The Four Brooklyns

Perhaps the most insightful and enjoyable part of The Civilians’ mish-mash theater piece on the Atlantic Yards, Brooklyn at Eye Level, was a song about the four Brooklyns: Manhattan, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and Florida. Manhattan, from Greenpoint down to Red Hook, handles overflow from the island to our west; the Caribbean includes neighborhoods like Flatbush and Bushwick, with large populations from Caribbean nations like Jamaica; the Mediterranean includes neighborhoods with Italian and Spanish-speaking folks, from Bensonhurst to Bay Ridge and beyond; and Florida includes those nabes with a direct pipeline to the Sunshine State (see Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach). The author of this notion had a failed bid for the Brooklyn BP, and admitted the difficulty of legislating for these competing groups. Atlantic Yards Report has a complete review of the show.
Photo by BritinBrooklyn.

0 Comment

  • *shakes head* huh? that totally confused me.


  • a bit odd, greenpoint at least as a huge Polish population, historically poor, and not at all from manhattan.

  • yeah some artists totally try to compartmentalize concepts that, well, uh, just don’t work.


  • the performance was very good. the artist’s weren’t compartmentalizing, they were quoting a politician who was compartmentalizing and slicing/dicing as campaigning officials do, and putting it to music.

  • if that was the most enjoyable part…

  • “The author of this notion had a failed bid for the Brooklyn BP”

    If the “bid” was anything like this strange and confusing “notion,” I believe I understand why it failed.

  • snark alert…give it a rest everyone.

    it was a theatre piece. after having spoken at length with the music performer it was made clear that they did not embelish the interviews that were at the core of the piece. thus the four cute designations of brooklyn. and by the way, everyone at the performance i saw got the joke. and the inadequacy of 4.

    naming the different brooklyns can be a decent parlor game. i can mame 20 different brooklyns.

    that being said, the piece pulled together more vibe and feel of the last several years events than any blogger/blog has done in less than 90 minutes.

    and to that end almost 1000 people paid to see it. not many bloggers can claim that that 1000 people have paid them directly for anything.

    its the best advertising that the opponents of atlantic yards could hope for given that the local paper cant even follow the story closely. when was the last time a blog about the issue was written up in new york magazine. or spoken about on npr?

    full disclaimer: i may have opened myself up to abuse with the last statement. its a guess. prove me wrong. i hope you do.

  • I did not attend, but I believe this is the policy concerning the cost of tickets:

    “Tickets are free to reserve in advance,pay-what-you-can at the door. No one turned away!!!” (

    So it’s not clear how many audience members paid.

    From my viewpoint, you are unfortunately correct: The issues around Atlantic Yards development continue to go mostly unreported outside the blogosphere.

  • I’m a Floridian, and am completely baffled by the assertion that Sheepshead Bay and Manhattan Beach have any particular ties to Florida.