Issue 44

March 31, 2015


Also in this issue

A Shelter’s Icy Reception

This past winter, New York’s coldest in decades, a Greenpoint church wanted to take in the neighborhood’s homeless overnight. Why did that make some residents so angry? By Amanda Waldroupe

New Yorkers

Capturing the faces of strangers on the streets of New York. Photos by Benedict Evans

Q&A: City Councilmen Brad Lander and Jumaane Williams

The two representatives on why it’s the best of times and the worst of times for Brooklynites. Interview by John Surico

Q&A: Quardean Lewis-Allen, of Made in Brownsville

A Brownsville native uses architecture and design to help locals take ownership of their neighborhood. It started with a t-shirt. Interview by Maggie Astor



Issue 43

February 19, 2015

It’s 2015. Do You Know Where Your Leftovers Are?

For years, New York’s been trying to get composting right. Today, as a city-wide pilot program continues to find its footing, Brooklyn greenmarkets are stepping up to help. By Lauren Holter. Photos by Adam Glanzman

Q&A: Mark Winston Griffith of the Brooklyn Movement Center

The central Brooklyn activist on what community organizing means in 2015. Interview by Amanda Waldroupe

Locked Out

A nighttime stroll takes an unexpected turn. Comic by Declan McCarthy


Issue 42

February 5, 2015

Snow Days

Everywhere in the snowscape of February, that sleepiest of months, are signs of time’s having slowed. Photos by Emily Frances

Revenge of the Nerds

A group of women vexed by the sexism they’ve encountered in the comics and gaming worlds are staking a claim to female fandom — by taking their clothes off. By Robert Tutton

Q&A: Matthew Wolf of Kings Theatre

The executive director on restoring a community gem and reviving the Brooklyn theater district that once was. Interview by John Surico


Issue 41

January 22, 2015

The Forgotten History of the Owl’s Head

Finding the story of Brooklyn in the ups and downs of a small park in Bay Ridge. By Henry Stewart

Greek to Me

Exploring what survives of Greek culture in Astoria, Queens. Photos by Niko J. Kallianiotis

Q&A: Ned Berke of Sheepshead Bites

It took a jaunt as a reporter in South America to convince the local blogger to focus his attention closer to home. Interview by Chris Crowley


Issue 40

December 11, 2014

Consider the Oyster

Can the humble mollusk clean Brooklyn’s waterways and restore our connection to its shoreline? No — but maybe a billion can. By Jordan Fraade

Losing the Plot

Brooklyn has acres and acres of abandoned lots. How hard could it be to make something of them? By Maggie Astor

Fir Sale

’Tis the seasons. Photos by Anthony Rhoades, with text by Sara Goudarzi

Q&A: Aldona Vaiciunas of the Vinegar Hill Neighborhood Association

A local leader reflects on the life and times of a neighborhood mostly unshaken — for now, at least — by Brooklyn’s development boom. Interview by Angela Almeida

Q&A: David Ehrenberg of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation

The future of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, according to the man who hopes to remake it. Interview by John Surico


Issue 39

November 20, 2014

NYPD Blues

In East New York, crime runs high. So does distrust of the police. Can de Blasio’s reforms and the promise of “community policing” help keep the peace? By Christopher Looft

A Beach, a Babushka, and Borscht

Taking in the quiet beauty of Brighton Beach. Photos by Kat Slootsky

Q&A: Tim Thomas of The Q at Parkside

A local blogger finds himself immersed in neighborhood controversies, spurred to area uplift, and jolted by gentrification. Interview by Norman Oder


Issue 38

November 6, 2014

A Stranger in the Greenest Block

My new sublet didn’t seem so promising. Comic by Lior Zaltzman

The First Gentrifiers

In the nineteenth century, yellow fever dealt a punishing blow to those living in present-day Bay Ridge. That’s when the artists swooped in. By Henry Stewart

Q&A: Antoinette Balzano and Cookie Cimineri of Totonno’s

One of Brooklyn’s oldest pizza joints has a front-row seat to a changing borough. Interview by Chris Crowley


Issue 37

October 23, 2014

Q&A: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn’s new head honcho reflects on his first year in office, his hopes for the borough’s future, and why he wants to be known as the “technology borough president.” Interview by John Surico

