Today’s news:

‘Sign lady’ is back — this time just fixing

for The Brooklyn Paper

Brooklyn’s beloved sign lady has gone from sign maker to sign doctor.

Roslyn Beck, who spent years putting up handmade signs to direct lost visitors to the virtually unmarked Brooklyn Bridge footpath until the city finally started doing the job, was forced to alter one of the flashy new information signs because it was pointing the wrong way towards the fabled Promenade.

“Someone screwed up and made a big mistake,” she said. “The best thing I can do is make sure people find the Promenade.”

The sign, which is at the entrance to the High Street subway station on Cadman Plaza West, had a right-facing arrow directing tourists to the Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC), Brooklyn War Memorial on Cadman Plaza, the federal courthouse on Cadman Plaza East and the Promenade.

But the Promenade is actually behind the map user; BAC is actually to the left in DUMBO; and the courthouse and war memorial are in front. None were right — so Beck took action.

Under cover of darkness, she drew a line across the offending sign with white tape — which matched the dividers already on the board — and separated the Promenade from the rest of the landmarks.

She then added a large white arrow directing tourists in the right direction. To protect her handiwork, she covered it with clear cellophane tape.

Beck’s handiwork came soon after tourism officials rolled out the splashy signage in May to help visitors find their way through Downtown Brooklyn, an area that is filled every day with lost tourists. A $1.5-million project did just add signage directing people to and from the Brooklyn Bridge Footpath, but Beck says it’s not enough. Indeed, like most Heights residents, she is frequently stopped for directions.

“I just bumped into two young ladies today who were trying to get to the Promenade. I told them, ‘Just go down Cranberry or Pineapple Street for four blocks. You can’t miss it,’” said Beck.

“Unfortunately, I was carrying blueberries and strawberries, so I couldn’t take them all the way.”

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Reader Feedback

Andrew Porter from Brooklyn Heights says:
Has anyone ever noticed the typographical errors on the bronze medallions at the Fulton Ferry? Most of them are correct, but at least one of the medallions has Henry Street incorrectly named Fulton Street, and Cadman Plaza also wrong. Would have been nice if someone had done some proofreading before these were literally set in bronze (not stone).
July 12, 2008, 10:46 pm
DonB from Dumbo says:
Has anyone noted the major problems with the Brooklyn Map that greets visitors as they exit the stairway. For some reason the map is oriented so that North is pointed off to the left by thirty or forty degrees, while in real life North goes directly off to the right. In order to understand the map you have to mentally turn it almost completely around. I pass by the stairs every day and there are always people scratching their heads wondering where they are. (It doesn't help that the "You Are Here" star is placed on Prospect Street, not on Cadman Plaza East either.)
July 13, 2008, 1:42 pm

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