The Weekly Nabe turns one – a belated post

Can you believe I forgot my blog’s birthday? I thought it was today. I’m such a bad person.

I started The Weekly Nabe one year and one week ago. I kicked it off with the announcement of my intention to research and visit every one of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods, one per week for the following eighty weeks. I haven’t stuck to that exact plan, but I have remained a devoted student and interested explorer.

Thanks for reading, commenting, sharing, liking, following, and so on. I look forward to another 53 weeks of fun facts and cool places.

Most of my 152 posts are centered on Brooklyn, but some strayed (like my attention much of the time). One popular example was of my experience sleeping in an airport in Brazil.

Here are my top five, ranked by number of page views. (The lowest-ranked is Week twenty-three: Plumb Beach.)

5. Paerdegat Basin and the Jamaica Bay Project (April 4, 2012)

Map from the October 22, 1930 Times article "Pushes Port Plans for Jamaica Bay" [sic] showing the proposed railroad on both sides of Paerdegat Basin.

This still ranks among my favorite posts. Digging into the history of Paerdegat Basin led me to discover a plan to connect Floyd Bennett Field, Canarsie Pier, and Manhattan by way of a spur route to the Long Island Rail Road. Jamaica Bay was seen as a potential rival to New York Harbor.

It never came to be. Paerdegat Basin was still dredged and basically left to rot until the 1960s, when land on both sides was some of the last in Brooklyn to be claimed for private development.

4. DeKalb Av and the Manhattan Bridge (April 26, 2012)

DeKalb final topBy far the most fun I’ve had on this blog. I’ll look for any excuse to play with children’s toys. It also gets regular play when someone asks me how the Manhattan Bridge works with so many trains running over it in various directions.

3. Brownsville and the curse of geography (June 15, 2012)

Brownsville firefighters rescue several Torahs from a synagogue. (From the Brooklyn Collection)

I had already delved into a few neighborhoods that had been subject to white flight, but looking at Brownsville’s history really drove home that point. Once known as “Little Jerusalem” because it was home to over 100,000 Jews, Brownsville is now almost entirely black and one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city.

Even when it was entirely white, though, it was still a place people sought to escape.

2. FAQ: the history of Red Hook (September 20, 2012)

Detail from Bernard Ratzer's 1770 map at the Brooklyn Historical Society, compared with a recent Google Earth image.

Instead of going for my usual narrative history, I took a question-and-answer approach here. It was one of my longest posts, and I didn’t even touch on the proposed Brooklyn-Battery Bridge.

Unsurprisingly, this got a huge bump in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

1. From resort nights to white flight: a brief history of Canarsie (May 3, 2012)

1900s drawing of Golden City Amusement Park by R. Stollmack. (From BPL's Brooklyn Collection)

Canarsie was my eighth neighborhood, and the first I selected to have been subject to serious white flight. Looking back at my post after nearly a year, I can still see the disgust and disbelief in my initial reaction.

Brownstoner picked up this piece (probably from the Brooklyn Historical Society) which drove many, many readers here.

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One Response to The Weekly Nabe turns one – a belated post

  1. Happy Birthday Weekly Nabe!

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