Archive for the ‘Navy Yard’ Category

The Brooklyn Navy Yard – A City Resurrects Itself

Friday, October 7th, 2011

In the middle of the Brooklyn Navy Yard sits a massive building shrouded in rusted steel and broken windows. Cordoned off by chained-linked fences, the empty, cavernous space inside feels like a mausoleum for an era of factories and industry, when blue collar workers built massive warships in the heart of America’s most populous borough. Fortunately for the economy of Brooklyn, this empty relic seemed out of place amidst the buzz of semi-trucks and forklifts roaring by, as a new type of industry has taken hold of the once desolate Navy Yard – green industry.

As we walked through the expansive property, we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the aged-textures and furiously snapped photos of our models against not just rust and concrete, but also against LEED certified glass windows, and energy efficient siding. The first building you come across at the entrance is the Paymasters building, where back in the day, all 40,000 workers collected their paychecks (long before the days of direct deposit). Directly across from it is the brand new Perry Building, complete with wind turbines, and solar panels. Other businesses thriving in the sprawling space include Steiner Studios – the largest movie studio on the east coast and B&H Photography. Sets from Saturday Night Live are built there. The Kevlar vests that protect our soldiers are made there. Those little, pink Sweet and Low packets in your morning coffee.. made in the same buildings that perhaps cannons were once fabricated in.

The Paymasters Building

Dry docks

While the Navy Yard may not conjure up certain characteristics when one envisions Brooklyn – think brownstones, or artisinal delis, The Navy Yard and its workforce are quintessential borough denizens. Studio artists re-appropriate scrap materials from larger businesses for adaptive reuse, designers and architects employ innovative green designs because they are passionate about a better workplace, and workers from vastly different work cultures intermingle in a maze of wabi sabi buildings. The photoshoot turned out great, because as a Brooklyn company with similar ethics, the shots we took were essentially capturing who we are.

Rhapsody Cord Dress

Brooklyn Line Applique Hoodie

Mary Queen of Scots is Mad for Plaid

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Mary Queen of Scots probably never wore plaid.  She is the Scottish Queen who was imprisoned for 19 years and then executed by Elizabeth 1st for threatening to overtake the throne.  This 4 pocket dress with knot buttons might not save you from insurrection but it will revolutionize your workplace and home life and day to night life and love life.   Or, if nothing else, it will instantly transport you ( via a freighter) to a Scottish heath where Heathcliff might indeed come and sweep you away…to a tower.

Behind the Scenes-City Resurrection Photo-shoot at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
Serena in her bunned glory

Serena in her bunned glory

8:00 am The team worked really well on this photo shoot.  The designers got involved from the concept and helped Eugene style.  Dale, one of our designers, came in early to do this cool bun hair-do on Serena the model which featured a round plastic object.  The lipstick was this perfect fluorescent orange that I am obsessed with and will not stop till I own one.

10:00am We left for the Navy Yard, and as we were only going about half a mile we got there quickly.  The guy at the security gate kept refusing to let us in, and sending us over to Steiner Studios, despite having a permit.  So it took us about a half hour of calling, and backing up and calling our contact before we reaching our first shoot location.

Outside the Greenhouse Hanger at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Outside the Greenhouse Hanger at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

11:00 am One of the piers has a giant orange greenhouse structure behind which is a loading site for cement.  A constant train of semi-trucks slowly ambled by us to drop off their loads.  I wrote the two models name on my hand as I have a horrible tendency to forget names, which ends up becoming moments of tyrannical gestures- “you over there move to the left”

11:30am Josh, yes it’s on my palm, was slightly boyish, perhaps even too so, but looked good in the dressed up meets industrial look we were going for.  We had him run, sit on the pier, walk around an awesome bunker like structure.

11:45am Serena had perfect bangs, red hair and strange eyes that looked both ordinary and beautiful.  She didn’t have too many model-ly poses which was a relief.  She walked down the yellow line in front of the trucks, she sat on the rope and we made fun of the rope to make her laugh.

Outside one of the buildings near the old Navy Hospital

Outside one of the buildings near the old Navy Hospital

12:30 We left the cement area to drive to the Navy hospital which was a dream as a photo shoot location- run down houses in and amongst trees and over-run fields.  However, our last photo shoot was in the woods so we wanted to get away from all the vegetation.  Still I couldn’t help taking a picture of Josh in the grass with the old monuments; it was so Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst (which you should read as it is really good).

1:00 Photographed them both in front of the large bureaucratic building (nice, OK)

Serena outside of a Victorian Era Home

Serena outside of a Victorian Era Home

1:30  Shot Serena in the school outfit on the doorstep of the ivy covered building.  I wanted to move there, clean up, cook and have babies.  It just reeked of domestic haven from the Victorian era, of course, with all the repressive suicidal tendencies’ as well.

1:45 Thai lunch on Mrytle right where our warehouse is, and then back to the Navy Yard to the afternoon of texture.

2:00 Grab a couple of pictures of the cranes while the models are changing by the car next to the water.  Do you know the architect/theorist Anthony Vidler?  He wrote a really good book, the Architectural Uncanny which I seem to remember talked about cranes as walking architect or puppets.  I was obsessed with the book when I was 24, and interested in doing a group exhibit in mid-air.  Anyway, back to work.

3:00 A beautiful warehouse with nothing in it except two large pallets being moved around by two workers and a man standing with a new Suburu.  He was strangely very nicely dressed with a woven check shirt.  We played with the models, in front of the grey wall, in front of the brick wall.

3:30 Serena next to an abandoned stand-up washing machine, the photo was very white.  We passed the printing house for Duggal, hi said the guy on a cigarette break.  The architect was so varied, a Weimer German stone house next to a metal shell next to a fish house.  The tug boat guys waved their hands to take a picture and laughed.  I laughed and looked at my palm to keep directing.

Serena & Josh in the Brooklyn Navy Yard Tees

Serena & Josh in the Brooklyn Navy Yard Tees

4:00 Found the museum they are making of the Yard but the anchor was wrapped as were the bicycle round things (what are they called?).  They looked like white snakes in the material.  T-shirt shots in a strange courtyard with newly planted trees, brownstone steps with no pavement, small plants amongst pebbles and a bordered up sidewalk.

4:30 The team is getting punchy, t-shirts are flying quickly.  Serena and Josh are working hard.  Josh lies patiently in a gravel pit but it’s not sexy so we move on.  Serena hangs on a pole, kind of sexy.

5:00 We are done.  Wow that was fast.  The Navy Yard was more like an abandoned film lot than an industrial park, with remnants of architectural layers and industries morphing onto each other.  Quite inspiring.  We could shoot there every month and not bore of the location.

-Lexy Funk

City Resurrection Sneak Peak

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

As you ride your bike down Flushing and round the BKI towards Greenpoint, you pass high walls and a no-man’s land of fields and trees and abandoned buildings.  This is the old Navy hospital at the border of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and one of the sites we photographed for our upcoming City Resurrection Series.  The Miss Havisham decaying buildings were not creepy in midday but begged to be entered, and camped out in.