When Lakewood Drive recreated the Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down” on a Brooklyn rooftop, that was neat.
But then when I saw, in the left-hand corner of the early pan shot, the cylindrical red-brick, castle-like (teethed) tower of the former 23rd Regiment Armory, now Armory Men’s Shelter, I realized that the sunshiney windy rooftop was right here in Crown Heights! So that was super neat.
This rooftop overlooks St. Marks Avenue between Rogers Ave and Nostrand Ave, but closer to Nostrand. It faces North, making Manhattan stretch out wispily in the background (cityscapes as cotton candy). There’s a moment very early one where the camera pans and and off to the right you see a gray-brick square tower with a pyramid roof. That’s part of the Bedford Central Presbyterian Church, located on the corner of Nostrand Ave and Dean Street.
Did you know that across Bedford Ave from the Armory Men’s Shelter sits another iconic Crown Heights building? I don’t know why they didn’t try harder to fit it into the video. They might’ve, for example, had a helicopter start at the corner of Bedford Ave and Pacific Street and then fly around to the start of the music.
The building I’m referring to is the Imperial Apartments, designed in 1892 by Louis F. Seltz.
It is also interesting that they didn’t float down St. Marks a couple blocks and take a left on Franklin Ave to check out all the cool restaurants and bars, currently flung out into the street, protected from automobiles only by low wood-box walls and American hope.
And then they could’ve taken a right onto Eastern Parkway, and made their way up to Washington Ave to see the Brooklyn Art Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. And then–after a quick tour of those two worthy cultural establishments–, the soaring shot may as well continue on to where Eastern Parkway meets the looping of Flatbush Avenue–to hang over the Brooklyn Library Central Branch, Grand Army Plaza, and the north end of Prospect Park.
It’s a fun video, but one cannot help but regret the many missed opportunities. As a final example, take the band’s choice to dress up as Beatles in their reenactment of the original version:
However, why not let the surviving Beatles join in? And Yoko Ono still lives in New York. It’s also amazing what one can do with hologram projections these days.
Anyway, quibbles aside, it’s always nice to see people having good, wholesome, rooftop fun in the United States of America.
It was so nice to be so in love, to have found her and be found by her, to rejoice in the purely human while yet young and strong enough to feel it all over and roll in it like the little bouncy, round-chested brown birds exult in a patch of dust.
And your friends celebrated it with you, assured in your worldhistoric talents, on the top of your craft, dressed cheeky-silly but still somehow wind-rustled dashing. With Yoko sitting nearby, dressed in smart smooth black, legs crossed, dark hair pouring straight down all around, smoking the triumphant cigarette of infinite youth.
It was so fun to make and share art.
Tomorrow is November 3, 2020. Please vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and for Democrats to take the Congress. So we can begin to heal our ailing republic, severely damaged by Donald Trump and his GOP enablers.
[to work on later]
Remember Camus’s “Joy at Life” essay?
Where did that get to?
Oh I find it: “Amour de Vivre” in L’Envers et L’Endroit (“Love of Life” in The Wrong Side the Right Side, first published 1937)
A very heavy woman aged twenty one sings and dances, miming the love act with her whole undulating form. A warm night in Palma (which Palma?) when Albert Camus (born 1913) was still a young young man. She’s well-known and -loved in this tiny cafe. The crowd goes wild.
Elle, campe au centre, gluante de sueur, depeignee, dressait sa taille massive, gonflee dans son filet jaune. Comme une deesse inmonde, sortant de l’eau, le front beau et bete, les yeux creux, elle vivait seulement par un petit tressaillement du genou comme en ont les chevaux apres la course. Au milieu de la joie trepignante que l’entournee, elle est comme l’image ignoble et exaltante de la vie, avec le desespoir de ses yeux vides et la sueur epaisse de son ventre.
[to work on later]