Burg Seen from Perspective of...Tennessee
So, it's Sunday and we came across a travel story about visiting Brooklyn at the Chatanoogan. The story is titled "Brooklyn: More Than Trees Are Growing Here." Here's a sample, because we always find the out-of-town perspective on Brooklyn--and, in this case, Williamsburg--interesting:
So we left the safety and sanity of our digs on Manhattan's toney East Side and, after several changes of subway trains, found ourselves crossing the East River and arriving at the first stop in Williamsburg.Seems to be? Talk about understatements. We would take issue with the fact that the story says that the Gowanus Holiday Inn Express on Union Street is in "historic Park Slope."
For the better part of the last century Williamsburg had been home to an ultra Orthodox group of Hasidic Jews, but all that has changed as we noted when we stepped from our train at its first stop.
Out in the street the scene looked pretty much as it might have half a century ago - a bit seedy with rundown storefronts and a group of locals who looked less like the Upper East Side of Manhattan than extras from Goodwill.
For my companion this was not a promising start to our day's exploration of what I had presented of Brooklyn as the newest enclave for hip young New Yorkers. However, I persevered and, in retrospect, had we not we would have missed a day of great discovery.
Indeed the universe does not end at the East River, but continues across the Williamsburg Bridge into an emerging scene of art galleries, chic new restaurants at reasonable prices and lots of young people who have rediscovered the excitement of living "la vida loca" in some place other than Manhattan.
Call it a Renaissance if you like or better yet a rediscovery of the sort of easy laid-back life I remember from the early '60s when I went to school and worked in Manhattan. While there are other areas of Brooklyn that have been on the radar for a while, including Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg seems to be the neighborhood of the moment.