In ALL, PHOTOGRAPHY by Stephanie Klein33 Comments

Library_0110Okay, I wouldn’t use the word afraid because it’s the wrong word.  I just don’t visit Brooklyn very often.  I could say it’s a convenience thing because that’s what most Manhattan-dwelling women who never visit Brooklyn would say.  But it’s only a short subway ride, or walk, away.  So that’s a crapass excuse.  It’s the idea of it.  Brooklyn.  It’s another borough, and what the hell would I do once I got there?  That’s what I thought.  It’s what I guess I still think.  Unless I’m going to NorthSix for a concert or meeting a friend who lives there, why would I go?  Because it’s something to do.  A new restaurant to try.  Yes, we know.  We all fucking know.  I told you; afraid wasn’t the right word.

It’s also only a subway ride to the zoo or Coney Island, but that’s a damn field trip, something you plan for.  So when we who live and work in Manhattan pull the, "I don’t know.  What do you want to do today?" Understand, it’s an activity, something that sounds new and like a field trip, to visit Brooklyn. I wouldn’t be bringing a bagged lunch.

When I was growing up on Long Island (another field trip), I’d listen to Z100 radio and hear people phone in from Brooklyn.  "Brooklyn in da house," Elvis would say to his morning listeners.  So I assumed it was full of dark-haired girls who wore their hair and jewelry too big.  Name plate jewelry.  I stopped believing it the first time I walked Smith Street and realized it felt like Boston’s Newbury Street.  I try to visit somewhere new and not compare it to what I already know.  But it’s hard not to draw comparisons, and to be completely honest, that was just a lie.  I’ve never tried not to compare places.  I never understood that thinking, the way people say you should visit somewhere, clean.  Why?  What’s wrong with comparing?   

When I was dating like it was my job, I ruled men out if they didn’t live in Manhattan.  It wasn’t snob-factor as much as knowing myself, knowing I’d want to date someone I could see every night, without having to worry about how he’d get home.  Or if I went to his place, how the hell would I get home late at night?  Yes, taxi.  We know.  We know.  But still.  Who’s finding a taxi late-night?  It’s a pain in the ass dating someone who lives in another borough.  Hoboken.  It’s the same deal.  It had nothing to do with the type of person and everything to do with the type of person I am.  Lazy.  Today, I wasn’t lazy. 

Today I hooked it to Red Hook.  See what I did>>


  1. Bay Ridge…the best of Brooklyn. Take a walk on shore road and admire the verrazano bridge and million dollar homes..afterwards enjoy a cup of coffee on 3rd ave. Definitely worth the trip.

  2. What that Phil's brother in the pic? They look very similar, the other guy is just shorter! Very handsome men! :)

  3. Stunning…your photographs. How happy I am that you ventured out of your comfort zone. I remember visiting Coney Island a few years back on a trip east. Would that I could have had your talent…your eye. How much more I would have appreciated the "view."

  4. I love the photographs, especially the last one (which was very haunting) and the black and white shot of the men's legs.

  5. Happy Sunday –
    I'm new to your blog (and newish to blogging), and I'm already hooked. I envy your photography skills and your candor – keep it comin', chickadee!

    As for Brooklyn, I have an inexplicable fascination with it. I live in none of the boroughs (unless you buy into the "Philadelphia is the 6th borough" hype), and of course I prefer Manhattan…yet, I adore Brooklyn (despite having been there only once). Weird.

  6. The Manhattan ideal sounds very insular put like this. Is this attitude urban-American specific or just a New York thing? I've been to NY of course, but insularity of inhabitants is rarely on the agenda when experiencing any city as an outsider.

  7. I love the photographs here.

    I've been in Manhattan for nearly a year and a half, and I've been to Brooklyn once. I don't want to go alone, and it's hard to convince other Manhattanites to go with me.

  8. I don't care for Brooklyn.
    In fact, even Manhattan has become nothing but a collection of cold, concrete steel structures that look alike and celebrity chefs trying to convince us that something that is "pureed" is considered food. But it's in its hey day, which will probably last another 5-10 years after which, presumably , Ms. Klein will start blogging from Shanghai.

  9. Did you go to Bistro 360? There apparantly are some great restaurants in Red Hook but its just so out of the way…How did you get there? Did you walk down Smith from the subway? That's intense. Well congrats on your field trip–pics look great!

  10. Great pics: Brooklyn Volume 2. You just can't go wrong with the bricks and stars combo!

    That old trolley looks as woeful as can be.

  11. By all means, stay away from Brooklyn. We're doing just peachily without you.

    By coming here, you're not an adventuress – you're just terribly, terribly late to the game.

  12. Great photos! Going anywhere you don't normally tread is cool. The corner market, Brooklyn, wherever. You've inspired me to do the same with my sketchpad.

