Friday, August 22, 2008
I was in Brooklyn last weekend, Coney Island to be more specific, and ended up walking through "the projects" to reach the basketball courts for my son's tournament. It's dismaying to walk through the playgrounds and courtyards that link these towers of public assistance housing and find piles of garbage - trash that includes the tiny ziplock bags that are the evidence of the previous night's drug deals. While we felt entirely safe in the light of day, I wouldn't want to walk through late at night. Of course, if I had to live my life in a concrete slab like this, I'd probably turn to unhealthy vices too! These high-rise blocks of apartments would have made a city planner in Stalin's Soviet Union proud, because they remind the observer of the worst sins of Russia's postwar architects. Perhaps they provide more light and air than the classic Lower East Side tenement, but they're hardly less depressing.