Karl’s Love Letter to Jane’s Carousel

Mr. J. covers the opening ceremony and the first rides, and gets some great shots from inside the pavilion, both of the carousel horses and of the Brooklyn Bridge as seen, in a funhouse mirror effect, through the slightly irregular glass. Video after the jump.

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  • AEB

    It’s a beautiful carousel. It will give pleasure to countless kids and adults. It needs to be protected from the elements. Its pavilion, while not an objet d’art, does just that, handily.

    There are many other spots from which the bridge can be viewed to great advantage.


    This is a brief explanation to each neighbor and visitor from around the world who comes to DUMBO’s New York State Park and sees “Jane’s Carousel.”:
    Politely tip your cap and tug your forelock with a slight bow for Squire David and his Lady Jane. They wanted to pretty up the place with a great big doodad of hers. Oh, he is so proud of her. Look at that tall, shiny, stately billboard with all their fine achievements recorded forever for everyone to see. True, the language doesn’t sing but it sure tells a romantic story.
    Why, we gladly gave up our rights to anything the Squire wanted.. After all, he is the Squire of the Land. Hey, it’s hard to miss. It says right on that shiny billboard that he was officially designated big kahuna of the area a long time ago. Now, all the Squire asked for is little piece of our public park birthright. We’ll gladly sell out a public park for a mess of his delicious pottage.
    So now we have a two-story high, modern aluminum and glass shipping crate surrounding Jane’s fancy doodad. An old, big tree is gone along with its once peaceful, subtle and natural landscaping. The walks and the grass are scaled down and it all centers on the shiny new doodad.
    Well, what’s this we hear? Some small-minded carping that the view of Roebling’s masterwork is no longer a clearly dominant feature and reason for the park? Heck, it’s only half the view. But, what value is that compared to the Squire’s mostly-paid-for, fancy, super-duper doodad? Many would say, we got it real cheap. Only two bucks a ride. So let’s all be sure to say, “Thank you, Squire.”

  • Holly Martins

    I’m not a Walentas hater (I actually admire the guy for transforming the ‘hood) but that pavilion is a big pile of doo doo no matter how much the architect tries to tell you it isn’t. It looks cheap and utilitarian and I really really wanted to love it.

  • Holly Martins

    LOL MARTINLBROOKLYN….I would have preferred the narrator form The Big Lebowski for this sad story of supposed largesse but I I have to say I agree with your sentiment.

  • Gerry

    This is not that bad it looks beutiful. This is Jane at her best and y’all need to cut her some slack her she has worked very hard on this project and so leave Jane alone/

  • Y

    if the walentas’ would have been smart they would have worked on a licensing deal for every picture taken of the BB that includes the carousel.

    Well, I am all for saving the carousel and making it available to the public, but this really could have gone somewhere else where it would have been less intrusive. The old park was much more welcoming. A lot of green has gone and was replaced with concrete in a prime piece of real estatet.

    But I guess seeing the carousel out of one bedroom window just gives pleasure to someone.

  • sandy

    A lovely restored carousel . In a glass box. In the absolutely wrong place.. So much for park planning

  • Elmer Fudd

    Money wants. Money gets. In your face.

  • Regina

    In addition to the misguided message of celebrating the destruction of a beautiful park, the video is a longwinded bore.

  • C.

    I couldn’t agree more that it is terribly placed. They destroyed a large area and took down trees to lay a giant eyesore of a concrete slab and a ugly box. It ruins the view of Manhattan. If they were going to do this they should have put it in Brooklyn Bridge Plaza or closer to the street. I also feel that the general landscaping of the park is a major downgrade from its previous layout.

  • carol

    A Manhattan friend who saw the carousel from across the river on the FDR Drive wondered when they were going to take off the protective covering…oops that’s the Jean Nouvel jewel box.
    I do wish that the carousel could have had an enclosure that enhanced it. Instead it surrounded by an overscaled stolid box. It could have been both contemporary and delicate. I haven’t yet seen it at night so maybe there’s hope.

