T.S. Eliot’s J. Alfred Prufrock may have measured his life with coffee spoons, but I tend to measure it with old song lyrics. I passed this apartment building at #203 7th Avenue at 3rd Street in Park Slope and it made me think of Steely Dan, specifically, “My Old School.” I haven’t been back to my old school, St. Francis College, in decades and Donald Fagen proclaimed, “California crumbles into the sea, that’ll be the day I go back to Annandale.”
Annandale is a small town in Dutchess County north of New York City, across the Hudson River from Kingston. It is a college town home to Bard, where Fagen and his musical partner the late Walter Becker (and also the late radio host Lynn Samuels as well as other recent media stars) attended college. Annandale was an estate owned by John Bard that was donated to Columbia University so a school could be built there.
The apartment house was built in the late 19th or early 20th Century, so the owners never heard of Steely Dan, but Bard College opened in 1860, so it’s quite possible the developers were Bard grads or hailed from Annandale.
Strings, it’s all about strings.
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