlaid with a street map of current day's Manhattan.
This is an image of "Paradise Park," which was made as an effort to preserve the location of where the Collect Pond used to be when it had to be covered up due to pollution and spread of disease around the area. However, because of poor and violent neighborhood conditions (it was known as "Five Points" at the time), the park area did not hold up well.
Today, the Collect Pond's original place is left to a small park infested with many of NYC's rats. It has also become a place where the homeless would stay because of its access to free food every night provided by a source (this is from personal experience...will update later).

In 2008, The City of New York Park and Recreation created plans for renovating the Collect Pond Park by restoring the pond. The plan was marked to be started in 2010, but there has not been any visible sign of work done on the park yet. Below are some links to articles about Collect Pond - One was written in 1902 when the pond was first covered up, while the second article is based on the renovation plan for the park.