Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"The Brooklyn Nobody Knows" by William B. Helmreich - A Treasure Trove of Information and Insights

"The Brooklyn Nobody Knows" by William B. Helmreich is the first of five planned books - one for each borough of New York City. Mr. Helmreich is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at City College of New York, and he brings a sociologist's set of lenses to his examination of the disparate neighborhoods of Brooklyn. The result of his research and writing is a treasure trove of information and insights!

He has walked all of the blocks of all five boroughs of NYC, and has made note of features that most visitors to New York would not normally be aware of. This hefty volume is a godsend to anyone who aspires to delve deeply into the hidden treasures of Brooklyn. For each of the 44 discrete Brooklyn neighborhoods, he follows a similar pattern. After describing the widely agreed upon boundaries of the neighborhood, he offers up a history of the ethnic and socio-economic and religious groups that have called this neighborhood home over the changing decades and generations.  He often comments upon the pluses and minuses of the process of gentrification that is creeping across the Brooklyn landscape block by block

I am eager to continue sharing what I have learned about Brooklyn with my many friends who inhabit Brooklyn and call one of its neighborhoods their home turf. This book holds equal value and delight for those who feel they already know this borough well, as well as those beginning their exploration of its wonders and idiosyncrasies.

If you love learning a city by walking it, this volume will be an invaluable guide and companion.



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