04 May 2011

Nursery of Olde Brooklyn

Gowanus Nursery moved for the third time in its short history this year. Normally, I would be sorry about this. A popular local business, and one I've bought plants from for many years, I don't wish the owners any unneeded trouble. Except that their new location happens to be super cool!

Previously, Gowanus Nursery was on Summit Street near Hicks. But they were forced to move when the owner of the lot they occupied decided to erect another ugly apartment tower. Luckily, Gowanus Nursery found a new location right around the corner, on Van Brunt Street between Carroll and President.

They are now sandwiched between two old brick buildings, one a tall tenement, long abandoned (above), the other a squat, long building that looks like a former garage or small warehouse (below).

I've long wondered about these two buildings. For many years, I though people still lived in the tenement . But the nursery owners are using the structure's basement and first floor to store pots and plants. So they must be empty. That's the backyard balcony below.

The effect is wonderfully atmospheric, and somewhat spooky, like wandering around a haunted house that happens to have a lovely garden.

The garden offerings also sneaks off to one end, alongside the wall of another old building facing Carroll Street. The wall of this house happens to be covered with scaffolding, which further adds to the old New York feel of the place.

Toward the end of the area, you get a nice view of the mechanics of this old roller shutter.

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