Walkabout: Have an Historic Brooklyn Christmas!

Photo via Brooklyn Public Library

For Christmas, I present the words of one of Brooklyn’s most famous sons, and some historic images of Brooklyn winters and Christmases past. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Christmas in Brooklyn

1950 Photo via Brooklyn Public Library

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry (excerpt) by Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Others will enter the gates of the ferry, and cross from shore to shore;
Others will watch the run of the flood-tide;
Others will see the shipping of Manhattan north and west, and the heights
of Brooklyn to the south and east;
Others will see the islands large and small;
Fifty years hence, others will see them as they cross, the sun half an
hour high;
A hundred years hence, or ever so many hundred years hence, others will
see them,
Will enjoy the sunset, the pouring in of the flood-tide, the falling back
to the sea of the ebb-tide.

It avails not, neither time or place—distance avails not;
I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so
many generations hence;
I project myself—also I return—I am with you, and know how
it is.

Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt;
Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd;
Just as you are refresh’d by the gladness of the river and the bright flow,
I was refresh’d;

Christmas in Brooklyn

1951 Photo via Brooklyn Public Library

Christmas in Brooklyn

1952 Photo via Brooklyn Public Library

Christmas in Brooklyn

1953 Photo via Brooklyn Public Library

Christmas in Brooklyn

Christmas in Brooklyn

Photo via Brooklyn Historical Society

[Photo by Suzanne Spellen]

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