THE OTHER DARK SKY ---------------- John Pazmino Amateur Astronomers Association 2001 November 4
[ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS PRESENTED AT THE 90TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AAVSO, NOVEMBER 1-4, 2001, SOMERVILLE, MASSACHUSETTS]
In previous demonstrations of New York's elimination of luminous graffiti from its skies, I focused attention on large-scale projects in the showcase districts of Manhattan. Although these works earned passionate respect in the dark sky movement, they by the same token were disheartening. New York was in some quarters of the movement regarded more as an unachievable Shangri-La than as a role model to emulate. This presentation focuses on scenes of light abatement efforts in parts of New York which resemble other towns in scale and density. I photographed these scenes along a certain bus route in Brooklyn on my way home from work during October 2001. This route circulates through various "bedroom communities", each similar to a mid-size to large town elsewhere in the United States. The subjects included individual structures -- stores, banks, schools -- and streetscapes mimicking downtowns. The latter portrayed a mix of atrocious and excellent lighting practice, being that these streets are in transition by the routine process of replacement and renovation. The fixtures used -- box lamps, fluted or Fresnel globes, subdued headsigns, indirect lighting -- are casually obtainable by property managers at local outlets for lighting apparatus. They are routinely offered to the property managers by storefront designers, security services, contractors, and the community improvement or betterment councils.