Brooklyn is an enigma. Situated on the westernmost location of Long Island, it forms the entrance to New York Harbor with Staten Island in the geological scheme. When it comes to human emotion, just the mere mention of the word Brooklyn is enough. We know you are not talking about Brooklyn, Ohio or Brooklyn Park, Minnesota but the Brooklyn located in Kings County, New York — the one made famous the world over through literature and media. The place whose greatest resource is the people who call it home.
Once one of six towns making up Kings County itself encompassed what is now the downtown area from Brooklyn Heights down to Red Hook and just into Sunset Park. The other towns were Flatlands, Flatbush, Bushwick, New Utrecht and Gravesend. Williamsburg was a growing village within the township of Bushwick that was granted its own charter and became a city. Within a decade before the Civil War, both Williamsburg and Bushwick were annexed by the city of Brooklyn. The other towns remained agricultural well into the 20th century, yet they were all incorporated to Brooklyn between 1894-1896.
In 1898, Brooklyn itself was annexed to the City of New York. All towns were Dutch except Gravesend, which was founded by a woman, Lady Deborah Moody, who left England in persecution of her beliefs, and came to Brooklyn via a radical Anabaptist sect from Massachusetts. The name Brooklyn itself means Broken Land in the Dutch language.
From the times of the Algonquins, whose place and tribe names still grace many community and place names here, to the European settlement and subsequent annexation into the greatest city in the world, we may live on Broken Land (Breuckelen) in what is arguably the finest collection of residential architecture in a single county in the United States. The past here may not have always been pleasant or fair, but yet in this small county we have not only created a world class image but the image of America itself or what it hopes to be some day. This is why I LOVE Brooklyn.
In our second installment of Feature Fridays, we’re focusing the spotlight on photographer Barry Yanowitz, whose Brooklyn-based work is nothing short of breathtaking. Though his work exhibits a wide breadth of artistic styles, lately, we’ve really been admiring his ability to capture the essence of street art: wonderful shots of graffiti and murals that juxtapose city life with wit and tongue-in-cheek playfulness.
Make sure to check out his entire Flickr photostream here, and the galleries on his official website here! For a taste of his work, check out the great shots below.
A couple of weeks ago, I discovered this article in the Brooklyn Paper promoting a new program from the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District designed to bring a “sprawling, open-air music festival” to the ‘hood. Last night, they did just that — from Dean Street all the way south to 18th Street, there were musicians all along the street, stationed every two or three blocks.
Thanks to the beautiful fall weather, there were plenty of folks out and about, strolling along the avenue and enjoying the music lilting on the breeze. And the entertainment was legit: The groups included faculty members of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. Check out more photographs after the jump!
It was quite the rainy Saturday this past weekend. My friends and I decided to explore Prospect Park at night. So we set out and went into the woods of the Park around midnight. Walking on the paths in the woods was by far the darkest NYC experience I’ve had. Naturally, I wanted to see if I could get a picture so I set the camera to ISO 25,600 and tried taking a few (no tripod that night). You can see the ones below (2nd and 3rd photos); they’re both blurry in some odd way. It was interesting to say the least. While walking through the woods, we happened upon some forest elves and nymphs. It was interestingly surreal. You can see traces of them in the photos, but they only showed themselves in the form of neon lights.