You are currently browsing the daily archive for June 15, 2010.

Note:  Since I overdo the links sometimes, the two most important background ones here and this on the China Tea Trade and this on the China clippers.

I start this post with five older fotos; the one below showing crew tidying up lines on McAllister Responder dates from January 2007.   Until now, I’ve always focused on the foreground, not the background.  Of course, all those blue warehouses are now being replaced by Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Another example–Francis E. Roehrig (now Aegean Sea but ex-Jersey Coast and John C. Barker and as Francis E. a hero post-Bouchard accident) has always been focus of this foto for me rather than what’s in the background.

Again, I’ve focused until now on the foreground, on the 140′ icebreaking tug Sturgeon Bay instead of on the rich architecture of Brooklyn Heights,

in summertime obscured by a jungle of foliage, making it easier to focus of East River traffic like Express Marine’s Duty, below.  However, what I learned last week is that Brooklyn Heights has fascinations all

its own.  Like this house standing on Pierrepont Place, the house of Abiel Abbot Low, son of Seth Low of Salem, Massachusetts.   A. A. Low moved to Brooklyn Heights after spending six years in Canton’s markets dealing with Wu Bingjian aka Howqua.    From Brooklyn Heights, Low could observe

the goings and comings of his fleet of China clippers over at South Street when it was a seaport in the years between the First and Second Opium Wars.  Finding out more about the Lows ( and in subsequent generations their connections to the mayor of Brooklyn, Columbia University and FDR . . . ) those are adventures and work that lie ahead.  Last week I learned that what’s in the background might as well be an interesting focus as what is background.

Meanwhile . . . the drum calls to Coney Island, with the parade just four days off.  Here and here are links for 2009; first and second for 2008.  More tomorrow.  Plan to be in Coney on Saturday?

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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