One of the winners is our very own Gowanus with his photo Panes, a beautiful shot of images through a four-paned factory window in Red Hook. From his essay that accompanies his photo:
Beard Street, only a few blocks long, is paved in rough cobblestones so uneven that the constant flow of heavy orange school busses bounce almost out of control. Beard Street can feel like the edge of the world, a series of empty lots and building waiting for something to come along. But beneath the surface solitude, there is a secret vibrancy to the street. Anything can happen here. Along Beard Street I have been confronted by a pack of wild dogs and met the Queen of Rockabilly. Every week a new wave of street art and stencils cover the walls of the civil-war era shipping warehouses, delicate depictions of moths and birds flying from red brick confines; solitary life-size paper figures trudging along wooden walls. Anything might appear on the street -- one day a smoldering burnt out car arrives, destroyed for some sordid purpose, soon vanishing. Another day a pink toilet sits in the snow near hundreds of losing lottery tickets.Read his full essay here.
Further along the street, an abandoned sugar refinery is slowly falling into gray water. Nearby, the sunken mast of an old boat protrudes from the swells. Some of the old buildings are filled with massive graffiti pieces, illuminated by raw lights streaming through window frames without glass. Other buildings, like those on the Beard Street Pier are filled with artists, glassblowers. At night a nondescript metal shutter raises to reveal Lillie's Bar -- the last business on the street -- and the cobblestones bark with drunken footsteps.