I’d like to take a minute to reply to the Wall Street Journal article “Brooklyn Before the Hipsters” on July 4th, 2013 – Independence Day. It was Gilbert Gottfried grade business propaganda.
“I think a lot,” laughed the artist Itziar Barrio, stationed at the desk in her fifth floor studio at CSV (Clemente Soto Velez) on Suffolk Street in Manhattan. “That’s my job!” We were discussing her past eight years working as a … Continued
Juxtaposed against the early artists of the Hudson Valley style, whose creative re-creation of the manifest-destiny era American landscape lacked substance if not beauty, these modern artists toil in the devastating industrial quandaries of our society.
Crown Heights lies at the center of Brooklyn’s Caribbean community, home to one of the largest expatriate populations in the US with immigrants from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Haiti, and elsewhere. Nostrand Avenue, running north-south through Crown Heights, is dotted with roti shops and groceries, making it an ideal place to shop for West Indian ingredients.
LaunchPad is an arts-based community center in Crown Heights. Started by Mike Kunitzky last winter, the space transforms depending on what neighborhood groups want to use it for. “I wanted a place where people could exchange ideas and make things happen,” says Kunitzky, a constantly smiling 35-year-old. “There’s potential for magic in those unexpected talents and interactions.”
We’re trading Brooklyns, moving from the thriving, throbbing 24-hour Crown Heights – where the noise of blasting reggae at 3 AM is matched only by the noise of blasting cantorial music at 3 AM – trading it in for the placid, tree-lined, and, yes, backyard-filled streets of Flatbush. My Hasidic friends think I’m selling out and moving to a Modern Orthodox neighborhood. My non-Hasidic friends think I’m selling out and moving to the suburbs.
There was a crazy Nor’easter over the weekend, and we had to go to Jersey – an activity rarely on any Brooklynite’s top ten list, and especially not on a rainy Saturday night. But there was a family bar mitzvah, and we are nothing if not devoted to the family.