The Dump

Dead Horse Bay is a sight to behold: unremittingly eerie, occasionally revolting, but nevertheless engrossing. Photo by Emily Frances

Red Hook War Stories

The neighborhood is home to a community of veterans, young and old, who have vivid memories of the conflicts they faced outside Brooklyn — and within it. By Allison Geller. Photos by Anthony Rhoades


Issue 36

October 10, 2014

Fifty Years Later, Looking for Last Exit

Chasing Hubert Selby’s ghost through the neighborhood he captured in his controversial classic. By Henry Stewart. Photos by Eric E. Anderson

The Ad Men

A peek inside a company that’s been hand-painting larger-than-life advertisements around New York for a decade. Photos by Angela Datre.

Q&A: Robert Gangi, of the Police Reform Organizing Project

A lifelong activist on why the end of stop-and-frisk is only the beginning of a battle to reform the NYPD. Interview by John Surico


Issue 35

September 25, 2014

The House on Middagh Street

At the end of a sleepy street in Brooklyn Heights, the ghost of a once-famous house. By Gabriela Geselowitz

Q&A: Alan Rosen of Junior’s

The restaurant’s owner on why, in the end, he passed on a $45 million offer to sell the Brooklyn institution. Interview by John Surico

Space Jam

Charter schools, lacking buildings of their own, have moved in alongside two Brooklyn public schools — but not without local communities first putting up a fight. By Rebecca Pattiz


Issue 34

September 11, 2014

Borough Park is Booming

Development in the Hasidic enclave is exploding, while rents stay cheap. How is that possible? By Simon Glenn-Gregg

Asphalt Archaeology

Like insects in amber, reminders of everyday life can be found preserved just under the surface of New York City’s asphalt. Photos by Mikhail Mishin

Q&A: Nick Rizzo, Newly Elected Democratic District Leader

The Greenpoint-based party activist on corruption, gentrification, and breaking a “Kool-Aid-Man-sized” hole in borough politics. Interview by John Surico.


Issue 33

August 21, 2014

The Usual

There’s something reassuringly familiar — and something a bit strange — about stepping into the time warp that is the neighborhood diner. Photos by Emily Frances

Q&A: David Vigil of East New York Farms

There are more community gardens in East New York than in any other neighborhood in the city. The project director of East New York Farms explains why that might be. Interview by Phillip Pantuso

When ‘Affordable’ Rents Push $3,000

With the controversial Atlantic Yards project — recently rebranded ‘Pacific Park’ — the devil has always been in the details. By Norman Oder


Issue 32

August 7, 2014


Hurricane Sandy swept away a wood jetty from Coney Island’s heyday. But Steeplechase Pier, which has seen devastation before, can’t be kept down. By Oksana Mironova and Ben Nadler

Brooklyn, Lost and Found

A sampling of finds from the forgotten corners of the borough. Photos by Will Ellis

Q&A: Tupper Thomas of New Yorkers for Parks

The dean of New York’s parks on the uproar at Brooklyn Bridge Park, parkland access, and why she couldn’t stay away. Interview by John Surico


Issue 31

July 24, 2014

Taking it to the Streets

Making the most of summer in Brooklyn’s urban playground. Photos by Anna Gianfrate

Brooklyn’s Cricketers Are Swinging for the Fences

Can they make the sport stick? By Adam Asher

Q&A: Linda Sarsour of the Arab American Association of New York

A Bay Ridge activist on anti-Muslim sentiment, the death of Eric Garner, and the fight to change Brooklyn for the better. Interview by John Surico


Issue 30

July 10, 2014

Of a Feather

A 105-year-old group of binocular-toting Brooklynites is fighting to keep the borough’s avian habitats safe. By Kristen Scharold

Q&A: Michael D. D. White of Citizens Defending Libraries

A local activist on the battle for Brooklyn’s cash-strapped libraries. Interview by Mike Hicks

The Hour of the Scavenger

An enterprising bibliophile trawls the streets of Park Slope. A comic by Frank Reynoso


Issue 29

June 26, 2014

Empty Places

The rise and fall of Brooklyn’s most storied restaurants. By Elyssa Goldberg.

