Thursday, May 24, 2012
Here now, a documentary short about the intersection of 14th Street and First Avenue
Karen Loew, who lives near 14th Street and First Avenue, passed along the above video ... which explores the chaotic crossroads in "Intersection: Babel." It premiered last Thursday at the LABA Festival at the 14th Street Y.
The video includes interviews with people on the street as well as community leaders to explain what is unique (and not!) about 14th and First. Per the description, "'Intersection: Babel' is a documentary short looking at a place that's all about leaving it."
Among other things, the video explores the hazardous transportation environment here... from the crisscrossing M14s and M15s (and placement of the bus stops) ... the access road to Stuy Town at the northeast corner ... the tricky left turn for autos (and pedestrians) from eastbound 14th onto northbound First ... the L entrance/exit that's pretty much in the intersection on the southeast corner...
Monsignor Kevin J. Nelan of the Immaculate Conception Parish says it's like "a mini Times Square." City Councilmember Dan Garodnick says that there's "a lot of activity but not a lot of personality" here.
Directed and produced by Karen Loew.
Videography and editing by Cory Antiel.
Dance by Julie Gayer Kris.
Posted by Grieve at 7:36 AM
Labels: First Avenue and 14th Street
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I'm at this corner more than any other but I think it has a lot of personality, actually. Like that awesome plant-filled apartment above the McDonald's, which you can gaze at while waiting for the M14. Or the awesome kids who spill out of Immaculate Conception. Or the always present, yet ever-changing lone crustie who sets up camp by the southside bus shelter. Anyway, the personality is being quickly ruined by developers. You just know that one-story spot where Papaya Dog is will be a shitty high-rise soon.
That left turn for autos from east 14th onto north 1st is deadly, though. Half of the pedestrians don't give a fuck, the other half (like myself) stay glued to the corner until the walk signals shows, and even then I'm convinced I'll get run over one of these days.
I got hit by a cab at this intersection! Memories...
And you can thank your transportation czar Kahn for making our streets even more treacherous by choking the avenues and forcing drivers to constantly jockey for position instead of being able to travel safely in ONE lane. Add to that the restrictions of turning traffic from the cross streets and you have intersections that are overloaded where vehicles are actually permitted to turn.
I don't have a solution except to offer that NYC worked just fucking fine before this asshole of a mayor decided that he knew what was best for everyone. There is hardly anything that has been done that's improved NYC transportation, save for the Select Bus service. And I'd love to see an intelligent approach to integrating bike and car travel without these ridiculous solutions that essentially equally endanger the safety of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, all at once.
Like the short; hate the intersection!
Anony 11.01 AM–Totally agree. One thing, believe it or not, the actual L train service (the frequent suspension of service on weekends is not defensible) has generally become better. It’s just been overwhelmed by the dramatic increase in the Brooklyn population that the L train services.
What did that ridiculous dancer add to this video? Congratulations on ruining a potentially somewhat interesting short.
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