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Blog Posts by Subject: Brooklyn

Where in New York is Sesame Street?

Can I tell you how to get to Sesame Street? Well, I can try. You can get to the Sesame Street Subway Stop by the A, B, 1, or 2 trains, which if you check any MTA map, do not intersect at any current station.Read More ›

Fiction Atlas: Brooklyn in Children's Fiction and Picture Books (Part II)

Where in the world are you reading about? Fiction finds its settings in all corners of the world (and some places only imagined in our minds) but there's something special about fiction set in a familiar city or neighborhood. Let's take a trip out of Manhattan for now, and into the lively borough of Brooklyn! This is one of the most storied areas that make up New York City.

Settlers from the Dutch West India Company first founded the Village of Bruckelen in 1646, though the Lenape Native Americans had lived on the land that makes up the county for hundreds of years 

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ON THE AIR: Music Landmarks in NYC - Yankee Doodle to Jay-Z

Pearl Street Native/Indigenous

AIR is a Native American and ancient colloquialism for music and voice, as heard upon the earth. Musicians and singers performed at festivals at sacred places like Pearl Street, where shells mounded for centuries, in Lenape tradition, to honor and "give thanks" for the sun, moon, stars, rain, wind and all elements of the air.

New Amsterdam. ca. 1625 - People arrived to the various ceremonies and festivals along the East River shoreline via rafts, canoes and by walking down the main island trail (widened for vehicles in the 

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October Reader's Den: "Buddhaland Brooklyn" by Richard C. Morais - Week 5

Welcome back to the October 2013 edition of the Reader's Den!

This is our final week (pages 198-240; chapters 13-15) of Buddhaland Brooklyn by Richard C. Morais. If you missed any of this month's discussions, then you can revisit earlier weeks:

Week 1: ... Read More ›

October Reader's Den: "Buddhaland Brooklyn" by Richard C. Morais - Week 4

Welcome back to the October 2013 edition of the Reader's Den!

For week 4, we read pages 138-197 (chapters 9-12), of Buddhaland Brooklyn by Richard C. Morais, a continuation of this year's New York theme. It is not too late to join the discussion!

Remember that you can catch up with us and comment on any of posts at anytime in the future. If you need a copy of the book, then you can reserve one through the NYPL catalog. The book is available in both 

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October Reader's Den: "Buddhaland Brooklyn" by Richard C. Morais - Week 3

Welcome back to the October 2013 edition of the Reader's Den!

We are at the half-way mark, Week 3 (chapters 5-8; pages 70-137), of Buddhaland Brooklyn by Richard C. Morais, a continuation of this year's New York theme. If you need a copy of the book, then you can reserve one through the NYPL catalogue. The book is available in both print and

... Read More ›

October Reader's Den: "Buddhaland Brooklyn" by Richard C. Morais, Week 2

Welcome back to October 2013 edition of the Reader's Den!

Our title this month is Buddhaland Brooklyn by Richard C. Morais, a continuation of this year's New York theme. For week two, we read chapters 1-4 (pages 1-69). If you need a copy of the book, then you can reserve it through the NYPL catalogue. The book is available in both print and

... Read More ›

October Reader's Den: "Buddhaland Brooklyn" by Richard C. Morais - Week 1

"It was strange, like a dream, to be in Japan one moment and America the next."

Welcome to the October 2013 installment of the New York Public Library's online book discussion group—the Reader's Den. In continuation of this year's New York theme, our title this month is Buddhaland Brooklyn by Richard C. Morais.

Just before his 

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Not For Sale: The Iconic Brooklyn Bridge Celebrates 130 Years

For 130 years, the Brooklyn Bridge has been an icon of the New York City landscape—longer if you account for the 13 years required to construct it. This beloved connection between boroughs is still in use while many of its contemporaries have been replaced or dismantled worldwide.

When the bridge opened in 1883, New York was a different sort of town. Also referred to as either the New York Bridge or East River Bridge until its official naming in 1915, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it was built. New York and Brooklyn were still

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Fiction Atlas: Brooklyn in Children's Fiction and Picture Books (Part I)

Where in the world are you reading about? Fiction finds its settings in all corners of the world (and some places only imagined in our minds) but there's something special about fiction set in a familiar city or neighborhood. Let's take a trip out of Manhattan for now, and into the lively borough of Brooklyn! This is one of the most storied areas that make up New York City.

