|By early spring of 2004 the nice little minature golf course on Pier 25 was looking particularly delapidated. Harsh weather, abuse as a dumping ground after 9/11 (it's three blocks from Ground Zero), and delayed renovation plans had aged the mini links.
Yet the tiny urban course had some very neat features: the greens were well designed and physically sound, and there was a little caddy shack at the entry. A beautiful vintage sign formed a southern backdrop. It was elegantly compact. There was a classic lighthouse and a windmill. Plus ever-changing views of the Hudson, and a location on a pier where the atmosphere is relaxed, the vibe is sweet, the pace is slow, and there’s music and grill smoke in the air -- the Key West of Manhattan.
Ken Brown and I had met almost twenty years ago because of our parallel fascination with miniature golf. I had written a history and he had made a documentary film on the subject -- and we lived a few blocks from each other. We became steadfast friends. Perhaps it was inevitable that we would answer the call from the dinky links in our own Tribeca. The course needed some tender loving care, and we heard its tiny cry.