Saturday, March 17, 2007

Lowdown on Columbia Street "Art Lot"

Red Hood Identities

We haven't paid any mind to the "Art Lot" at Columbia Street and Sackett Street recently, but we're sure glad that the Brooklyn Record did. The Record came up with some fascinating information about it. Apparently, the lot now sports a "proliferation of eerie historical newspaper clippings about crimes and accidents in Red Hook " on its fence. Turns out it's part of the Red Hook Project, created by an artist and Parsons student named Robyn Hasty. The project also has an online component where people are posting about Red Hook experiences. Here's one called Election Day Bonfires:
On election day we had a large bonfire in the lot at Columbia and Huntington Streets. Hundreds of people gathered in the lot at night to watch the fire. During the year prior to election day we would obtain items to burn. One year we took many wooden barrels from a barrel place down by the grain factory, tore down some wooden gates from the neighborhood, had a war with rocks with the pointers (we were the creekers) and took their election items they had stored in cellars, and took some of Mr. Bartlett”s lumber and wagons from his lumber yard. Stacked the items two stories high. Twisted barrel hoops around the Johhny pumps. Willie Morrisey climbed to the top of the stack, poured gasoline or was it kerosene over it climbed back down to earth and hurled a lit rag wrapped stick at the pile and the crowd roared as the fire shot up into the sky in a fiery fury.

The crowd booed when furious firemen went about the task of removing the twisted steel barrel hoops from the johnny pump but the crowd went away happy they had viewed once again a famed red hook election day fire.



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