Real Estate Roundtable at the Brooklyn Historical Society on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. Photo by Jonathan Fickies for Brooklyn Historical Society.

The Brooklyn Historical Society was founded in 1861 — originally as the Long Island Historical Society — and has been in its gorgeous landmark building in Brooklyn Heights since 1881. It’s a nationally recognized urban history center, and one of the best places to learn about Brooklyn’s 400-year history.

It’s also a great place to learn about what’s happening in Brooklyn right now, thanks to the Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable series. The Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable consists of quarterly luncheons and networking events where industry professionals gather to exchange insider knowledge on Brooklyn’s bustling real estate market.

The first event in 2016 will be the Kick-Off Networking Party on Wednesday, January 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Othmer Library. Guests will have the opportunity to network with top influencers in Brooklyn’s real estate industry, as well as enter to win a seat at the head table at the February Roundtable luncheon. Tickets are $65 per guest, or free for those with a 2016 Roundtable series subscription. The event is sponsored by Citi Habitats, and you can purchase tickets here.


With the Brooklyn real estate market changing daily at such a dizzying pace, it can be hard to keep up. To really know what’s going on, it helps to hear from the movers and shakers behind all the new development.

The Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable is a quarterly series of lunches and cocktail receptions where real estate professionals gather to exchange ideas and share success stories. Developers, architects, brokers, bankers, lawyers and retailers gather to discuss the industry’s most compelling issues.

The next event will take place on Tuesday, November 17, at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Following a cocktail reception at noon in the Othmer Library, the speaking program will begin over lunch in the Great Hall.


This post courtesy of Explore Brooklyn, an all-inclusive guide to the businesses, neighborhoods, and attractions that make Brooklyn great.

Storytelling may have been the very first art form, dating back to a time when humans huddled around fires for warmth, protection, and camaraderie. To this day, we still love nothing quite as much as a good story well told, as the popularity of shows like This American Life can attest.

Below are some recurring events in Brooklyn where you can hear stories that will leave you laughing, gasping, and maybe even tearing up.

The Moth (Gowanus, Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg)
The 21st-century storytelling boom owes a lot to this event series, which got its start here in New York before expanding to dozens of cities across the country. Poet and novelist George Dawes Green hosted the first Moth event in his living room, naming it in honor of the summer evenings he spent telling stories with his friends on a porch in Georgia.

The Moth consists of open-mic Story Slams, where the host draws names out of a hat to see who gets to tell their 5-minute stories on a pre-announced topic. Winners of the Story Slams are invited to a Grand Slam event, to compete against other Story Slam winners. Their Mainstage events showcase longer, curated stories, from established storytellers, celebrities, and other people with extraordinary stories to tell.

The Moth presents at least one event every week in venues across New York. Brooklyn events include Story Slams at The Bell House and the Brooklyn Historical Society, as well as the occasional Grand Slam event at The Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Event photo by Denise Ofelia Mangen via The Moth.


Artists and photographers who were part of the 2010 exhibition “The Gentrification of Brooklyn: The Pink Elephant Speaks,” will gather at the Brooklyn Historical Society tomorrow to discuss what it means to be a working artist — and maybe a gentrifier — living in the borough today. Dexter Wimberley, who curated the show at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, will lead the discussion.

Panelists will explore “how they’ve survived (or thrived) in the years since the exhibition, and share how their art has been influenced by the rapid changes in the borough,” according to BHS. Artists Oasa Sun DuVerney, Nathan Kensinger and Sarah Nelson Wright will speak, as well as MoCADA director James Bartlett. The free panel will run from 6:30 to 8:30 pm tomorrow evening at BHS, and tickets are available here. Above, a painting by Tim Okumura from the exhibition.

Photo by Tim Okumura for Fort Greene Focus


Traditional Jewish delis have dwindled in Brooklyn, but Brooklyn Historical Society is inviting three deli owners to discuss how they’ve survived and thrived as the borough has changed around them. Deli historian Ted Merwin will talk about the “the glories, challenges, and traditions of serving up corned beef” with the owners of Junior’s in Downtown Brooklyn, Jay and Lloyd’s Kosher Deli in Sheepshead Bay and Mile End Deli in Boerum Hill. The panel will happen tonight at 6:30 pm at BHS headquarters at 128 Pierrepont Street. Tickets cost $10 or $5 for members.

