They say you can’t know where you are going unless you know where you’ve been.
Imagine walking the Fulton Mall at the turn of the 20th century, back when people put on their Sunday best to shop the famous stores here, the bright lights of world-famous Vaudeville theaters reflecting off a two-story-tall elevated train as it rumbles by overhead.
As time moves forward, picture celebrities like Mae West or Truman Capote strolling past the Dime Savings Bank to duck in to Junior’s or Gage + Tollner for hush hush meetings, or just to enjoy the cooking of famous chef Edna Lewis.
A few decades later, it could have been Biggie Smalls, DMX, Busta Rhymes, or Jay Z passing by a Big Daddy Kane vs. Biz Markie rap battle on Albee Square as they made their way to Beat Street Records to buy an album after a day together at George Westinghouse High School.
No matter the era, Downtown Brooklyn has always been at the center of Brooklyn’s renaissance. The same is happening today, but this time, the whole world is watching.
As our neighborhood continues to grow and evolve, it is up to us as local Downtown Brooklynites to understand and pay tribute to our rich history. That’s why the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, in honor of its 10-year anniversary, joined Grumpy Bert Gallery, local artist Steve Powers, and the Brooklyn Historical Society to launch the Downtown Brooklyn Legends Pop-up Gallery. It brings together 21 artists to create unique artwork inspired by ten legends in order for our own neighbors, all of New York, and the rest of the world to understand the legendary past of Downtown Brooklyn.