i know i'm late to the (block) party, but i finally watched it over the weekend... and was totally tripped out to see that it was shot just around the corner from where we used to live in clinton hill, brooklyn (dubbed bed stuy in the film.) the performances by the likes of kanye west, mos def, talib kweli, the roots, common, erykah badu, and a newly reunited fugees were great. but i was most struck by the quick peek inside the building that i now know is: broken angel.
click here to see the view from broken angel during kanye's set.
the arrow on the left: where jac, sean and i lived from sept 1997- sept 1999
the arrow on the right: the site of dave chapelle's block party, sept 2004
we'd always seen the back of the broken angel towering precariously over the brownstones and shuttered warehouses across the street - in fact, we could see it from our living room window - but at the time, we had no idea what it was, or that anyone lived there. all we knew was that it sat on a sketchy, abandoned block that was once the site of the largest crack bust in new york history.
now i'm really bummed that we never ventured over there for a tour.
"The building is a work-in-progress by Arthur Wood, a 'self-taught' architect and painter. It resembles a Brooklyn tenement version of a Antoni Gaudi building-- compare the exterior to the Sagrada Famiia church, or Casa Battlo in Barcelona. According to [a] Times article from 2002, Wood bought the building in 1971 for $2000, and has been working on it ever since." (via gothamist)
read this 2002 NY times article about broken angel.
and then check out this amazing flickr set that was shot by arthur wood's son himself.