Skip to main content

For Find Out Friday - Does a Spoonful of Sugar Really Help the Art Be Understood?

Just the other day I wrote about a lovely lunch I had in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at Fornino (see previous post). Directly across the street is the former site of the Domino Sugar Factory, which at the height of its success was the largest sugar factory in the country and had over forty-five hundred employees. 

My father’s excitement about seeing this building up close as well as the elaborate construction it seemed to be undergoing had me thinking. What is the history behind this site and what was its future?

Domino Sugar was created by the Havemeyer Brothers in 1807 and was originally known as the W. & F.C. Havemeyer Company. The name was changed in 1900 after five smaller companies had been acquired. 

The building site we known now was constructed in 1882 and achieved landmark status in 2007. If you don’t know anything about the preservation of historical places you can read all about it in a previous Find Out Friday (

The factory has not been in operation since 2004 and the status of what was to come had long been debated. It was scheduled for demolition but now there are great plans for the future of this eleven acre site. 

The entire lot was purchased by Two Trees Management in 2010, and along with SHoP Architects the plan now includes: 

  • Seven hundred below market rate housing units;
  • Two thousand and eight hundred apartments, three floors of which will be in the top of the old factory;
  • Three hundred and eighty thousand square feet of office space within the original factory;
  • An additional two hundred and twenty thousand square feet of office space; 
  • A new school; and 
  • Six acres for a public park.

All of the outdoor space, which includes some beautiful fountains and machinery from within the factory that will be repurposed as art, will be connected via a twelve hundred long walkway alongside the river. You should check out the link below to see further details and the photo renderings. It looks quite stunning.

Some of you might remember the infamous sculpture done by artist Kara Walker that was exhibited inside this building during the summer of 2014. The piece was entitled “A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby” and served as “an homage to the unpaid and overworked artisans who have refined our sweet tastes from the cane fields to the kitchens of the new world” - the artist’s words, not mine. 

The sculpture itself looked like a giant black sphinx and was eighty feet long and forty feet high. Inside there were eighty tons of sugar which had been donated by Domino Foods (a.k.a. Domino Sugar). There were several smaller figures that surrounded it which were made by boiled sugar. The work had been commissioned by Creative Time. 

I love that what is old will now be new and useful again. 

I cannot wait for the entire area to be completed so that I can visit it and no doubt write about it. 

There is nothing I love more than visiting a historical landmark to appreciate its continued influence within the community at large.

For More Information:


Popular posts from this blog

For Find Out Friday - Why Do Emery Boards Make My Skin Crawl?

You know that sound a fingernail makes when it scratches against a chalkboard?  You know that feeling the sound of that action gives you? I, like most people, hate that sound.  I instantly feel like scrunching my shoulders up to my neck and closing my eyes.  I feel the exact same way when I am using an emery board to file my nails. This annoying sensation has a name: “grima” which is Spanish for disgust or uneasiness. This term basically describes any feeling of being displeased, annoyed, or dissatisfied someone or something.  It is a feeling that psychologists are starting to pay more attention to as it relates to our other emotions.  Emery boards are traditionally made with cardboard that has small grains of sand adhered to them. It is the sandpaper that I believe makes me filled with grima.  According to studies that are being done around the world, it is not just the feeling that we associate with certain things like nails on a chalkboard or by using emery boards

For Find Out Friday - How Do You Milk An Almond?

Despite my affinity for cheese and other dairy products, occasionally (actually a few times a week) I like to go dairy-free.  During those times I rely heavily on my favorite brand of almond milk, as seen in the picture above.  Though I know there is no dairy in this product, I constantly wonder: “how does one milk an almond”? Logically I am aware that no actually “milking” is taking place.  I also know that almond milk can be made at home, although I have zero interest in attempting to make it despite my love of spending time in my kitchen. So, what is the actual process?  How long does it take?  When / where / who was the first to successful develop this product? When talking about this kind of “milk” what we are really talking about is plant juices that resemble and can be used in the same ways as dairy milk. Plant like juice has been described as milk since about 1200 A.D. The first mentions can be found in a Baghdadi cookbook in the thirteenth

For a Doughnut Worthy of Food Network Glory: “Dun-Well Doughnuts”

All because I wanted a Boston creme doughnut. That is how this blog truly began. It was Father’s Day weekend and although I was initially thinking of myself, I knew my father wouldn’t mind having a sweet treat for dessert. Brooklyn is synonymous with great pizza, bread, and of course bagels. But it also has many great bakeries producing some of the most delicious doughnuts you have ever tasted. Just to name a few, there is: Doughnut Plant , Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop and Dough .   On the day of my craving, I did what any of us do countless times a day - I opened Google. When I Googled “best Boston creme doughnuts in Brooklyn” Dun-Well Doughnuts appeared high on that list. Intrigued I researched it further and learned that it had won the Canadian  Food Network’s contest called “Donut Showdown” in 2013. That was enough information for me to decide to visit the very next day.  Dun-Well Doughnuts was opened by Dan Dunbar and Christopher Hollowell in December 2011. Despite