Welcome to the Hot Seat, where we interview people involved in real estate, architecture, development and design. In honor of the Brooklyn Building Awards, we talked with Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, which is hosting the awards at the Williamsburgh Savings Bank tonight.
Brownstoner: Where do you live, and how did you end up there?
Carlo Scissura: I currently live in Bensonhurst, the neighborhood I grew up in! I just bought a house in Dyker Heights and will be moving there in the fall. I chose Dyker because it is close to where I grew up, it’s a great community, lots of mom and pop businesses, open space, and close to transportation. It’s a classic New York City neighborhood, with a mix of old and new. (more…)
Brooklyn’s current cycling enthusiasm is not new. Today’s bicycle riders are continuing in the grand traditions of biking from the turn of the 20th century, when this two-wheeled adventure was at a peak that has yet to be matched. The bicycle was that period’s great equalizer. There were bicycles available for sale or trade for almost every income group, and the roads belonged to all. A poor laborer could find himself waiting to cross the street with one of the richest people in town. Men and women could ride together, and for the first time in memory, a modern single woman could ride the streets by herself, unaccompanied by chaperone or male companion. This relatively simple steel framed contraption on wheels was a major catalyst for change in American society, and after the bike craze of the fin de siecle, nothing would be the same again. (more…)
The Sunday, April 3, 1898 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle features a special eleven page pull-out illustrated section devoted solely to the recreational sport that had captured the city – bicycling. It was probably the most comprehensive look at the phenomenon of cycling ever assembled in a newspaper before or since, and highlights cycling when it was at its peak, the first time around.
There were articles about advances in bicycle design and new accessories and innovations. The article featured a section about the newest cycling outfits for men and women. There was a story about long distance cycling trips, some as far away as Saratoga Springs, as well as shorter day trips within the five boroughs, Long Island and Westchester.
The state of roadways and the acceptance of bicycles as transportation were discussed, as was the political will to improve the pathways and streets for bicycle traffic. They wrote about the many different clubs that had formed, and lastly, there was even an article about trick riding, with illustrations. It’s fascinating, and one cannot help but make comparisons to the phenomenon of cycling in New York in 2014. (more…)