Though it’s not Times Square or the Statue of Liberty or any other tourist-friendly destinations of that ilk, Brooklyn is a whirlwind of different ethnicities, rich culture and extensive historical background. It’s difficult to find many surviving remnants of bygone eras in Manhattan, a city that is always changing, renovating and rebuilding. However, Brooklyn wears it’s history on its sleeves–or rather, its streets. At every turn there is a building or a plaque or a monument stands tribute to the borough history.
One particular area is brimming with liveliness, and it also happens to be the area in which I spent my childhood in. East Flatbush stretches from East 98th street to New York Avenue, to the LIRR Bay Ridge and is home to 84,498 working class immigrants that come from a variety of different backgrounds.
Abandoned Theater on Flatbush Avenue [outside view]
If you happen to be in the area and have finished eating at one of the many delicious Caribbean restaurants that litter the area, take the B41 towards Kings Plaza, sit on the left and you’ll catch an old and rusty yet undeniable architectural beauty. Still standing despite the fact that it was built during the late 1920s, this theater pictured above was abandoned during the 70s and it is one of New York’s first out of five “Wonder Theaters”.
The theater is not in business anymore (though it’s due for renovations in 2014) and yet it still stands, perhaps a bit awkwardly in the midst of car dealerships and tiny bodegas. Yet it’s still an integral part of the community and an everyday sight for those who live on the avenue.
Abandoned theater [inside view]
But the history of Flatbush goes even further back than the twenties: the very neighborhood I grew up in, now a paved criss-cross of roads and residential houses, used to be farmland. This plaque, which sits on the front lawn of a local church, commemorates figures who had passed through the area, such as General Cornwallis, George Washington, and Native Americans. Despite being a quiet neighborhood in our era, if you stand very still in front the white washed wooden church, you can still hear the clip clops of Washington’s horse as he marches down the street.
Written by: Marwah