Monday, December 5, 2016

A Walk in Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Part 1

In the beautiful crisp autumnal weather yesterday I took a walk through the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. It's been an up and coming gentrifying neighborhood for several years now, but mostly on the north side of Broadway. The area between Lee Avenue and Flushing Avenue is the heart and soul of the Satmar Chassidic community. The sect is one of the more closed and insular of all the Chassidim, and they maintain very traditional Eastern European modes of dress. Generally, they are very camera shy because many tourists visit the area to photograph the 'peculiar' dress and culture, especially on Saturday which is the Sabbath day of rest - seems inconsiderate to me. I've had some stand-offish reactions from people, but recently the community has become more open and accepting.  I usually try to start conversations with people along the way. This time I was very surprised by a chat I had with a gentleman on Williamsburg Street West. More on that next time.