I live a few blocks from a cruise ship terminal. When ships dock there, they tower above the nearby buildings, which top out at four or five stories high. At night, their decks and windows glitter in neat rows, like high-rise apartment buildings, as if downtown Manhattan has suddenly been pulled close. When the ships finally depart, their horns boom dramatically, out of place in my quiet, unassuming neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn.
As night descends, the city’s fabric, examined at eye level, no longer exists as a continuum. Now a collection of autonomous constructs artificially created by various light sources, each structure possesses the mysteries that are hidden by day. My nightwalks around Brooklyn are focused on finding the fragments that form a different sense of place, almost unfamiliar, one that borders on the imaginary and disappears with the first light of day.