Took a trip this past weekend with Flux Factory as part of their now year-round artist led bus tours, Going Places Doing Stuff. The first leg of the tour took us to Staten Island via the ferry where we met up with our bus. We drove along the southern shore until we arrived near the Cedar Grove Beach Club, a seaside community with a controversial past and present. Around 40 private residences sitting behind public beach property have recently been claimed via eminent domain by the city, with the plan of condemning them and in all likelihood bulldozing them for the argument of expanding the beach front (even though the residents of these bungalows not only paid the city over $100k in taxes a year, but also hired a full-time custodian to keep the beach clean).
We were led here by OverTake, a collective of artists who make work exploring places and then creating installations in structures that might otherwise be forgotten or are about to disappear. Cedar Grove is about to be forcefully removed from the landscape. Just a week ago the houses were accessible, and until very recently many of the residents were still around. Now there is fencing gating off the entire area, with private beach security patrolling the area. Thus we weren’t able to gain access to any of the structures, so these shots were taken through the fence, but show you the remarkable structures that have been here for more than a half-century and which will be forgotten within a year or two:
A shame we weren’t able to gain more direct access to the bungalows, but the vantage from Staten Island did include this wonderful view of the Parachute Drop on Coney Island – and yes, I know my lens has spots on it!