I moved to Crown Heights two and a half years ago after 35 years in Tribeca. When “Ken and Barbie” moved in across the street from my loft and I had a full view of their idyllic life (two toddlers, two nannies and I’m sure the wife said, “Honey, for $9MM, I didn’t think we’d have neighbors,) I decided “these are not my people.” I moved into Tribeca in 1981, in a walk-up, across the street from a working creamery. The closest grocery store was more than a mile away in Chinatown. Dry cleaner? Forget it. Take out food meant riding my bike to Chinatown as well. I miss those early days as a young dancer fresh off a boat in the Midwest.
Gentrification can be difficult. Here’s a great NPR transcript with Spike Lee and others discussing it. The only thing I miss about Tribeca now is the light afforded in loft living. There are so many things to love about Crown Heights, however you define the physical parameters, but the best is the people, both old and new residents, both older and younger. Every smile and “hello” tells a story. My goal with this venture is to profile the people and places that define this neighborhood.
“The power of community storytelling lies not only in the stories created – but also in the process of their creation. Storytelling itself has a unique power to engage — that hasn’t changed since the dark ages.” Stephen Bradley, CEO of Authorbee
I promise to not invade anyone’s privacy and take pictures without asking. I will share links about news and events from sites such as the “Crown Heights isn’t just Franklin Ave” Facebook page, Brooklyn Reader, News12, Patch and others. I invite you to submit essays about anything or posts on a tag sale you’re having. I am offering free advertising initially to local businesses and after we get some traction, I’ll charge a nominal fee to cover my costs. I will curate the advertisements as well because I don’t want to be a feeding ground for real estate agents (they have the Crown Heights Facebook page.)
I invite any comments either privately or publicly. Know that this is a very early work-in-progress.