Q&A: Julie Golia of the Brooklyn Historical Society

A borough historian on the industrial past of Gowanus and the pull of the Kentile sign. Interview by Madeline Joyce

Best Feet Forward

Facing poverty, a language barrier, and an inattentive NYPD, East New York’s Bangladeshi community struggles to make its own way. By David Lumb


Issue 28

June 5, 2014

Above the Boardwalk

Summer arrives at Coney Island. Photos by Mike Hicks

The Crusader

Letitia James won the race for public advocate. Now she has to reinvent the job. By Nyasha Laing

Hari Kondabolu Walks Into a Bar

A community organizer turned comedian finds a home in Brooklyn. By Sam Ghitelman


Issue 27

May 15, 2014

Q&A: Stephen Smith of Market Urbanism

A housing expert on Bill de Blasio’s plan to make New York affordable. Interview by Amanda Waldroupe.

In Brooklyn, Veritas

Some committed few are keeping Latin education alive in the borough. But why bother? By Melissa Batchelor Warnke

Stephen Powers Puts the Writing on the Wall

The man behind Brooklyn’s most recognizable murals forges his own vision for public art. By Neima Jahromi


Issue 26

May 1, 2014

Jewels from the Hinterland

Black New Yorkers are often photographed in desolate spaces. They’re seldom associated with the lush patches of the city. Text and photos by Naima Green

A Close Call, and Then a Curtain Call

How a decades-old play helped save a Bed-Stuy hospital. By Elizabeth Flock

Q&A: Morgan Rogers of Edible Schoolyard NYC

At a public school in Gravesend, the kids grow their own lunch. By Anneliese Cooper and Christine Sanders.


Issue 25

April 17, 2014

Rites of Spring

Warm weather’s finally here. Which New Yorkers are in the best position to take advantage? Maps by Thomas Rhiel

The Globetrotter

From Accra to Atlantic Avenue, Blitz the Ambassador spreads his musical gospel. By Tamerra Griffin

A Place to Call Home

For a group of Arab Christians, Bay Ridge is a sanctuary. Photos by Benedict Evans


Issue 24

April 3, 2014

Brooklyn’s dollar vans will not yield

The high-speed, anything-goes, sort-of-legal transportation network thousands of Brooklynites rely on. By Dino Grandoni

Q&A: Allen James of Save Our Streets

The anti-violence activist on the struggle to end the bloodshed in Crown Heights. Interview by Eli Rosenberg

Fort Greene Fleas

Spring is finally here. So, too, is the daily parade of dogs and their owners through Fort Greene Park. Photos by Anthony Rhoades


Issue 23

March 20, 2014

Crossing Guards

The fight to end traffic deaths in New York hits the streets. By Maggie Astor

A Stranger in the Park

An unfamiliar neighborhood takes some getting used to. A graphic story by Lior Zaltzman

Does Greenpoint’s Future Look Like Williamsburg?

Construction on the waterfront has residents on edge. By Vanessa Ogle


Issue 22

March 6, 2014

The Last Mayor of Fifth Avenue

Albert Cabbad and the Brooklyn he made. By John Surico

Heat Seekers

An interactive look at the New York households who had trouble staying warm this winter. Visualization by Nilkanth Patel

Winter’s Edge at Green-Wood

Among the catacombs, mausoleums, and monuments at Brooklyn’s most famous cemetery. By Will Ellis


Issue 21

February 20, 2014

The Neo-Industrialist

The Pratt Institute’s Adam Friedman thinks that Brooklyn is on the cusp of regaining its manufacturing prowess. Interview by Phillip Pantuso

The Generalist

Author Robert Sullivan on what we can learn from downtown Brooklyn. Interview by Melissa Batchelor Warnke

The Urbanist

Metropolitan observer Cassim Shepard on the future of New York’s cityscape. Interview by John Surico


Issue 20

February 6, 2014

The Junction

Bed-Stuy, East New York, Brownsville, and Bushwick collide beneath the multilevel edifice of concrete and steel, where the A, C, J, Z, and L trains intersect. Photos by Will DeNatale

The Lesson of Starrett City

At the edge of East New York, a model of affordable housing endures. By Oksana Mironova

Arrested Developments

A drug policy reformer on why the revived debate about marijuana falls short. By gabriel sayegh


