Explore one of the most beautiful and historic churches in Brooklyn, Williamsburg’s Most Holy Trinity-St. Mary. Established in 1843 as the first German Catholic parish on Long Island, the stunning cathedral-like structure was completed in 1885 and was a key location in Betty Smith’s 1943 classic “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” Cindy and Andrew were married in this church (and April 26 is their wedding anniversary!), and they will be joined by their friend and priest Father Timothy Dore, who will share the rich history of the parish he served for many years.>> Continue reading
Celebrate Earth Day by virtually exploring Brooklyn’s largest forest with us and Prospect Park Alliance forest ecologist Howard Goldstein. We will learn about some of the park’s 30,000 trees, ongoing forest maintenance and restoration projects, and how the the Alliance is adapting to challenges like climate change, invasive species, pests, and extreme weather events.
- Trees of Prospect Park
- Prospect Park tree survey
- Treekeeper Database of Prospect Park Trees
- Become a Prospect Park Alliance Member
Explore the history of Graham Avenue, Brooklyn’s “Avenue of Puerto Rico” and take an in-depth look at the businesses and people of this community, including the historic Moore Street Market, and the department stores, butcher shops, and pushcarts of the past and present. Turnstile Tours has worked in the neighborhood for more than 10 years, and this program is based on more than 20 oral history interviews with neighborhood residents and local business owners and on original archival research that we will share during this session.
Sitting at the mouth of the Hudson estuary with vast shorelines and moderate tides, New York Harbor is one of the greatest natural ports on earth, yet moving goods around the region on land has always been a challenge. This talk hosted by maritime expert Stefan Dreisbach-Williams will look at the forces that transformed New York into a dominant global port, from the mid-19th to the present, despite the fact that its geography poses huge obstacles for land-based transport by train and truck. We will look at the infrastructure and economic forces behind this paradox, and take note of places where the old technologies are still visible, and how new ones continue to develop.
The COVID-19 crisis has thrust manufacturing into the national spotlight, as the city, state, and nation struggle to procure necessary medical equipment, and companies big and small pivot to produce these critical supplies. How did we get here? What do we still make in NYC? How will manufacturing businesses survive this crisis? We will tackle these and other questions with Adam Friedman, director of the Pratt Center for Community Development. Adam is a renowned expert on urban manufacturing, a board member of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, and the founder of Made in NYC, a support network for local manufacturers created in the wake of another crisis facing New York City, the September 11 attacks.
Join Sarah Litvin, former Turnstile guide and current director of the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History in Kingston, New York, to learn how immigration, community, work, and bread shaped this Hudson Valley city in the mid-twentieth century. We’ll virtually visit the historic Reher’s Bakery, an immigrant family-run business that served the diverse working-class Rondout neighborhood for nearly a century. Sarah will share of preview of the Reher Center’s upcoming exhibition, “Sewing in Kingston,” highlighting the city’s vibrant garment workers past and present.
April 1 is Census Day, so we’re discussing the importance of the 2020 Census, and delving into the history, from the first federal census of 1790 to the present day. First, we will speak with Kathleen Daniel, NYC Census Field Director about this year’s census and what is at stake for delivering vital services and funding to our communities. Then, we will be joined by Nalleli Guillen, historian and project manager of Brooklyn Historical Society’s Revealing Long Island History project, who will discuss how historians, genealogists, researchers, artists, and tour guides utilize this rich well of information. This session is being presented in partnership with NYC Census 2020, and with the Brooklyn Historical Society and Prospect Park Alliance, organizations which have been partners in raising awareness about the census in Brooklyn.
There are as many as 20,000 street vendors in New York City, most of whom are immigrants. This program will focus on the impact of the current public health crisis on the lives and livelihoods of New York City’s street vendors, including an interview with Mohamed Attia, Executive Director of the Street Vendor Project, a membership-driven project that is part of the Urban Justice Center, a non-profit organization that provides legal representation and advocacy to various marginalized groups of New Yorkers.
Take a deep dive into the history of New York City’s public markets, which have their origins in a vast food distribution system set up by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in the 1930’s. Once encompassing 10 retail markets and nearly as many wholesale facilities, today many of the historic buildings of this era remain, and these markets continue to offer affordable space for food entrepreneurs and fresh, high-quality food for shoppers throughout New York City.
For over 200 years, the Brooklyn Navy Yard has been on the cutting edge of innovation, first as a leading shipyard for the US Navy, and today as a home to 500+ industrial, manufacturing, design, and technology companies. We’ll look back at inventions – some small enough to hold, some as large as ships – both groundbreaking and mundane, that shaped the history of the Yard and the wider world.