Book Art

The Building Across the Street In Brooklyn

55 South 11 St
55 South 11 St

(This is a  book from my archives)

Years ago, when I lived on South 11th Street in Brookyn, I not only had a great view of the Williamsburg Bridge,  I also had a good view of the building right across the street from me.

South 11th Street Book
South 11th Street Book

This boxed book is loosely based on the building across the street. It’s still there, a big, boxy building, with a big heavy door. Friends of mine still live there. There was a big loading dock in the front of the building. Sometimes we who lived in the building would gather on the steps in front on the building, and enjoy each other’s company.


Stairs dominate the buildings on South 11th Street.  Open the doors of the box, and a stair-like structure peeks through.

img_20161204_103816.jpgThese stairs fit together to hold the book in place.

This is a short book, four images long. I like structure and boxes and beautiful papers and drawing. I think I made this just because I wanted to work with these materials to make something.


I always wanted to spend more time making art, but the demands of getting by in NYC kept me too  busy. One week I just decided to cancel everything, hole up in my loft, and make a book. This is that book. I already had the decorated papers on hand. I used to do paper marbling, so even the marbled papers are done by me. When I moved upstate, my studio wasn’t papermarbling-friendly so I stopped that form of paper decoration.

img_20161204_124556.jpgAll of us who were living in these buildings on South 11th Street were living pretty much hand-to-mouth, figuring out how to make do with what we had.  This is the window of someone who was venting their heating system out the window.

img_20161204_124625.jpgCurtains were kind of important, otherwise we could see into each other’s sleeping areas.

img_20161204_124649.jpgThere’d be the occasional roof top party.  I saw pretty great fireworks from this rooftop.


I did lots of drawings of the outsides of these building on South 11th. I used to ask friends to let me come draw in their living spaces when they weren’t home. This is a drawing with Craig’s cat.

My friends Kim and Joe in Manhattan used also let me come into their homes to draw, too. Before they were married, I was spending so much time drawing in their homes that they eventually told me that they had begun to question their decision to have given me keys. They told me this, though, only after receiving my wedding present to them, which was a book full of drawings of their apartment, their first of many increasingly more beautiful homes together. Hm, I wonder if they know where that book is. I’d like to see it again.


Here’s a view of the book of where I used to live, standing up in the kitchen of where I live now.


5 thoughts on “The Building Across the Street In Brooklyn

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