Here is my buddy Michael in his logo gear — SavATree fleece and mask — standing on the roof of 687 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, where Bed-Stuy meets Williamsburg and Clinton Hill. You’ll have to imagine the 360 degree views of Brooklyn and Manhattan that wrap around, for the pleasure of those who dwell in the 45 lofts below, places with enormously banks of windows and hardwood floors and walls as white as toothpaste.
We’re surveying the site at the behest of a property manager who has had tenants complain about the condition of the roof when it gets hot in summer. It’s brown. Can we make it greener? That remains to be seen.
I find out this condominium is the old Chocoline factory, built in 1947, and in fact people still call it The Chocolate Factory. Inside, machinery was made that was used in the production of chocolate.
Trying and failing to discover an old shot of the factory, I learn that chocoline is also the brand name for a kind of Spanish Fly. An aphrodisiac is an aphrodisiac, I guess.
Now, looking over the roof all the way to the street below, I see a sea of black hats, blacker than chocoline — all the Hasidic men on their way to their studies, crowded onto the sidewalks.