A Year’s Review in Pictures
2017 was another eventful year for Downtown Brooklyn. We watched the area balloon with art, culture, food, and quite a bit of snow. Enjoy these highlights, and here’s to bigger and better in 2018.
In January, Brooklyn gained a new welcome crew in the form of Brian Tolle’s Pageant - replicas of figures representing Brooklyn and Manhattan that once stood at each end of the Manhattan Bridge. The sculptures, known as “Miss Manhattan” and “Miss Brooklyn,” were removed by Robert Moses in the 1960s, but these re-invigorated ambassadors now rotate atop their pedestal on Flatbush Avenue, welcoming all to our beautiful borough.
Winter blanketed Brooklyn in February, but it was no match for our Street Clean Team. Working tirelessly, our “men in blue” of The Doe Fund plowed, shoveled, and salted the entire neighborhood.
March’s Make It in Brooklyn | Food Innovation pitch contest saw Tinia Pina of Re-Nuble winning the $5,000 prize in a field of incredibly polished finalists. Re-Nuble, a sustainable plant-food venture, was chosen by our esteemed panel of judges, including Chris Manca of Whole Foods, J.J. Kasper of Blue Seed Collective, chef Dale Talde, John Stage of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, and Nick Devane of Foodworks Brooklyn.
In April, we kicked off our Downtown Brooklyn Presents events, which included monthly block parties, outdoor movie screenings, concerts, fitness classes, and ping pong throughout our public plazas. The series culminated in our BK Block Party: Halloween Edition (pictured above), when the howling winds blew in a record number of ghosts, goblins, and ghouls for spooky family fun.
Legendary restaurant Gage & Tollner was brought back to life in May to play host to the first ever Make It in Brooklyn | Restaurateurs Roundtable. Notable restaurant operators discussed the industry, the neighborhood, how to make it in the business, and the future of food in Brooklyn. The panel included Esther Choi of Mokbar, Noah Bernamoff of Mile End, Stan Liu of The Wei, and Anna Castellani of Dekalb Market Hall.
June saw the opening of the much-anticipated DeKalb Market Hall at City Point, bringing an eclectic mix of over 40 food vendors to Downtown Brooklyn. The 26,000-square-foot food hall has become a destination for food lovers and is also home to restaurants Han Dynasty and Fortina, as well as Trader Joe’s.
In July, the neighborhood hosted a block party with the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. Our Spread Love Block Party was held at Albee Square and featured DJ Uncle Ralph McDaniels, local food vendors, dance performances, and great giveaways from the festival.
We partnered with NYC Department of Transportation in September to launch Brooklyn’s first ever “Shared Streets” initiative - temporarily transforming Willoughby and Pearl Streets into a pop-up playground with foosball, ping pong, giant Connect 4, street seating, and Salsa September dance parties for all to enjoy.
In October, we launched Culture Forward, a 10-day celebration of local cultural institutions, highlighting the wealth and diversity of programming available in the area. Highlights included a kickoff party at Gotham Market at the Ashland, a photography exhibition at 80 Hanson Arts, and a BRIC Jazzfest concert for the finale (above).
Make It in Brooklyn continued in November, with our Real Estate + Tech Breakfast at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. This invitation-only event brought together the city’s leading real estate professionals, an incredible group of PropTech entrepreneurs, and the VCs who are funding them. For a full recap, read on, here.
And… December was a big month for Downtown Brooklyn. Eager crowds gathered for the grand opening of Apple Downtown Brooklyn at Two Trees’ 300 Ashland. See DBP President Regina Myer’s interview with NY1 here.