However much the neighborhood has changed —and in its way suffered— with the last decade of gentrification, I still have a handful of favorites on the Lower East Side, relative newcomers CW Pencil Enterprise and Russ & Daughters Café, and stalwarts Economy Candy, and Katz’s Delicatessen among them.
But this handful of photos takes passing stock of some in-between stuff, things seen en route from one stop to another.
This group of photos was taken midday last Saturday during the Dew NBA event at the basketball courts on Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The general sense of activity was rather loose when I happened by, and although there was play on each court, it appeared to be entirely unsupervised, so I couldn’t tell if it was part of the event or not. Maybe I showed up between rounds and these guys were playing pickup to fill the time.
I’m not aware of another city that has our quotidian relationship with handball courts. Anyone familiar with New York City’s park system recognizes these walls with unattended indifference. Should the walls, on the other hand, appear unused and mysteriously erect and their purpose unclear, it takes only a quick query to a local to learn that they’re for handball. Like eating pizza while walking or scaffold pull-ups, handball is a not infrequently-occurring phenomenon here in New York.