Friday, February 03, 2012

If I’m lucky I get a clear view north out the F train window in the morning, riding high above Gowanus. I love the rows of low buildings, utilitarian, industrial. Warehouses for obscure manufacturing concerns, signs faded by the decades, graffiti all over their corrugated gates. Kentile Floors.

There’s a hot dog place down there, in the middle. Must be Ninth Street. “Hot Dogs,” it says in big, blue, glorious letters.

There are vast, weedy fields ringed by fences, elaborately tagged. Some kind of gravel factory. Conveyor belts and cherry pickers. Earth movers. Terrifying metal towers from a nightmare for no apparent reason, with narrow ladders going nowhere.

Then the train dips down and plunges underground to Carroll Gardens. You get a glimpse of whatever’s happening on the street before it does. The other day I spied a scene being shot. A man stood at the open door of a parked car, streetside. He seemed to be holding a phone to his face. A few yards away the camera rolled, the director of photography squinted into the viewfinder, the director peered over his shoulder, and along the periphery were huddled the rest of the cast and crew.