Images: Brooklyn From Space

Astronaut photograph ISS015-E-5483, courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center.

Apologies for the dearth of posts of late. I find myself overextended, and needing to regroup. I've got a post or two in the works. Meanwhile, here's a cool astronaut photograph of Brooklyn. The original, uncropped, image covers much more of Brooklyn. You can even see my house! (Not really.)

This astronaut photograph captures the dense urban fabric of Brooklyn, New York City’s largest borough (population of 2.6 million), characterized by the regular pattern of highly reflective building rooftops (white). Two main arteries from Manhattan into Brooklyn—the famous Brooklyn Bridge and neighboring Manhattan Bridge—cross the East River along the left (north) side of the image. The densely built-up landscape contrasts with the East River and Upper New York Bay (image lower right) waterfront areas, recognizable by docks and large industrial loading facilities that extend across the image center from left to right. Much of the shipping traffic has moved to the New Jersey side of New York Bay, a shift that has spurred dismantling and redevelopment of the historic dockyards and waterfront warehouses into residential properties. However, efforts to conserve historic buildings are also ongoing.

The original name for Brooklyn, Breukelen, means “broken land” in Dutch, perhaps in recognition of the highly mixed deposits (boulders, sand, silt, and clay) left behind by the Wisconsin glacier between 20,000 and 90,000 years ago. These deposits form much of Long Island, of which Brooklyn occupies the western tip. This image features one of Brooklyn’s largest green spaces, the Green-Wood Cemetery. The green canopy of the cemetery’s trees contrasts sharply with the surrounding urban land cover. Today, the cemetery also functions as a natural park, and it is an Audubon Sanctuary. Also visible in the image is Governors Island, which served as a strategic military installation for the U.S. Army (1783–1966) and a major U.S. Coast Guard installation (1966–1996). Today the historic fortifications on the island and their surroundings comprise the Governors Island National Monument.


Southern Exposure Nursery, Rutland, Massachusetts

Southern Exposure Nursery, Rutland, Massachusetts

Cow and Chicken at Southern Exposure Nursery
Cow and Chicken

On our way back from Gardener, Massachusetts this weekend, we stopped at Southern Exposure Nursery in Rutland, at the recommendation of our hostess. The weather was perfect.

Even this late in the season, they had an excellent selection of perennials.

Southern Exposure Nursery, Rutland, Massachusetts

Sun Perennials at Southern Exposure Nursery
Sun Perennials at Southern Exposure Nursery

I love Hostas. It was hard to limit myself to just one. The task was made easier by the huge variety of other plants on hand.

Hostas (and other shade plants) potted up at Southern Exposure Nursery
Hostas (and other shade plants) potted up at Southern Exposure Nursery

The nursery beds were also beautiful, and provided a glimpse of how the mature plants might look in a garden setting.

Hostas planted out at Southern Exposure Nursery

Astilbes planted out at Southern Exposure Nursery

Even amidst this lushness, the chickens and Scottish Highland cattle were a distraction.

Scottish Highland cattle

Chicken at Southern Exposure Nursery

Detail, Scottish Highland cattle

Stare down


Southern Exposure Nursery
My Flickr set
Wikipedia: Highland cattle


Liberty Sunset Garden Center

Liberty Sunset Garden Center, Pier 44, Red Hook, Brooklyn
Liberty Sunset Garden Center

Last Saturday I got to visit the Liberty Sunset Garden Center for the first time. Come for the selection. Stay for the views.

Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor viewed from Liberty Sunset Garden Center on Pier 41 in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
New York Harbor

They have the best selection of plants I've found at any nursery in Brooklyn. They have a lot of space, which they've put to use by providing greater variety. They had many perennials and annuals I couldn't identify without looking at their tags, which is saying something. (Woodies, not so much; I'm notoriously bad in their identification.)

The plants - even annuals - were all in good shape, clearly well-tended and cared for. Their prices also seemed generally lower than those at the nearby Chelsea Garden Center and Gowanus Nursery.

This orange Echinacea spoke to me, so I bought it.

A couple more views. More photos available in the Flickr set of my visit.

