Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Ocean Parkway as the Avenue Foch of Brooklyn

October 12th, 2008 · 1 Comment

[Photo courtesy of nautical2k/flickr]

Yesterday, the Times decided to check out Brooklyn’s Ocean Parkway. Writer Kareem Fahim describes the parkways as:

Elegant and sketchy, welcoming and insular, the striated band of roadway, trees and people called Ocean Parkway both reflects Brooklyn and divides it with a thick green line. It was designed about a century and a half ago as a place to promenade, to socialize, to pleasure-drive or to settle, on a street that looks like a park. The architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux were inspired by the grand tree-lined boulevards of Europe, like Avenue Foch in Paris and Unter den Linden in Berlin.

He continues, “In the decades that followed, the country folk came from other countries, and for most of them, working-class people, survival would do just fine.” The story goes on to vibrantly illustrate the rich diversity of the area and touches on past celebrity residents like Lauren Bacall. The story does justice in describing the distinct architecture that runs down the over 5-mile path and the park culture of playing chess, bike riding and long days lounging peacefully. One point that needs to be made, however: the story fails to touch on the crime and racial tensions that are all too common on both Ocean Parkway and its northern counterpart Eastern Parkway. Do check out, A Tree-Lined Boulevard That’s a Park and a Living Room.
E.C. Stephens

Tags: Kensington

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Xris (Flatbush Gardener) // Oct 13, 2008 at 9:44 am

    In the article, the only hint of discord was the description of the “Egyptian Jew” who seemed “not to care for” her Syrian neighbors. Perhaps it was the barbecue.