  • Claire

    The Carousel is exactly where the Walentases wanted it to be, with exactly the enclosure they specified. Amazing what a multimillion dollar donation will do, when it comes to overall park planning! (Incidentally, San Franciscans defeated a proposal that a wealthy donor be able to site a museum as and how he wanted in the Presidio.)

  • Eddyenergizer

    there was no “park planning” it was a sham shoved down our throats by a couple of self serving megalomaniacs. Not only the view but the whole section of park park from New Dock St to Main St, has been ruined.

    I know the carousel itself is nice and some will enjoy it, but its housing and placement is egregious. How it came to be there, probably criminal.

  • Dave

    Cool. A giant rooftop air conditioner. Just what that park needed.

  • Jorale-man

    I think the new parkland there is quite nice in general but agree that the carousel structure is completely out of scale with its surroundings.

    I also noticed that the original plan was to have some greenery there – not all the concrete that resulted:

  • nabeguy

    In my opinion, it’s not big enough. After all, it also has to accomodate Jane’s oversized ego.

  • Eddyenergizer

    Nabe, I doubt it could have been built large enough… So for good measure Walentas erected a stainless steel monolith to masturbate their hyper-inflated egos.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Damn, am I the only one in Brooklyn Heights that loves this structure and its surrounding environment. Is there a silent majority out there? I have gone down there every day for the last 4 days and it is packed with excited children and parents waiting anxiously to get on the beautiful carousel. This along with Pier 6 is a perfect place for families to bond and enjoy the outdoors. On Saturday I couldn’t even get a seat at one of the many picnic tables, it was so packed. Guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Eddyenergizer

    The one good part of the video, at about 2:45, the shot looking up at the tower of the Brooklyn Bridge through the rain streaked glass, as if the Bridge is crying.

  • AEB

    Let’s eat the rich–and enjoy the carousel.

  • San

    Karl – I agree. My daughter loves it. It is just another cool thing for kids in the park, and the carousel is beautiful. I am glad it finally is in a place where it can be used. I know lots of other people who agree.

  • Big Dave

    Two dollars a ride
    Swirling in rain or sunshine
    Can the poor ride too?

  • Heightser

    I love it too Karl!

    The people in this neighborhood have no vision. The contrast between the enclosure and the carousel is awesome. Things change people. Change is good. i have a feeling that if the Walentas’ were not involved, people would like it more. DUMBO is a fantastic neighborhood that just keeps getting better and better and it enhances our environment in Brooklyn Heights. The park is beautiful, and given these economic times, we are lucky to have it at all.

  • Willow St. Neighbor

    My husband and I visited the carousel on Saturday and we thought it was wonderful. I did some research on Jane’s Carousel and I was fascinated by the story. Children and adults were enjoying the carousel tremendously. How can it be a bad thing to hear children laughing!

  • David on Middagh

    You can’t better one of the special places in the world by adding a carousel, if a linchpin of that place’s distinction is a rare unclutteredness.

  • Y

    Yes, Dumbo is a fantastic neighborhood and we are getting now ready for the next major improvement affecting the skyline: Dock Street. Can’t wait how this plays out. Oh wait, another Walentas project…

  • Y

    And seriously: Yes, change is good in general.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Yes another Walentas project following One Main, 70 Washington, Sweeney etc. My goodness there would be no DUMBO without Walentas. If you want to know what it look like before Walentas had his vision, look at the movie Scent of a Woman. It was a wasteland filled with garbage. That is a fact. The Fulton Ferry Park was filthy with garbage all over and the beautiful park outside Main Street was a parking lot. it was just terrible. No one walked down there.

    Take a walk around Washington now and look at the new Belgian Block being laid. Do you think that would have been done without Walentas?

    In short, Yes another Walentas project. Thank God.

  • F. L. Wright

    It is not that the carrousel or children having fun is bad, it’s the placement of it that is wrong. It destroys the symmetry of that whole section of park; it used to be about the bridges, the warehouses, and the skyline, now its about the carrousel.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    Damn Karl you sure got you nose pretty far up the Walentas _____ what’s it like?