04 May 2011

In unity there is strength

My title today is the translation from the Old Dutch Een Draght Mackt MaghtEen Draght Mackt Maght is the motto of the Borough of Brooklyn, the second-most populous of New York's five boroughs. Brooklyn was an independent city from its founding in 1646 until 1898 when the five boroughs consolidated to form modern New York. Even though it's part of New York City, it's still its own county, Kings.

One of the main thoroughfares through Brooklyn is Flatbush Avenue. Flatbush is an anglicization of the Dutch phrase vlacke bos and it means "wooded flatlands." I took a walk along modern day vlack bos, Flatbush Avenue, and one of its many neighborhoods, Prospect Lefferts Gardens yesterday morning.

The area where I took my morning constitutional was founded by a Dutch family in 1660. By 1893 it was a single estate that was owned by James Lefferts. Lefferts divided his holdings into 600 lots and sold them to developers.

The neighborhood where these photos were taken were built between the late 19th Century and the 1950s. It's the center of Caribbean culture in Brooklyn and it has a charm and wonder I can't quite describe.


















Ahhhh, would that I were a good photographer. Hah! Even so, I saw a side to New York last weekend I'd never seen before and I learned the lesson so many before me have learned, that there's life beyond the Isle O' Manhattan.

12 comments:

  1. Loved this post Paul! I fell for Brooklyn after I read "A Tree Grows." I like to have a little history to back up all the hype.
    Looking forward to June!

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  2. Good to know. I'm still wandering around the Isle. One day I will venture off of it in my travels.

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  3. Emily: I'll be back on June 8th so clear your schedule!

    Kathy: My appreciation for New York has grown exponentially in the last week. Cross the river the next time you're up there.

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  4. A Fallout Shelter sign! Gotta love those days... Brooklyn is like a whole other city. I hope to be able to spend more time there before it get entirely gentrified :-)

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  5. There are Fallout Shelter signs all of the place. They crack me up every time I see one.

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  6. I was in Brooklyn today. It made me want to just find money, buy something, move in and live like I've been there forever. Nice post with great pics!

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  7. I'm with you, I'm completely smitten with the place.

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  8. Chris Thiede04 May, 2011 17:36

    Don't sell yourself short on your photography prowess.

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  9. Thanks Chris, your comment reminded me that I owe you an e-mail.

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  10. @paul @susan http://chocolatebrownstone.com It will be a home for wayward folks who just pack up their lives in a backpack one day on a whim and move to NYC, not knowing how they will live but know they want to live no place else :-)

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  11. I'm a fourth generation Brooklyn girl and a product of PS 255, Cunningham JHS and Edward R. Murrow HS. I enjoyed reading your post in my oldest friend's Park Slope row home, and the lovely memories it brought back.

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  12. Don't tempt me with talk of backpacks Rufus. While I was on my way to the airport yesterday it hit me that I know more people in New York than I do at home.

    Thanks Jamie, I envy you your location right now, even if the weather's crappy right now.

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