Settlers from the Dutch West India Company first founded the Village of Bruckelen in 1646, though the Lenape Native Americans had lived on the land that makes up the county for hundreds of years 

... Read More ›

Short-Term Research Fellows: A Closer Look at Brooklyn History

As a graduate student whose dissertation examines the development of Brooklyn in the nineteenth century, I have spent more hours than I care to count the past several years poring through documents in the Brooklyn Historical Society, the Brooklyn Public Library and other repositories in what was formerly the nation's third-largest city and is now New York City's most populous borough. Recently however, through the New York Public Library's Short-Term Research Fellowship Program and 

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Jane McGonigal and NYPL present Find the Future: The Game

For 100 years, The New York Public Library's landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street and its world-renowned collections have inspired people everywhere to find their futures. In honor of the Centennial Celebration, pioneering game designer Jane McGonigal helped the Library kick off its Weekend Festival with Find 

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Changing the Changing City

Seeking further enlightenment into the city we call home, I recently took a class on the literary and cultural history of New York City. Among the many themes common to New York City novels we discussed was the portrayal of the city itself as a character with power to shape the lives of its citizens.

Many of us New Yorkers have felt this pressure in our own lives: we choose where to live based on our budgets, our hobbies, our family situation, and often our ethnic, linguistic or religious 

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A Morning Bike Ride in New York City

It was a plan to get out early and it was a plan I kept to. I carried my bike atop my shoulder down my stoop and I was on the streets of Brooklyn by 9:00 AM. The sun was shining; the air was fresh and sweet. The hot sun had not yet evaporated away the luscious morning air. It was a perfect temperature out. The light shimmered as it bounced off the buildings. I made my way through the quiet of Brooklyn, one neighborhood melding into another by way of asphalt ribbons.

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The Battle For Brooklyn, 1776.

The main American line was on Brooklyn Heights, with a series of entrenchments and fortifications. In front of this was the heavily wooded area of the Heights of Guan, corresponding roughly to Prospect Park area today. Here the Americans had placed an outer line of defenses under the loose command of Maj-Gen John Sullivan. Sullivan Street is today named after him in New York’s Greenwich Village. He was assisted by Israel Putnam, brave, but over his head in commanding anything more than a regiment or two. Alexander Stirling, self styled as Lord Stirling because the British crown had Read More ›

Weeksville Revisited

In a previous post, we looked at maps of Brooklyn from the 19th and early 20th centuries of the neighborhood once called Weeksville, centered on Hunterfly Road. It was there, in 1969, according to The Weeksville Society, that researchers rediscovered the "Hunterfly Road houses," the neighborhood's only remaining residential structures from the period.

I'm curious to know if those same researchers used the

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Digitizing the Historical Landscape

We've digitized more historical maps documenting the changing New York City landscape. Follow the link to a comprehensive listing of close to 2,700 maps showing buildings, old streets, farm lines, streetcar routes historical shorelines and more.

Here's a small section from G.M. Hopkins' 1880 Farm Line Atlas of Brooklyn.

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Weeksville

Weeksville was a community of African Americans founded in 1838 by a freed slave named James Weeks in an area straddling modern day Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights in Brooklyn. By the 1860s, according to Weeksville Society, it had become a cultural nexus and a draft riot safe haven for New York City's growing African American population. While much has been written about its people, both today, as in this

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Chrysanthemum, Queen of Autumn.

← A Rich Display of Chrysanthemums (Image from NYPL Digital Gallery)

The chrysanthemum, which "occupies the sovereign position in autumn," has particular pride of place in Japanese culture. The blossoms can be spotted on the Japanese royal crest, in elaborate floral arrangements, at mealtimes as an edible accompaniment, and as an element in Japanese design. And for the next few weeks, chrysanthemums take 

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Coney Island Maps

I've always been fascinated with landscapes changing through time as seen though the lens of the map. Shorelines, especially where there are lots of waves and tides, are particularly interesting things in that they are so clearly dynamic. These fire insurance maps of Coney Island, created between 1880 and 1907 document those changes beautifully. In addition to those covering Coney Island, the NYPL has digitized close to 2000 maps at this level of detail for all five boroughs of New York City.

G.W. Bromley, 

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