"If they told you to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you do it?" - said by nearly every New York mother at some point to her children
My second full day of shooting in New York turned out to be more hectic than the first. Thanks to a high school friend that still lives in New York, I was chauffeured around the Manhattan for much of the day, had a great lunch at a mid-town deli, and was finally dropped off downtown to make my pilgrimage walk across the Brooklyn Bridge into, where else? Brooklyn!
Most New Yorkers, regardless of where they were born or grew up, are fond of Brooklyn.
Manhattan may have the glitz, but in many people's eyes, Brooklyn is the heart and soul of New York. Historically, it's contained large Jewish-American and Italian-American neighborhoods, and can arguably lay claim to the best pizza in the world. It's also traditionally been the butt of many jokes as the home of the stereotyped New York "palooka" accent. Think Bugs Bunny...
My connection to Brooklyn is much more personal, as it was the birthplace and home to not only my mother, but most of her family as well.
Oddly enough, my mother and father moved out to Long Island before I was born, and other than passing through on the parkway during family trips, and maybe once or twice to Coney Island, we never really went back to Brooklyn to visit. Ever. Her siblings eventually moved out to Long Island as well, so I guess she saw no reason.
Anyway, at some point Brooklyn became almost a bucket list destination for me. I felt it so important to actually see where my mom and her family were from. And while I didn't get to visit her old neighborhood on this trip, I did finally spent time in the borough. And of course, got to experience the Bridge up close and personal. It was a blast, so I definitely was able to check things off my lists, both spiritually as well as artistically.
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All photos ©Steven Paul Hlavac. All rights reserved.