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Eulogy for Zerega | by Josh Derr
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Eulogy for Zerega

Upon returning home from my trip to Europe, I found one of the buildings in the neighborhood encased in scaffolding. Most of the front facing windows had been boarded up. Piles of bricks laid in the adjacent small parking area. The building was slowly being demolished brick by brick.


At the time, I couldn't say for sure why I really cared. It's not a beautiful building. It's not architecturally elegant; it has no unique style. It's a plain industrial box. To the unfamiliar eye, it looks like any other building in any part of Brooklyn. Its only uniquely defining element was its name, written in stone, placed in the center of its facade.


Nothing ever happened there. It didn't host parties like the tobacco warehouse. No one ever attended a play there like they would at St. Ann's. Artists didn't work there, people didn't live there. It was home to a small manufacturing company. Clutches. That was all.


The Zerega building was like the old man who lives in your building. You don't know him. He doesn't say much, if anything, and you've never said much to him. You might pass him in the hall, in the lobby, or on on occassion on the street. You pass him so many times without giving him a further thought. And then one day some young couple is moving into his apartment. You haven't seen him for quite some time, but you've only just now realized that. He was the man you never thought to pay attention to, until he was gone.


There are much more noteworthy buildings in DUMBO. There are many buildings that are older, trendier, more historical, photogenic, or whatever else makes a building important. Soon Zerega will be completely gone, and some new, flashy highrise dressed in glass and steel will move in. Like the rest of DUMBO, old slowly gives way to new. So slowly, that sometimes we barely notice when they're gone.


Goodbye Zerega.


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Taken on May 20, 2007