Posts Tagged ‘mta’


First I saw the hooves. After that, the trophy head made sense. These fence adornments are remnants of the ailanthus tree (tree of heaven). Property owners generally disregard the ailanthus’ metaphoric qualities, written about in Betty Smith’s 1943 novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and chop it down. The MTA, on whose property these tree parts once grew, used a chainsaw.


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de kalb subway stop

I wouldn’t give DeKalb Avenue or the subway stop much thought, but the train conductors have come up with about six ways of pronouncing DeKalb, as if to keep the name fresh in my head.

dekalbThere are dozens of counties, cities, roadways, and other places called DeKalb across the US, from Missouri to Georgia and Fort Greene, Brooklyn. All can be traced back to Alsatian-born Johann DeKalb, who first came to North America as a spy for the French, then returned with Lafayette as a Revolutionary soldier of fortune in 1777. Appointed a general, DeKalb served under George Washington at Valley Forge and Brandywine and was killed in battle in South Carolina at age 59.

(portrait by Charles Willson Peale)

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