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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  • Elmer Fudd

    Many, many others had a similar vision for developing DUMBO as Walentas. But he got there first. Some might guess by possibly greasing the political wheels (who knows?). The DUMBO transformation had to do with major City zoning changes ($), etc, etc, etc.

    25-years ago a forward-thinking developer bought 360 Furman Street for development, but he needed a zoning change from manufacturing to residential. The politicos wanted a large “contribution” for the zoning change. He refused their requests and sold it to the Witnesses to spite them. 360 Furman went off the City tax rolls as church property at that point. Now it is One Brooklyn Bridge Park, and it is still not paying City taxes.

  • Karl Junkersfeld


    Don’t even know the Walentas’s. Unlike many of the comments, it ain’t personal with me, purely objective. The amount of economic development created by this relatively new neighborhood is incredible. All the thriving tech businesses, arts and yes bars puts many people to work. That’s a good thing with 9% unemployment. Also the city tax rolls are grateful I’m sure. Just the transfer taxes alone of some of these apartments in DUMBO is a huge source of income for the city.

    By the way, I just went for a walk down to the carousel and the encasement had its white curtains down. The effect this has is amazing. Lights from behind the horses are silhouetted off the sheets creating an image of gigantic horses as a backdrop. Couple this with the movement of the carousel and you have nothing short of magic.

    Please try to refrain from getting personal. Let’s just agree to disagree without being disagreeable.

  • Claire

    Karl– the Main St playground/park was where Walentas wanted to put his Nouvel-designed cantilevered hotel– so, if he had had his way then, it would not be the lovely spot it is today. The point is that the Walentas family has an incredible sense of entitlement to do as it wishes in DUMBO, including an out-of-scale high rise under the Brooklyn Bridge, and a misplaced carousel. Yes, they’ve done wonderful things for DUMBO, but they’re not exactly gracious about it– rather than insisting on getting their way, including the grandiose treatment of the carousel.

  • bornhere

    I’ve been trying to figure out what makes me not love this, other than the fact that I do not understand putting a huge “thing” in an area that already is breathtaking, and the closest I can get is that there is something so nonorganic about the enclosure; I understand the need for glass, but had the windows been surrounded with wood or something absent the Kay Jewelers look, it might have been less … stark. And while I appreciate, sort of, the “improvements” to the area, the whole historic flavor is so sadly diminished. I guess one man’s wasteland is another woman’s magnificent leftover. Why, when I was a lass, Dumbo was an elephant.

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

    Karl, I never said I agree or disagree with anything, you just assumed. I merely commented on your zealous support of the Walentas, It seems a bit over the top, especially since, as you said, you don’t even know them.

    If I were to assume; I would think you frequently vacation at Disney and have several Thomas Kinkade “paintings” in your home.

  • north heights res

    That park was pretty much perfect before. Perfect. Now, much of it is an eyesore. Such an incredible shame.

  • Carlo Trigiani

    Great addition to the community. To argue otherwise is silly.

  • my2cents

    Great effort with the video Karl!
    I agree with you. The structure is really remarkable, and in time, I have no doubt the whole thing will be viewed as a neighborhood treasure. Sure it’s an ego-trip–many impressive structures are– but I think it’s a worthy one that can be enjoyed by many. I do wish it was a tad smaller, but I am sure there were many constraints dictating its size.

  • Villager

    Where is a good Category 3 hurricane when you need it?

    That thing is so tacky.

    Can’t they just stay home and masturbate in private like decent citizens?

  • God Almighty

    I agree, the merry go round has got to go. It is the work of “you know who” masquerading as some “developer”. Anyway, I’m trying to arrange for a small meteor to obliterate it in the middle of the night but the plan first has to pass the congress of angels. Yes believe it or not, I don’t have absolute control over everything, as some of those religions would have you think.

    Believe or else,


    P.S try to avoid that area between midnight and 6 AM ;)

  • Rick

    I agree strongly with those who say this carousel has ruined the environment around one of the most beautiful bridges in the world. And the building that houses it only compounds that damage.

    My problem is not with the carousel, or the housing. It is with where the carousel was placed and with how the housing hurts the carousel.

    It is much too intrusive for that spot. It is the wrong shape, the wrong scale, and far too brightly lit at night.

    If only it were somewhere else in the park, far from the bridge, that carousel would be a lovely addition. I could even live with that badly designed casing if it were someplace else, although something less severe would have been better for the carousel.

    So I mourn the damage to the Brooklyn Bridge’s environment and feel angry that so little design sense went into the placement of the carousel.

  • Eddyenergizer

    It looks like the majority does not like the placement of the carousel.

  • yoohoo

    The carousel’s placement was fought by many civic-minded residents.

    A reminder: The LPC gave the green light for the Purchase Building with its Art Deco entrance under the Brooklyn Bridge to be razed to open up the view to the Manhattan Bridge from Old Fulton Street. Now a glass box sits in the center of this view.

  • TedCat

    Are all you gripers through ? You make me sick to my stomach ! I hope none of you go to Jane’s Carousel……I couldn’t stand to know that your grubby hand prints are on it. Do you realize that you just look jealous ? Jealous people….nothing more…..small minded, too .

  • Eddyenergizer

    Jealous… lol… about what? How can the arguments of “the carousel is in a location that ruins the vista and harmony of a unique historic area” be construed as jealousy? Aesthetics is what’s at the heart of the argument, aesthetics is a philosophy and philosophy is an endeavor of high level thought. It is those who only see the reward and not the cost who are “small minded”.

