Done and Done, For Here For Now

This blog has come to an end, but if you want more:

A Life of We

Yoga, Write, Tea, Repeat

My page on Facebook

My boards on Pinterest

Or find me on Instagram, Vine, and Momentage as @christinamrau — so creative, I know!

You can also read this chapbook published by Dancing Girl Press:



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Call Of The Hot Dogs

Posted in Coney Island | Leave a comment

Call of the Mermaids

Posted in Coney Island | Tagged , | Leave a comment

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2010. That’s about 5 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 36 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 115 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 281mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was July 22nd with 45 views. The most popular post that day was Steeplechase Soap Opera: Denson’s Coney Island Lost and Found.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for plymouth church brooklyn, brooklyn heights, jennifer egan, sustainable lamppost, and steeplechase park coney island.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Steeplechase Soap Opera: Denson’s Coney Island Lost and Found May 2010


Through A Hole, A Door: A Hole In A Fence May 2010


NY Yards Bust: Marc Levinson’s The Box, 5: Battle for NY’s Port April 2010


I Love Lucy: Jennifer Egan’s “Reading Lucy” April 2010
1 comment


A Copy of A Copy: Ruskin’s The Seven Lamps Of Architecture May 2010

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Pink and the Green

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, April 2010

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, July 2010

Posted in Botanical Gardens, Prospect Park | Leave a comment

The Call Of Coney Island

Taking in the rich history of Coney Island is a project.  First, you need to get to Coney Island.  Second, you need to look up at the ceiling at Stillwell Ave.  Third, you need to walk outside into the bright sunlight, take in the music, the barkers calling for game players, the small old buildings, and the aroma of fried everything.  Eat ice cream.  Eat cotton candy.    Eat marshmallows coated in peanuts and coconuts.  Eat salt water taffy.  Basically, eat everything.  Then walk out onto the pier.  Watch the waves.  Take in the wind as it increases in force.  Take in Coney Island.

While there, watch the dancers.  Join in.  And when the sun goes down, cheer for the fireworks. 

Posted in Coney Island | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

On Brooklyn Heights

Sherida Paulsen and Francis Marrone made an extended encore appearance today to discuss the definition of historic districts and how Brooklyn Heights came to be one.  Things I learned today:

1. New York City’s laws about preservation of a historic district focus on the appropriateness of deeming it historical, whatever the heck that means, and mostly, it’s too vague to figure out

2. A town house is any house in a town.  A row house is attached town houses.  A brownstone is a row house with a brown sand stone facade.  Hence, not all row houses are brownstones.  Only the brown ones are.

3. Francis Marrone can’t stand still and lecture at the same time, which offers a very dynamic presentation.

4. Richardsonian Romanesque style architecture is a mishmosh of ornate and delicate styles and textures. A good example is the house that the happy hooker used to do business in, right here in Brooklyn Heights.

5. The Patty Duke Show and Moonstruck both were set on Brooklyn Heights.

6. Inhabitants say “on Brooklyn Heights” not “in Brooklyn Heights.”  I understand that, living ON Long Island.

7. Nassau County Long Island is known for Amy Fisher.  Go figure.

8. Henry Ward Beecher was really good at freeing slaves.

9. Henry Ward Beecher was also a big hypocrite, preaching against free love, yet he had an adulterous affair with Elizabeth Tilton.  Juicy!

No good gossip about Beecher is worth a dime without visiting Plymouth Church.  Visiting worshippers include Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, James A. Garfield, and Sojourner Truth.  Not included: the happy hooker.

And while the organ is all well and good, the bathroom is something to really step back and ponder:

I suppose the stained glass windows are more important than the bathroom:

This window, part of several that depict religious iconography, are not in the church itself. The church used to have clear windows and then it switched to stained glass.  The windows depict important figures in American history pertaining to abolition, education, and women’s rights.  The lecturer explained that the members wanted the windows to depict the main message of the church: Freedom.

