The Glorious Mesh

The essence of Brooklyn, the secret to its magic is what I call the Glorious Mesh: that sometimes jarring eclecticism that marks nearly every dimension of life in the borough, including human and commercial interactions, architecture, infrastructure, topography, and culture. Ft. Greene/Clinton Hill near the Navy Yard illustrates this idea vividly. It’s a dense tapestry of housing projects, industrial miscellany, teeming commercial stretches (esp. Myrtle Ave.), storefront churches (lots of those), and Jewish learning centers interspersed with blocks of typically charming brownstones and other interesting dwellings. Workmen, art students, merchants, professionals, idlers/degenerates, and a real multiethnic mélange cross paths by the second in numerous locations. And you can find this diversity of landscape and experience all over Brooklyn. Whether you focus on the micro perspective, the minutiae of neighborhoods, blocks, and corners; or the macro of the whole borough, the intertwining of all the different elements from one section to the next (and their interrelationships), Brooklyn is the Glorious Mesh.


  1. Adam:

    I was born in the Bronx, grew up in Queens after reviewing your blog, I feel like I lost out for not growing up in Brooklyn!


  2. I like the way you put this. I'm glad to be living in such a meshy place :)

  3. Hey Big Sky, not for nothin', but it's nuts to have accidentially happened on to your blog only to see a random picture of the house that I grew up in. Thanks.

    That first pic.

    Truth is, there used to be a big tree right in the heart of that picture, shading the front of all of those houses, for many decades. Were it still there, you might never have snapped that shot.

    Such a nice surprise to see Hall Street again.