June 30, 2016

Brooklyn is the largest of New York City’s boroughs, and it’s caught a lot of flack for being the freshly-gentrified home to New York City’s hipsters. But tonight in this special episode of MetroFocus, we’re only showing you the best of the borough from Coney Island to Bushwick.

“If you’ve lived in Brooklyn for generations, or arrived last month, this book is a splendid companion in the delicious task of exploring the grandest New York borough. From art and architecture to the surprise of urban zoology, everything is here: tenements and mansions, ruined alleys and great boulevards, bridges and tunnels, amazing beaches and beautiful parks, and above all, the sky. Pull up a chair and read. Even better, head for the street, this book in hand, and look around.”

—Pete Hamill, award-winning author and journalist

“Awesome Brooklyn deserves a book as inclusive as the borough itself is, and this title delivers. A nifty map, “Brooklyn at a Glance,” presents an overview of the area. The five sections include: “Welcome to Brooklyn,” “Old Brooklyn and New Brooklyn,” “The Neighborhoods,” “Where To Go and What To Do,” and “Visitor Information.” There are only a few (but very good) pictures, such as a seasonal factory that produces handmade matzo for Orthodox Jews. A staggering list of festivals includes: the Brooklyn Book Festival, AfroPunk Fest, and Grand Comics Festival.

The “Neighborhoods” section features maps, accommodations, events, and tips. In addition to restaurants, “Eating and Drinking” lists food trucks, farmers’ markets, and the cookbook shelf (a list of Brooklyn-oriented books). “Shopping” mentions an impressive 25 bookstores, not counting six specialist shops! “Visitor Information” offers DIY tours such as the Battle of Brooklyn and Revolutionary War sites by neighborhood.

Also included is an impressive monthly calendar and the usual accommodation suggestions, transportation and safety information, and blogs. An amusing and helpful glossary contains 30 words (e.g., slice: a slice of pizza, not an entire pie). The closing bibliography of 75 works set in Brooklyn is the perfect conclusion.

VERDICT Even those readers who think they know everything about this New York City borough will probably find a surprising tidbit in these pages.”

— Library Journal

“This book is an invaluable resource for tourists and locals alike. Using first hand observations from a fascinating selection of seasoned Brooklynites, Ellen offers us great insights about Brooklyn. The rich descriptions of Brooklyn’s varied neighborhoods are chock full of history, connecting us to a massive list of historic churches, community gardens, and small shops that are all worth a trip. The Brooklyn Experience provides countless opportunities for discovery whether you are a first time tourist, or a long time resident. If you need a dose of the Dodgers and Coney Island, you’ll find it here; but if you want to be surprised and delighted by lesser know people and places, you’ll find those here too–from the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival to the Kentler International Drawing Center, to Rocky Sullivan’s of Red Hook. This book is a “must read” resource for any adventurous urban explorer.”

—Deborah F. Schwartz, President, Brooklyn Historical Society

Publishers Weekly: Exploring New Options: New Travel Books for 2016… Feb 12, 2016

“Rutgers University Press, whose travel books typically focus on the Garden State, has been expanding into the Empire State. In May, the press is publishing The Brooklyn Experience: The Ultimate Guide to Neighborhoods & Noshes, Culture & the Cutting Edge by Ellen Freudenheim, a pioneer in Brooklyn guidebooks; St. Martin’s published three editions of an earlier Freudenheim title, Brooklyn!, beginning in 1991. The new title features a foreword by Brooklyn Brewery cofounder Steve Hindy and includes commentary and essays from the borough’s chefs, artists, and entrepreneurs.”

—Publishers Weekly

Our City

opens March 10, 2016

Artwork by Liz Hammy
Artwork by Liz Hammy

Brooklyn Children’s Museum (BCM) announces a new interactive exhibit, Our City a contemporary artists that examines the components that make up a neighborhood. Children will take on the roles of urban planners, artists, architects, and visionaries as they talk about the places they call home. Our City includes artwork by Aisha Cousins, Brooklyn Hi-Art Machine (Oasa Duverney and Mildred Beltre), Elizabeth Hamby, James Rojas, Priscilla Stadler, and Rusty Zimmerman.

Our City seeks to challenge visitors to consider what it means to be a neighbor and what makes a neighborhood. Who do you greet when you step outside or walk down your street? What are the characteristics of a happy and healthy neighborhood? What do the people in your neighborhood look like? What do the buildings look like? What’s your favorite thing to do in this place? This exhibition creates an opportunity for children from different parts of the city to be in conversation with each other and their caregivers about these questions. Additionally, it champions curiosity and lifelong learning by way of inquiry-based teaching, which allows creates opportunities for children to lead the conversation.

On view, March 10 to September 4, 2016

Support for the Our City exhibit is provided in part by Ellen Freudenheim’s 2016 guidebook The Brooklyn Experience.