Saturday

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.