Crown Heights – In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 173) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

The Brooklyn neighborhood Crown Heights
is a fascinatingly diverse and contrasting neighborhood. The population
is mostly of African decent (mainly via the Caribbean with a small
portion of American born people) – but has also a large Hasidic Jewish
community. Over the last few years, a lot of young Caucasians have
moved into the neighborhood and are starting to take over mainly
Franklin Avenue and surrounding streets.

The visuals of the
diverse population and the smells of various ethnic foods are just as
fascinating to me as the beautiful architecture and tree-lined streets. A
neighborhood, which for a long time was considered to be dangerous, is
becoming safer and offers more amenities – but there’s always the
question of the price. Gentrification and the displacement of low-income
families cannot be denied.

Upon my return to Brooklyn, I stayed
in my friend Erica’s brownstone on a beautiful block further east into
Crown Heights. She and her husband bought the house about 5 years ago
and even I, as just a visitor, can tell how the neighborhood is
changing; for better or for worse, is subjective. Personally, I enjoy a
neighborhood most when it’s at this stage, when you feel that there is a
true mix of people and cultures and not an exclusive enclave one way or
the other. Also, I love Caribbean food.

I had a bit of a hard time finding the right music for this video. So I went with a piece by Kevin MacLeod
called “Arcane”, which has some African influences and maybe a bit of a
Caribbean flavor. The song is licensed under Creative Commons: By
Attribution 3.0.

In case anyone is keeping track of timing and
where I’m bouncing around in the world: This video is yet again almost a
week late. Since I shot this one, I’ve traveled to yet another state
(where I’ve had lots of wonderful distractions) and have already shot
the video for this week (174) there, which should according to my
schedule be published on Thursday. And you know what, I might just
publish it on time because I’m eager to share that one. Also there have
been some requests for me to do another vlog. It seems that with all the
changes that have been going on, I probably should. So I just might.

Your Community – Your Choice
Mural in Crown Heights

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