12 DAYS OF BROOKLYN … And Some Are Rainy

Day Seven  12 Views of Brooklyn
Etching by Eric March in an edition of 25, at the Park Slope Gallery.

Etching by Eric March. Edition of 25, at the Park Slope Gallery.

OF COURSE THE STEEPLE IS FAMILIAR. If you’ve ever commuted out of Brooklyn and back to the Seventh Avenue stop on the B/Q line, then you know this view looking south on the avenue. But it takes the artist’s eye and the etcher’s touch of Eric March to show the delicate beauty of a moment when you or I would likely be preoccupied by wet shoes. Even if this particular spire is not on your route home, then almost surely you have one of your own, or two, for Brooklyn lives its nickname as “the city of churches.” How horrifying when the tornado of 2010 attacked not just our trees but our steeples, shaking their bricks and stones, rattling their slate roofs, shackling them to scaffolds for months and months. A few were even removed rather than rebuilt – like yanking a tooth – and still others were humiliatingly reduced. Of course we personalize these losses: Thrilling as the new towers of downtown Brooklyn may be, we know in our souls they are impersonal, godless, compared to our neighborhood steeples. (See Who’s Who.)

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