Image via Brooklyn Historical Society


Several leaders of historic black churches throughout Brooklyn will gather at the Brooklyn Historical Society next week to discuss how they used their pulpits to shape the civil rights movement. Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Organizations and cochair of Mayor de Blasio’s transition team, will lead a discussion inspired by her father, the late Reverend William A. Jones, who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and led Bed Stuy’s Bethany Baptist Church.

The panelists include pastors who played a vital role in the fight for civil rights: Reverend Dr. Herbert Daughtry of House of the Lord, Reverend David B. Cousin, Sr., of Bridge Street AMWE, above, and Reverend Dr. John L. Scott of St. John’s Baptist Church. The free event will happen at 6:30 pm on Thursday, September 18.

Photo via Bridge Street AMWE Church


Brooklyn entreprenuer Andrew Tarlow is sitting down for an interview with former New York Times “The Ethicist” columnist and broadcaster Randy Cohen tomorrow at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Cohen will interview Tarlow about a person, place and thing that have been meaningful to him for Cohen’s public radio show Person Place Thing.

Tarlow, pictured at right, helped pioneer locavore dining in Brooklyn with his Williamsburg restaurants Diner and Marlow and Sons and butcher shop Marlow and Daughters; he recently opened the Wythe Hotel and its restaurant, Reynard, and publishes quarterly magazine Diner Journal.

The event is free for BHS members and costs $5 for everyone else, and tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite. It takes place tomorrow from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Brooklyn Historical Society at 128 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights.

Photos via Brooklyn Historical Society


The Brooklyn Historical Society is serving up beer and some interesting tidbits from 19th century Brooklyn next week for their first summer beer garden event. In “19th Century Brooklyn: Snapshots of Change,” archivist John Zarrillo will explore quirky photos and documents he found while sifting through the records of the Brooklyn Corporation Counsel. The cache of legal documents chronicles lawsuits, infrastructure changes, and property ownership, and covers topics like the 1895 fire that destroyed part of the Coney Island boardwalk and female prison guards called police matrons.

Zarrillo’s discoveries include a boxing match in Coney Island, a 10-acre farm in East New York, and a herd of cattle in Williamsburg. His “Tales From the Vault” talk will take place June 19 at 6 pm, followed by the beer garden social at 7 pm. The talk is free, and drink tickets are $5. RSVP here through Eventbrite.

Photo via Brooklyn Historical Society


Irondale Ensemble’s “Color Between the Lines” is a musical playing through this Saturday that weaves together Brooklyn’s history leading up to the Civil War, the lives of the borough’s free African Americans, and the stories of New York’s courageous abolitionists. The performance group collaborated with Weeksville Heritage Center and the Brooklyn Historical Society on the production, which draws material from BHS’ recently opened “In Pursuit of Freedom” exhibit on Brooklyn abolitionists.

The original musical is “set in the tumultuous decade prior to the Civil War and explores the tension between Brooklyn’s phenomenal growth during the nineteenth century due to its intricate ties to slavery, and the moral imperative towards anti-slavery activism by a small group of residents,” according to Irondale Ensemble’s website. Tickets are $25, $15 for students, seniors or BHS members, and $15 for matinees. You can buy tickets here for Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances at the Irondale Center in Fort Greene, or here for a Saturday evening performance at the Brooklyn Historical Society.


The Brooklyn Historical Society is getting pretty modern with their events: Next month, they’re hosting famous hip-hop photographer Jamel Shabazz in conversation with music producer and Brooklyn Bodega founder Wes Jackson. The duo will discuss what it was like to chronicle hip-hop greats before they were famous, as well as the evolution of hip-hop culture in the ’80s and early ’90s.

The event is the second in a series called “Told It First-Hand: Conversations with Hip-Hop’s ‘Do-ers’.” Shabazz’s photos have appeared in countless documentaries and exhibitions about the rise of New York’s hip-hop culture, whether the subject was street style, breakdancing, graffiti or urban poverty.  The talk will happen on February 20 at 7 pm, and tickets, which cost $5, include a Brooklyn Brewery beer.

Image from cover of Back in the Days via Juxtaposition Arts