Issue 19

January 23, 2014

Faith of Their Fathers

Russian Jews, raised secular, revisit a long-forgotten creed. By Katie Zavadski, with photos by Bridget Collins

Digging Out

A snowstorm lands in Sunset Park. By Will Ellis

Taking New York’s Vitals

Mapping the latest data on the city’s economic health, a few blocks at a time. Interactive maps by Thomas Rhiel


Issue 18

December 19, 2013

Lords of the Flea

Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler, whose knickknack and food markets have taken Brooklyn by storm, are just getting started. By Laura Entis

A Year in Ministories

Revisiting three Brooklyn moments that caught our eye in 2013. By Molly Socha

Dyker Lights

The legend of Brooklyn’s winter wonderland. By Benjamin Sutton, with photos by Will Ellis


Issue 17

December 5, 2013

Q&A: Preserve Park Slope’s Eve Gartner

A community activist on the fight over Methodist Hospital’s expansion. Interview by Reid Singer

After Vito

With the long-time party boss gone, will a new crop of Democrats grab the torch? By Amanda Waldroupe

Frozen in Time

Gino’s Italian ices are considered the city's best. But can the old-school company compete with savvier upstarts? By Elyssa Goldberg, with illustrations by David Antonio Perezcassar


Issue 16

November 21, 2013

Keeping House

At the edge of the city, an old Dutch mansion awaits its day in the sun. By Amanda Gutterman

Digital Divide

In a borough where many still don’t have a reliable Internet connection, one company offered subsidized access. So why did almost no one sign up? Story and interactive map by Steven Melendez

Can the Lincoln Railsplitters win it all?

A year after Hurricane Sandy, a high school football team seeks redemption for Coney Island. By Phillip Pantuso, with photos by Timothy Briner


Issue 15

November 7, 2013

On the Hook

Red Hook’s food vendors are the best in the city. So why might their days be numbered? By James Boo

Q&A: Occupy Sandy’s Lev Tobias

A volunteer recounts the days following the hurricane and reflects on what’s changed — and what hasn’t — in the past year. Interview by Meghan White

Brooklyn Brawler

A homegrown boxer sets his sights on the big time. By Brendan O’Connor.


Issue 14

October 17, 2013

My Vision for Brooklyn

An essay by Bill de Blasio

No Filter

A Bed-Stuy photographer’s Instagram experiment. By Alexia Nader

In the Club

Lili Holzer-Glier crashes a meeting of the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club to gain an insider’s perspective on the mayoral race.


Issue 13

October 3, 2013

“Look at me!”

A stroll through Fulton Mall, Brooklyn’s mecca of back-to-school shopping. By Betsy Morais, with photos by Meghan White

School Survey Says…

What students, teachers, and parents think of Brooklyn’s institutions of learning. A visualization by Gideon Dresdner

No One Wants A Homeless Shelter Next Door

So why should East New York? By Reid Singer


Issue 12

September 19, 2013

In the Weeds

The wild, derelict beauty of Brooklyn’s Marine Park. A photo series by Will Ellis

Fighting for Life

A doctor at Long Island College Hospital on the battle to keep the lights on. By Douglas Sepkowitz

One Block in Crown Heights

Stories behind the buildings we walk past. An interactive panorama by Albert Sun, Zachary Friedman, and David Lei


Issue 11

September 5, 2013

Dancing the Night Away

The ecstatic chaos of the West Indian American Day Carnival. A photo series by Timothy Briner

Setting Sun

A native of Sunset Park returns to find his old home gone and the neighborhood transformed. By Andrew Giambrone

All the Stops

The NYPD’s “stop, question, and frisk” tactic may be under fire, but it’s not likely to disappear entirely. Using recently compiled data, we look at who is being stopped, why, and what the police are finding as a result. A visualization by Thomas Rhiel


Issue 10

August 15, 2013

Russian Stew

Earning sweat equity at a traditional banya in Sea Gate. By Betsy Morais, with photos by Bridget Collins

Casting Out

A Sheepshead Bay native leaves shore for an afternoon on a fishing boat. Photos by Kat Slootsky

The Brooklyn Election

Nowhere else are the issues at the heart of this year’s mayoral race more resonant. By John Surico


