I wish I had more to say about Downtown Brooklyn, but I don’t. I’ve been to Brooklyn itself several times, but there isn’t much that draws me “downtown.” It’s plenty safe, but I don’t know of much to do. There’s an aspect of it that reminds of Rosslyn, Virginia: a city across the water from a much bigger and more active city.
I went, as I have for many things, for a project. I walked through the crowded streets, took notes on traffic flow and congestion. I kept an eye out for important and historical buildings. The usual. I was struck by the crowds. It was, in many places, at least during midday more crowded than many parts–the tourist free parts–of Manhattan.
More striking, or I guess shocking is a better word, was the diversity. You hear about Brooklyn being diverse, but like any city you take it with a grain of salt. A thriving diverse community can be settled immediately next to a community nowhere near integrated. I can say from experience in other parts of Brooklyn, this is the case. But, downtown, I was swept up in a truly diverse crowd. People of all races and ethnicities, people of all income levels. It was comforting to know such diversity can exist.
Of course not everyone I saw lives and works there. Some people were there to visit stores on Fulton Mall, others the Kings County Supreme Court and Family Court on Jay Street. But, I think to a degree it matters less that people are living and working in a diverse community than it does that they are exposed to a diversity.
I still don’t have much to say about Downtown Brooklyn though, because I still haven’t seen much of Downtown Brooklyn. I’d love to say the whole area mimicks what I saw, but I honestly don’t know. It’s probably time I actually found out.