Breakfast Talk: October 11 – Daniel Campo, Author of The Accidental Playground

We are pleased to announce our first breakfast talk of the 2013-2014 academic year. The event will take place on Friday, October 11, 2013, from 8:30am – 10:00am, at CityTech (CUNY): 300 Jay Street, Room N119

Daniel Campo author of the just released book Accidental Playground: Brooklyn Waterfront Narratives of the Undesigned and Unplanned


The Accidental Playground explores the remarkable landscape created by individuals and small groups who occupied and rebuilt an abandoned Brooklyn waterfront. While local residents, activists, garbage haulers, real estate developers, speculators, and two city administrations fought over the fate of the former Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal – now East River State Park in Williamsburg – others simply took to this decaying edge, transforming it into a unique venue for leisure, creative, and everyday practices.

“The Accidental Playground is a deeply thoughtful, intensely observed, and challenging book. While it is completely grounded in one specific place, it succeeds in posing questions that are applicable to cities everywhere. What do urban humans really need from their recreational spaces? What deep desires are unmet by well-groomed parks such as the High Line? In an era of tight budgets, what can we learn from the no-cost, instant fun that people had for years at BEDT?” – The Atlantic Cities

The Speaker: Daniel Campo is an associate professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at Morgan State University in Baltimore. Previously, he was a planner for the New York City Department of City Planning.

Free and Open to the Public.
Support provided by Title V: A Living Laboratory


One comment

  1. Conrad Misek says:

    I will definitely buy the book. Kudos Dan.

    I remember BEDT as an active rail yard- ALCOs rumbling across Kent Ave, and the old cast iron base, manual crossing gates. It seems to me backward that a growing city would abandon a rail- and barge-based goods movement system in favor of putting more trucks on the streets. Maybe stevedoring isn’t a glamorous job, but I did it, on the waterfront in Brooklyn, on the midnight shift, and it was honest work that paid the bills and put me through college. Sure beats the crap out of sitting in some cubicle and wondering if I’ll have a job tomorrow or not.

    I recommend Jay Bendersky’s book “Brooklyn’s Waterfront Railways” and S Berliner III’s Penny Bridge website, if you haven’t found both already.

    When I was a cabbie, we had a somewhat politically-incorrect nickname for Kent Avenue that made reference to the high volume of crack-addicted prostitutes that could be found there, peddling their wares, in the 80s. I won’t put that name in writing!

    As for me, I gave up office life and am now a mechanic for the MBTA in Boston. Smartest move I ever made, I am happier than ever.

    BTW, both the Pennsylvania RR and BEDT had separate installations in Williamsburg. What a beehive of activity, and jobs, once upon a time……


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