The Blood of Brooklyn

Behold! This bold red brick building in Brooklyn. It is known as the Brooklyn Historical Society. Just this week I paid the building my first of many visits. The BHS(Brooklyn Historical Society) holds the nationally recognized Othmer Library. My class and I  were fortunate enough to spent our time there carefully studying Brooklyn from its roots to  its present by looking at different primary sources of information. Out of photographs, atlas’ and letters, my group studied the photographs. As we looked through them, we learned to gather information from the details surrounding the main subject of the photograph. By asking the basic, who? what? where? when? and why? we recovered knowledge about how the people of Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Navy Yard shaped the life of the borough. Essentially what brought life to the borough were the people, like blood to a body.This was the first time I really understood how a picture is worth a thousand words.

The building itself is worth a mountain of words. Its front and sides facades, its “faces”, interestingly enough, have faces on them. All of which I only guessed one correctly, Shakespeare. The other faces, Michelangelo, Beethoven and Guttenburg are  a clear sign that this building has some powerful history stored inside. As we made our way up the stairs to the library they released a string of sounds that spoke with the strain of of old age. Nothing speaks history the way creaky wooden boards do. Wood was one of the main materials used inside the building. Especially in he library where wooden columns held up a wooden balcony on which wooden bookcases stood. I enjoyed the overall experience in the BHS. It is pleasing to go somewhere not knowing what to expect and come out with a handful of information that helps us better understand how the world takes it shape around us.

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4 Responses to The Blood of Brooklyn

  1. Eliza B. says:

    It is often said that “pictures say thousands of words,” and I like that you realized this by asking questions. When asking questions you can see the story the photo was portraying. I experience this also with Lucy’s letter, not just by what she wrote but what she wrote on and the physical aspect of the letter. You can see Lucy’s thoughts while writing the letter to her husband.

  2. Freddy H says:

    Wow! Extremely well written. Your first sentence grasped me into actually reading your post. “Behold!” was an excellent way to start off your post. I also like the simile used to describe the life brought to Brooklyn. As well as when you mentioned the facade and the faces very very clever. Great post!

  3. Miguel says:

    This post and the most recent comment had me thinking we all had mirror image experiences at the Brooklyn Historical Society. I truly agree “picture has a thousand words,” because this is the source where we get our questions from. I too was in the group that had the privilege to see those photographs, and remember how the librarian stressed the importance of asking questions as one leads to another.

    • ronnyandread says:

      Isn’t it interesting how a theme in “Reading Lucy” was how peoples lives are more similar than they seem regardless of the age live they in? Even though we looked at Brooklyn from different aspects we all got that same feeling that we could connect with the people of Brooklyn at that time by mere pictures, maps, and letters.

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