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Putting the Anus Back in Gowanus

Home improvement has never wound me up one way or the other. I don't have a home, and improvement of any variety has never been at the top of my to-do list. But an alternative to the heinous Red Hook Home Depot was welcome.

Lowe's is different, and not just because it's blue where Home Depot is orange. Or that they are customer service focused (they have greeters and employees that walk past you have to say hi, apparently) where Home Depot's staff acts like they wish you were dead. They both attract Hassidic Jews in droves (would someone please explain what's up with these guys and their d.i.y. fixation? Is it like Mormons having to go on missions, but in this case God wants them to build lots of crap? I noticed last week that the Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin-Robbins combo inside the neighboring Pathmark had put up a banner declaring themselves kosher, and I was like who freakin' cares over here. But then I thought back to all those handy Hassids-a very influential lot, perhaps.)

No, what sets Lowe's apart is its lovely attempts at urban landscaping. Both stores sit on the picturesque Gowanus Canal, but only Lowe's has brilliantly chosen to put park benches, gravel trails and light posts at water's edge to allow customers an eyeful of the breathtaking views. It's pure South Brooklyn beauty. There's the BQE to your left, a massive pile of garbage and metal natural gas(?) containers in middle sight, and the elevated Smith/9th St. station to your right. The benches facing the empty dirt lot under the subway tracks, filled with debris is really a sight to see. Also, don't miss the 9/11 mural, complete with giant bald eagle and American flags. Nice.



Lowe's * 118 2nd Ave., Brooklyn, NY

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