  13. Great Pics Stephanie! It looks like it might have been cold there today? It got to about 40 here in Houston today- and I thought (for a few minutes) that I was back up North! ;) Post more of the city please!

  14. Not only should you stay away from Brooklyn, but it would behoove you to convince your friends to do the same. I can't tell if you're retarded, or just terrifically bland.

    It's so typical…the Long Island Princess residing in Manhattan, posting such asinine shit about a borough many of us not only hold dear to our hearts, but call home. A lot of us have ventured a long way and endured REAL hardships for the privilege of doing so.

    You should be grateful I didn't show this to my mom…I'm as sweet as pie compared to what she would have written. :)

  15. All of your photos are wonderful. Great composition and colors. Might I ask, what equipment those were shot on?

  16. Man, you kill me sometimes. That's so funny – not dating people because they live in a different borough. Hahaha. You really are lazy. You kill me.

  17. I've never been to New York (or Brooklyn). But the thing I like about your posts is that, with the combo of the pics and your wildly descriptive writing, I can visualize exactly what you're talking about! I feel like if I ever went to New York, I'd already have a bead on the pulse of the town, thanks to you.

    Hope New Year has started as wonderfully as you deserve!

  18. Ah those pictures bring back memories of when I lived in Red Hook from 1998-2000. I love love Brooklyn. Oddly, when I lived there I felt the same way about going to Manhattan as you feel about going to Brooklyn. Major field trip! I fell in love with my husband in Red Hook. We wanted to get married on the barge in Red Hook, but the day we went to look it over, the end of the pier collapsed and fell into the river. We took it as a sign as got married at a loft in DUMBO. After we had junior and had to move out of our tiny apartment and buy a place, we couldn't afford to buy anything in Red Hook. boo hoo.

  19. haha, i have been meaning to check out brooklyn, too. and i live on the L line (on 14th), so williamsburg is closer to me than, say, the west side of manhattan. but alas…i imagine brooklyn is like that fictionalized other-worldly version of new york in the royal tennenbaums. familiar yet bizarre. i have visions of that "gypsy cab co."

  20. To give credit where it is due, these photos were taken by both The Suitor and I.

  21. the funny thing is – i can relate. even living in the literal middle of nowhere, there are treasured places here that people travel to (all the way from NYC even) that i never visit. and they're only 20 minutes away and as close to heaven as you can get when you love mountains, rock climbing, or brisk cool air.

    today, having nothing to do, i think i'll venture into my own backyard and explore the scenes other only are able to dream of.

  22. Hi Stephanie…I love the pictures…my experience with Brooklyn was crossing the Brooklyn Bridge to get to Manhattan and Kleinfelds to look at wedding dresses. Your eye and perspective show me things I've never seen there.

    Nice job! Alice

  23. Aww dudette, you need to get out more. I'm a Bronxite, but Brooklyn is nice. More good Italian & Jewish places there than in Manhattan. And if you visit some of the areas without nice reputations, you can see some remarkable brownstones that can bring tears to your eyes, but only if you like places with 5 fireplaces and 150 year-old mahogany paneling with intricate detailing lining the stairs.

    People that are not true NYers bring with them their preconceived notions of what's good and bad about the outer boroughs. The Bronx Zoo is one of the best zoos in the entire planet, with two of the best Italians restaurants in NY within a mile, and a lot of people allow their biases to dissaud them from visiting.

  24. I'm over downtown brooklyn anyway. Sheepshead Bay – southeastern Brooklyn, on the water, near the beach…

    I grew up there, and to me and my friends, Red Hook was like another city. So was the rest of downtown Brooklyn – might as well be in Manhattan.

    I love the parts of Brooklyn that are not "in" – they are not being gentrified, they are not cool in anyway. They are more real to me – same old stores, restaurants and families for the past 20, 30, 50 years. It's nice!

  25. In Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums, one theme is the idea that "comparisons are odious." After I read that I tried for a year not to compare so much (I was very young). Anyway, I think they can be dangerous because they reduce the new experience, superimpose it onto the old one, and you just keep seeing the same things again and again. When you look at something with new eyes, you notice details in the universe you never knew existed. But you know this, you are a writer!
    Love the photos.

  26. love the photos and brooklyn is the best place on earth! lived here for 6 + years, never moving back to the island….

  27. I dated a guy lived in Harlem. I was staying in Queens for the weekend. The walk of shame the next morning was no fun. If I could afford it, I'd live in Manhattan when I move back to NYC (Harlem, specifically). But I can't so I'll stay in the Bronx. It's even further than Brooklyn.

  28. i lived in red hook for four months last year before moving to harlem. took some of my best photos while living there. i kinda get the not dating guys out of manhattan. when i lived in brooklyn, i rarely went uptown. now that i live in harlem, only a few things will get me to brooklyn. not a snob thing, just not a fan of an hour and a half subway right one way….
    i know this is old, just wanted to comment!

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