Saturday, June 16, 2012




You’ve heard it for years, accepted it as gospel even, that New York City is the center of the universe as far as culture, and music in particular, is concerned. Now more than ever, the New York City they’re talking about is Brooklyn. And they’re right: There’s no other place on earth that’s so immediately identified with the idea of “what’s next.” But who makes it that way? Well, the artists of course — the out-of-her-mind drummer - in the streets or in the subway, the gutsy documentary filmmaker - you see them talking & walking, the unorthodox painter - you smell and see their dress and authors, small publishers who think and write in the coffeeshops... You can see them everywhere! But it’s the bloggers too, the independent show promoters, the record label operators, the technological innovators, the gallerists, and all the other creative types who live here despite the exorbitant cost of living.
Taking place in the walkable radius of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Bushwick is a showcase of the work these people do behind the closed doors of rehearsal spaces, studios and makeshift home-offices, as well as glimpses from their contemporary creative communities around the world. Above all, it’s a celebration of these so-called dreamer types. Because they’re the reason I am here, at the center of the universe.

As I mentioned I didn´t know how famouse and popular Williamsburg is. I was wondering how well I feel there, it is not New York with Skyscrapers, it is an individual holistic very European landscape of an island Long Island, part called Brooklyn with the famous Brooklyn bridge.

In the next days I was just walking through Williamsburg, which is the most famous part of Brooklyn with the long Bedford Avenue.  I was like in love... and all the guys could feel it! I was just sitting in a coffeeshop, and every second started to speak with me, "where I am from?" I was like a bird, singing the song about European writer, artist... Berlin, Prague, almost everyone expressed some feelings to one of the cities... with some of them we met then again, by chance... actually it happened that I met some really twice, three times... and then they diappeared. Once - on saturday I expressed for me a wish, that I would like drive thorugh the whole Brooklyn on bike... And I was walking when I suddenly bumped into one of these bar-friends... I asked him immediatly, just still dreaming about the riding through Brooklyn, if he has two bikes and would like to show me a bit of that island... and he just said: YES! Yes, with pleasure! Whew! I was so happy, we met in one hour, I dropped by him, and we were riding... we stopped talking with his friends, he seemed to me to be very popular in the district, and we had fun, he showed me a lot around, and sure also the Brooklyn bridge! It is really a lovely bridge with the beautiful view on Manhattan!! Wow, it was great to drive there through on bike... we made a turn and we drove back... no Manhattan, this is too crowded!

When one goes with L-train to Manhattan and goes out there it is like coming from the country to the big city!! The difference is really big, still and I think it will remains!! This is great to have Brooklyn, calm, artisitic bohemian place in NYC!! I love to be there, even it is changing, there are more and more fancy shops, cultivated, not like many years before, but there won´t ever be the tall skyscrapers and so crowded streets, I suppose.
Beautiful design shops, charming small restaurants, not as big as dining halls in Manhattan, a lot of RETRO-shops, bookstores, record-store with old vinils, small swimming pool, old houses like that one:  almost crashed, not clean houses, it looks like in old parts of Amsterdam sometimes, low not high houses, some lofts spread fast...  at every corner you feel the joy of the human infinitive creation...
In Brooklyn was born & lived my absolute favorite writer: HENRY MILLER. And he lived not far from the Bedford Ave - a place I stayed, so far so good, I was close to him, literary.
Brooklyn means more than only Bedford Ave - Williamsburg and Williamsburg Bridge.
By the way a flat in Williamsburg, I mean one room and half costs like 1200-1500 dolars. So just dream about it or move in! I don´t know how they earn money for such an expensive flat! Here live mostly artists, students and sometimes you see some managers, but they still don´t fit here... it still feels great for creative people, not business people like in Manhattan. I say this is for me a part of my Middle Europe - like Berlin, like Prague, I walk here, here I return to my way of life, even over the Pacific ocean and with completly different people who think and feel different, this is what I love!!
Brooklyn is sweet, but it can be still also dangerous, is big enough, and not all parts of Brooklyn are popular or safe.
There are other districts like for example Bushwick, there should be the largest hub of Brooklyn's Hispanic-American community, now also very popular for artist, not so expensive like W-burg.
Also very popular Park Slope and Greenpoint, there in Greenpoint is the largest Polish community. I walked here through and everywhere only Polish people speaking Polish, this was strange! Shops with the Polish aestetisc like I know from Poland. People - immigrants don´t want to loose their identity here, and they needn´t this is the freedom, well, there are other restrictions.
And Coney Island & Brighton Beach is already full of Russian and Ukranian people. Many shops are designed like in Russia, food, drinks, fishes... everything like in Russia. And the ocean here isn´t for free! You must pay the beach-entrance: 12 dolars! So don´t go to Coney Island, go to Brighton Beach ( I hope it is a right advice... if not, tell me it...:-)) 

Prospect Park is a very nice public park created by the same person as the Central Park ( Calvert Vaux). The emphasis on the creation of parks is in NYC very important.
So far, Brooklyn is still my favorite place, even I lived then in Manhattan, I always went/come back to visit my favorites bookstores, New Yorker Muffin - there are made delicious baggels with avocado, cheese, vegetable etc for just 4 dolars! Todays I discovered a new lovely coffee shop, I would say the best coffee I have ever drunk in NYC: "Swedish expresso" also at the Bedford. And sometimes I meet faces I still know. There is a great street-bookseller, he has been selling book in the street for 20 years! His name is Luftmensch! We always meet by chance and I also got to know another bookseller in East Village who knew Luftmensch. Luftmensch and me met probably because we both can fly with our books! Luftmensch means - Airman. But the German word is sooo nice! This is what I love about the German language!
I describe Brooklyn just how I discovered it when I was here. There are many encounters I had with people twice or three times. - This seems to me to be very thrilling especialy in NYC. I will describe that phenomena in the next part. "Encounters by chance in NYC".

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks Oda. It's a wonderful piece of fresh air! I felt the great energy of NYC and the new creative way of living in Brooklyn in your piece. Enjoy! Chris