Issue 9

August 1, 2013

Breathing Free

A salvaged WPA-era masterpiece, hanging in a courtroom most Brooklynites will never visit, welcomes immigrants once again. By Ryan Wong

Street Fight

In the trenches of the battle to bring Brownsville back. By Phillip Pantuso

Block by Block, Brooklyn’s Past and Present

Exploring the history of the borough through the ages of its more than 320,000 buildings. A map by Thomas Rhiel


Issue 8

July 18, 2013

The Sorry State of Brooklyn’s Libraries

Underfunded, overlooked, but as important as ever. By Dylan Suher

The Pigeontrification of Bushwick

Even the birds are moving out. A comic by Kate Drwecka

Ursula von Rydingsvard Will Be the Last Artist in Bushwick

The neighborhood is turning over, but the acclaimed sculptor isn’t going anywhere. By Julia Halperin


Issue 7

July 4, 2013

Red in the Face

The bitter battle among Brooklyn's Young Republicans. By Laura Entis

Shipped out

A single industry once dominated Brooklyn’s waterfront. Where did it all go? By Benjamin Sutton

Hook Shots

Faces from the Red Hook ball fields. A photo essay by Benedict Evans


Issue 6

June 20, 2013

Stranger on a Strange Island

A newcomer ventures out to a Brooklyn landmark for the first time. A graphic story by Lior Zaltzman

“Let’s Have a Reunion.”

Seven decades after graduating, a Crown Heights native seeks to reunite his elementary school class. By Shayla Love

Saving Williamsburg

What it means to love your neighbor in a rapidly changing neighborhood. By Melissa Batchelor Warnke


Issue 5

June 6, 2013

Mean Streets

A data-driven look at Brooklyn’s most dangerous roads for cyclists. Interactive map by Nilkanth Patel


Can Jumaane Williams, an activist turned City Council member, survive at City Hall? By Eli Rosenberg

Beyond the Kale

How the Park Slope Food Co-op became an institution that will outlast the punchlines. By Hillary Busis


Issue 4

May 16, 2013

Urgent Care Needed

A hospital on life support and the battle for Brooklyn’s health care system. By Emily Atkin

The Four Artists You Meet on Craigslist

Brooklyn stories from everyone’s favorite classifieds site. Video by Natalie Holt and Vicky Du

Not Quite Barely Legal

Inside Brooklyn’s explicit — and illicit — film business. By Rachel Hodin


Issue 3

May 2, 2013

High Tide

Climate change comes to Brooklyn. By Sarah Darville, with illustrations by Daryl Seitchik

A Room With a View

An artist recounts nightmarish scenes witnessed through his studio’s window. A comic by Dean Haspiel

Dirty Dreamer

The Gowanus Canal is 1.8 miles of nasty. Meet the man who's dedicated his life — and his house — to cleaning it up. By Peter Moskowitz


Issue 2

April 18, 2013

Pop-Up Chop Shop

A queer haircutting collective offers a fresh look at a sacred Brooklyn institution — the barbershop. Video by Messiah Rhodes

Brooklyn Dream

Inside the block-by-block fight for immigration reform. By Maggie Astor

Graves’ End

What happens when the biggest Jewish cemetery in Brooklyn runs out of room? By Amanda Cormier, with photos by Yoon Kim


Issue 1

April 4, 2013

The Cheerleader

Marty Markowitz says goodbye. By Alexandria Symonds

The Byas Family Values

Through the ups and downs of two generations in Bed-Stuy, a musical family survives and thrives. By Dylan Suher

Brooklyn Beat

How coverage of Brooklyn has changed. An interactive map by Nilkanth Patel

About Bklynr

It’s harder than it should be to find quality journalism about Brooklyn. Certain aspects and areas of the borough are covered to death (you know which ones), while the rest of Brooklyn gets limited attention. We want to help change that. Bklynr strives to produce thoughtful, compelling journalism that explores new narratives rather than retreading tired tropes.

Twice a month, we publish in-depth stories about the political, economic, and cultural life of Brooklyn. Each issue contains three pieces.

Founding editors

Story editors

Interviews editor

Copy editors

  • Maggie Alden
  • Hannah Laymon

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