  • TedCat

    Just what I said. You (yourself) really exude a “high level of thought”. How many times a day do you use “lol” …because you haven’t learned to THINK, yet. LOL……really ? Jealous people show themselves sooner or later. I didn’t expect a response , nor did I want one. THE END

  • Rick

    TedCat is right, I guess I am jealous.

    Jealous of the people of Paris who enjoy a beautiful old carousel well-situated so that it doesn’t ruin a view.

    And one that isn’t housed in a box. A box that looks like part of a strip mall.

  • Erin

    Rick and Eddyenergizer…do you stand, watching the carousel with a single tear dripping down one cheek, all dramatic like? That’s what I picture. Be honest now, you know you guys would of had something to gripe about no matter what the building looked like or where it was situated etc…because you’re jealous of the Walentas and their money. You are right though, there’s nothing more horrific than the sound of children laughing and people smiling as they ride an innocent, all American, antique carousel that was placed in A PARK…what ever will we do? Should we sound the alarm? Oh my gosh! I’m scared!

    I think the nay sayers should maybe remove the stick from you know where and enjoy a ride on a whimsical, classic carousel. Come on Rick and Eddyenergizer…you can do it…wheeee! :)

  • Jazz

    @erin and @tedcat – your views are eerily provincial. so much so I am tempted to think that you’re some of the Youngstown cheerleaders. how ’bout this: you sycophants can have the carousel you love so much. oh wait, ms. walentas would probably rather die than to see it return to the vast wasteland that is Ohio. what i’m really curious about is the actual connection between your group and these “developers”.

    oh and accusing people of being “jealous” here in Brooklyn Heights where the average annual income of many here dwarfs that of 10 Youngstown residents combined is just high comedy.

    as far as walentas go, kudos for their ability to turn nothing into a neighborhood. shame on them for their unbridled hubris.

  • God Almighty

    TedCat, Don’t you remember your doctor told you: Not to drink while you’re on your medication.

  • Erin

    Oh Jazz, Jazz, Jazz….I was accusing you of being jealous of the Walentas family. Never once did I mention anything about Brooklyn Heights people and Youngstown people’s incomes or any jealousy between them? That’s bizarre that you’d even say such a thing. See, if you weren’t crying about the carousel your mascara wouldn’t of ran into your eyes and made you misread and misconstrue my words. By the way, I am from Ohio…and in Ohio, we were taught when we were about 6 to always use a capital letter at the beginning of the first word of every sentence. For someone who tries to use big words like “sycophants”…you should know that rule.

    I won’t hold it against you though…I know you love the carousel deep down and you want to sing it from the roof tops, Jazzy! :)

  • Eddyenergizer

    Erin, Erin,

    1. why do you single me and rick out when the majority of comments on this thread support our opinion?
    2. No tears as you envisioned, just a pity for a special place spectacular view that is gone.
    3. You seem to fail when it comes to reading comprehension. My posts (and others like it) only take issue with the placement and housing of the carousel and why it was put there, not the carousel itself. I actually like the carousel and think the restoration was magnificent. I also like seeing children and people enjoying themselves. I have no stick up my nether regions.
    4. How do you assume my or anyone else’s financial status? That I or anyone here is jealous of wealth? Psych 101, you imagine others view the world as you do. So it is probably you and TedCat who are the jealous ones.

  • Erin

    Eddy…I think it’s a pretty safe assumption that you aren’t a billionaire. Hence…why I think you’re just one of those people who is jealous of their wealth and power and simply doesn’t like the fact that they got their way. I think you’re just complaining for the sake of complaining and disguising it with the “I don’t like where the carousel was placed” bull.

    But yessss…i’m jealous. I’m jealous I don’t get to ride the carousel with you and we could hold hands and whisper into each other’s ears. You could even number your whispers to me, like you did above…it would be so magical!

  • Erin

    Eddy…you’re just one of those people who complain for the sake of complaining. You’re disguising it as that you don’t like the location, when infact,I think it’s mostly fueled by the fact that you resent the power, money and prestige the Walentas family has. THAT’S what my comment about jealousy was about.I think it’s safe to assume you’re not a billionaire…that was my only assumption about your financial status.

  • Rick

    Too bad some people need to amuse themselves by making insulting personal comments instead of actually addressing the issues being discussed …

  • Regina

    Erin you sure sound like one full of herself white b##ch.

  • nabeguy

    Tedcat, you really want to get sick to your stomach? Ride the carousel and keep looking out through those distorted windows. As for the $2.00 fee, they’re probably factoring in the spew clean-up.

  • David on Middagh

    Regina, I can’t tell color from a black-and-white post, but I’ll otherwise pile on with you, and add that someone who writes “wouldn’t of ran” should read more books.

  • Eddyenergizer

    Dear Erin,

    Congratulations, you won the gold ring, you’re right, I’m not a billionaire.

    So I take it in your world view; anyone who isn’t a billionaire wishes they were? Do you think I must be jealous of the Walentas because they are billionaires and I’m not? If so you are so wrong. I am not obsessed with money and power or excessive material trappings. Greed and envy are not characteristics that describe me. To me love, integrity and respect is far more valuable than money; in that department I am very wealthy, I wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the federal reserve.

    I write this not because I really care what you think but I will not let an attack on my character go unanswered.

    Some of us can think outside the box (pun intended).

  • Happyfair

    Every Carousel in New York City area costs at least $2.00
    I did love the park before, but I also love it now. With grass, trees, happy children, picnic benches, and something that was definitely not there before…LIGHTING at night!
    Does everyone realize that most of Manhattan was developed the way Dumbo is being?
    New Yorkers love to complain, so go ahead, I’m going to enjoy the happy side of it all.