When I first read that there was an Austen House Museum on Staten Island, I mistakenly thought that it had something to do with a Victorian period British novelist. Both the novelist and this house’s namesake came from the upper class. Both Jane Austen and Alice Austen were fiercely independent women. Neither had ever married. The comparison ends there.
But what concerns me for the purpose of this blog is the landscape around Alice Austen’s House.
There is a brook flowing on the south side of the house, emerging from the grass and descending down to the Narrows, the strait connecting New York Bay to the ocean. Continue reading →
In the extreme southwest corner of Brooklyn, Fort Hamilton guards The Narrows, a strait that connects Upper New York Bay with Lower New York Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The city’s last active military base, Fort Hamilton abuts the Bay Ridge neighborhood. The area is filled with historic alleys and old buildings. It is the birthplace of Kevin Walsh, author of Forgotten New York. The neighborhood’s trove of secrets includes a hidden body of water.
If you’ve never seen this pond before, I don’t blame you. It’s hidden behind a 20-foot concrete wall and I cannot divulge the source of this photograph. Continue reading →