When I first moved to Brooklyn 15+ years ago one of the signature aspects of the shoreline was the rotting piers that dotted both the East and Hudson rivers. The piers were remnants of the city’s past, when shipping and ocean lining were still major components of the local economy. The piers lay exposed to the wind and tides for decades after the airplane rendered the ocean liners obsolete and the container closed the Brooklyn docks, along with the jobs that went with them. It seems like so long ago and yet in the grand scheme of things it was not. It is still living memory for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. We are talking the Brooklyn as depicted in Marlon Brando’s On the Waterfront. In recent decades newer New Yorkers had become so removed from their shoreline that many didn’t realize in any real sense that they live on island, or more properly an archipelago. Now the rotted piers are just about gone, themselves part of a New York City that is disappearing, the New York of post-industrial blight. People are finding the water again. I was on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade the other day on my lunch break for the first time since last autumn. I saw that the construction of the riverfront parkland is proceeding steadily. One of the victims of this progress may be a potential museum dedicated to the history of the U.S.S. Monitor on the site in Brooklyn where the ironclad was built. The museum is the dream of a husband and wife team, one of whom had an ancestor who served on the vessel. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.