Posted in Brooklyn Heights | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Now I Could Sell Anyone The Brooklyn Bridge

I learned so much about the Brooklyn Bridge on Wednesday that I could probably hock it at the corner market for a pretty penny.  From Robert Zagaroli, Richard Haw, the Rudolph Burckhardt film Under The Bridge, and Ken Burns’s documentary about it, I absorbed the good and the bad, the highlights and the lows, the selling points and the dirty secrets to keep from the customers.  Fortunately for the bridge, and for all of us I suppose, the bridge already belongs to us all, so there’s no selling it.  New York has embraced the span more and more with every year.  The backstory, told best by Haw in his British accent and everyone loves an accent (or at least everyone should), is one of strife and unhappiness, crippling work, unsatisfied workers, and death.  Still, what has become of the Brooklyn Bridge is fascinating.  It is an icon of colossal size.  It brings with it personal stories, cultural history, and its own narrative from all different perspectives. 

One cannot truly learn about the bridge and grasp its significance, however, without taking that stroll across it.

I wonder if the Roeblings knew what they were building.  It’s not a bridge.  It’s a living, vibrant piece of New York, of America, and of the world.

Posted in Brooklyn Bridge | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Barge Man And The Pigeon Boy

June 22, 2010 could possibly be the longest day in the history of days.  Several lectures and a bus tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard was not enough.  No, no.  

Lunch at Bubby’s and a quick visit to the Brooklyn Bridge Park’s DUMBO section was also not enough.  No, no.  

American Stevedoring, Inc. was calling.  Complete with its sign in and show your ID to the guard and be chaperoned by a worker–one for every five visitors–the trip to the Mary Whalen triggered some vertigo but also offered some great insider views to the still-significant shipping cargo industry on the water. 


Then the sweet seduction of Red Hook swept over the group.  We had to stay.  We had to visit Fairway.  We had to go to the Waterfront Museum, featured in A Hole In A Fence.  We had to watch some juggling. We had to watch On The Waterfront while sitting on a barge on the waterfront.  Ah, Red Hook, you sing the song of the sirens with your very paltry offering of public transportation.

Quite honestly, Red Hook is a pretty funky town and it has a sense of seduction because of its off-the-beaten-pathness.  The barge master, David Sharps, leads an interesting life, having juggled and worked and lived on barges for most of his adulthood.  He also juggled for us, not just balls, but also vases.  He rang bells, too, but for that, you had to be there. 

The culmination of the evening was watching the Brando film on this barge.  The perk–the now-grown-man who played the then-pigeon-boy called up on the phone to chat with us.  The guy’s name is Thomas Handley, and in the movie he plays Tommy, but Richard Handley, of CityTech, our ever-exuberant chipper leader, refers to him as the pigeon boy in the film.  (The two Handleys are of no relation).  The talk was fascinating in that Tom Handley worked on the waterfront after being in the movie and was able to offer us his take on the film versus real life.

And then?  We watched the film.  Rain poured down outside, one of those New York City summer rainfalls that are torrential, the kind that takes out umbrellas.  And we sat and watched the film on the big screen.  The sun going down outside.  The lights of the bridges coming up.  Half falling asleep but still watching, experiencing the waterfront as it was and as it is all at once.

Capt. Christina

Posted in Red Hook | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Brooklyn Navy Yard By Bus

The Navy Yard in Brooklyn today stands as a private community of bustling artists and manufacturers near Vinegar Hill.  The once castle-like gates at Sands Street have been truncated and now announce the Brooklyn impound.  Many buildings could host scenes from horror films, standing overgrown with vines and weeds in chipping, crumbling dilapidation.  The hospital and nurses’ quarters hide in shadows.  Yet, artists thrive in the paymaster building, and the Perry building boasts the best LEEDS rating.  The yard uses solar and wind-powered lampposts.

Unfortunately, the city has allowed the once beautiful buildings of Admiral’s Row to succumb to jungle-like conditions right down the block.

Nurse's Quarters

Sustainable Lamppost

Tug in dry dock

Refurbished, Recycled, Reused

Closed to the public, the yard today is not busy with shipbuilding.  Yes, the dry docks still exist and are in working order.  However, it has also become the site for artistry and industry of a different sorts.

Posted in Brooklyn Industrial Waterfront, Navy Yards | Tagged , , | Leave a comment