Indoor Waterfall, Liberty Sunset Garden Center

Liberty Sunset Garden Center

Harbor View, Liberty Sunset Garden Center

Affectionate Psycho Kitty

Related posts:


Red Hook Pier 44 Waterfront Garden

Pier 44 Waterfront Garden, North Entrance, Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Pier 44 Waterfront Garden

Saturday, when Blog Widow and I journeyed to Red Hook, he offered to drop me off at Pier 41 for the Liberty Sunset Garden Center before he went off to the Fairway. I told him I'd get out at Fairway with him, because I wanted to walk through a garden on the way to Pier 41.

I'd only seen this space in late winter, when I visited the Waterfront Museum as part of the Historic District Council's Red Hook Walking Tour. The garden was closed at that time, but I could see some of its promise. That glimpse really didn't prepare me for the summer lushness I encountered on Saturday.

Leaving the Fairway parking lot by the North exit brings you to Conover Street. Crossing the street brings you to a gated entrance with several signs for the Waterfront Museum and the Garden, the only hint of what lies beyond.

Pier 44 Entrance, Red Hook

Sign, Pier 44 Waterfront Garden

Continuing through the entrance brings you to a narrow corridor, fenced with chain link, and graced with industrial oil drum planters. We're not there yet.

Entrance to Waterfront Museum, Pier 44

Ah, now we're starting to see something.

Pier 44 Waterfront Garden

Walking to the left brings us alongside this seaside meadow. This is mostly weeds right now, but has the potential to become much more over the years.

Pier 44 Waterfront GardenPier 44 Waterfront Garden

I continued walking to the left around the perimeter. The small grove of trees in the center will eventually provide shade for the benches and lounging boulders placed in the center.

Pier 44 Waterfront Garden

Here's the view in the other direction.

Statue of Liberty and Pier 41

And we're walking ... and looking back whence we came.

Pier 44 Waterfront Garden

Here we're looking back along the "shortcut" path we could have taken from the entrance instead of walking the long way around the meadow.

Pier 44 Waterfront Garden

Keep walking and look back again.

Pier 44 Waterfront Garden

One of the gardeners was watering. I spoke with her briefly, and saw her again a little later, when she was working at the Liberty Sunset Garden Center. She said the gardens were about four years old. Just coming into maturity. The garden designer had worked on many other public projects, including gardens in Madison Square Park and Bryant Park in Manhattan.

Pier 44 Waterfront Garden

I love big red Hibiscus. I want this.

Hibiscus, Pier 44 Waterfront Garden


Bee on Buddleia, Pier 44 Waterfront Garden

All good things must come to an end. Ahead is the exit, and Pier 41 awaits us.

Pier 44 Waterfront Garden


Ditmas Park Garden View


I went on the Ditmas Park Garden View this afternoon. Here's a sample of some of the photos. Many more available in the Flickr set from my visit.

During my visit I was surprised, and flattered, by the number of people wanting to meet me. One woman walked up to me and said "I'm looking for the Flatbush Gardener." She later explained that she was checking everyone with a camera until she found me. A couple I met from Kensington said they'd heard about the event through this blog. Overhearing some of the event organizers, it seems that this year was one of the best-attended. I hope I had something to do with that.

When I checked in, I asked again about taking photos. I was asked to check with each owner at each stop, and not to publish any addresses. I tried to ask. I don't know any of the owners. After the first two stops, the intended order of a guided tour broke down, and it wasn't always possible to identify the owner at each stop. Several other folks had cameras out and were taking photos. So I took photos as best I could without identifying locations. If any owner reading this objects to photos of your property, please let me know and I'll remove them.














Liberty and the Princess in New York Harbor

Liberty and the Princess
The views from Liberty Sunset Garden Center on Pier 41 in Red Hook, Brooklyn are unsurpassed. They also have a huge plant selection, and I'll have more on that later. But first, a serendipitous observation of the Crown Princess cruise ship leaving New York Harbor for the Caribbean.

As I was assembling my final purchases to check out, this came into view. The photos don't convey the massiveness of this ship. It seemed to be moving slowly, only because of its size.
Crown Princess

It's at least 15 stories tall. If you look at the largest images, you can see people on the decks. That's the only reference for conveying the scale.

Crown Princess

Crown Princess

Crown Princess

Crown Princess