Crown Heights – In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 173)

The Brooklyn neighborhood Crown Heights is a fascinatingly diverse and contrasting neighborhood.

The population is mostly of African decent (mainly via the Caribbean with a small portion of American born people) – but has also a large Hasidic Jewish community. Over the last few years, a lot of young Caucasians have moved into the neighborhood and are starting to take over mainly Franklin Avenue and surrounding streets.

The visuals of the diverse population and the smells of various ethnic foods are just as fascinating to me as the beautiful architecture and tree-lined streets. A neighborhood, which for a long time was considered to be dangerous, is becoming safer and offers more amenities – but there’s always the question of the price. Gentrification and the displacement of low-income families cannot be denied.

Upon my return to Brooklyn, I stayed in my friend Erica’s brownstone on a beautiful block further east into Crown Heights. She and her husband bought the house about 5 years ago and even I, as just a visitor, can tell how the neighborhood is changing; for better or for worse, is subjective. Personally, I enjoy a neighborhood most when it’s at this stage, when you feel that there is a true mix of people and cultures and not an exclusive enclave one way or the other. Also, I love Caribbean food.

I had a bit of a hard time finding the right music for this video. So I went with a piece by Kevin MacLeod called “Arcane”, which has some African influences and maybe a bit of a Caribbean flavor. The song is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

In case anyone is keeping track of timing and where I’m bouncing around in the world: This video is yet again almost a week late. Since I shot this one, I’ve traveled to yet another state (where I’ve had lots of wonderful distractions) and have already shot the video for this week (174) there, which should according to my schedule be published on Thursday. And you know what, I might just publish it on time because I’m eager to share that one. Also there have been some requests for me to do another vlog. It seems that with all the changes that have been going on, I probably should. So I just might.

MIN 173 Crown Heights_mural_s

You can look at more photos from this video shoot on my personal blog: Photos from Crown Heights, Brooklyn

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