Open House New York is the annual event that opens up all sorts of closed doors and locked gates across the city, giving New Yorkers a chance to see an array of buildings that otherwise can only been seen in photographs or on a need-to-know basis. This year’s weekend includes everything from City Hall to that new Sanitation building between the Gowanus Expressway and Gowanus Canal that you always wondered about while driving past.
But guess what? Nothing in Bay Ridge! OK, there’s the Brooklyn Army Terminal, which depending on who you ask is either part of Sunset Park or Bay Ridge’s North Industrial Annex. And if you don’t mind dropping $16 in toll money to get to Staten Island – or don’t mind a short bus ride followed by a long walk – you can also check out Battery Weed, the portion of the Fort Wadsworth complex closest to the harbor.
There are certainly a few places in the neighborhood that I think would be of value to residents here and elsewhere in the City to take part in a program like this in future years. Here are some of the places we would like to see on Open House weekend:
I have to give Visitation Monastery high marks for having almost an entire city block of high, thick concrete walls that actually appear inviting instead of alienating. That just makes me want to go inside that much more.
Fort Hamilton Army Base
Especially the bowling lanes. I know that sounds like an odd must-see for an active military garrison, but I think we’ve all been a little stung by the closures of Mark and Maple Lanes over the past few years. But hey, I wouldn’t mind a song-and-dance that covers the base’s current role in the Defense Department, seeing as how aircraft carriers, long-range bombers, and ballistic missiles have rendered it obsolete as an instrument of harbor defense.
Interior of the Verrazano Bridge Anchorage
No one is going to make this place the spot for the parties of the cool kids, but it is an impressive feat of engineering in its own right, every bit as important as the bridge towers that soar over the harbor.