If you live in New York City or have spent some time there in November or December, then this must be a familiar sight to you: the Christmas tree sellers and their stands on street corners all throughout the City. Twenty-something guys with lumberjack blouses and sturdy boots hold up large Christmas trees for dads and moms with their children, as they pick and choose their perfect size. I spent some time with Tristan and Laurent, who sell trees on a street corner in Crown Heights near prospect Park, to document their work and the lifestyle that comes with the job.
On a (luckily) not-so-cold December day, I set out on a long walk through Brooklyn. I circumnavigated its biggest park, Prospect Park, by following the blue line I had previously drawn onto the map. It has surprised me from the beginning that neighborhoods here have such distinctive characters and demographics. While Brooklyn is an incredibly diverse borough, that diversity comes in little pockets that continue to exist in largely separate ways. I decided to walk around Prospect Park to observe the surroundings change as I made my way through the different neighborhoods and the borders between them, where they meet, mix and part again.
Saturday Dec. 1st I attended the New York celebration of the ‘Sinterklaas’ holiday, organized by The Netherland Club of NY. As a Dutch equivalent of Christmas, Saint Nicholas is an elderly white man with a red suit and a long white beard, who gives presents and candy to children. Yet instead of having elves as helpers, Saint Nicholas’ servant is the figure of ‘Black Pete’.
After a hot-hot summer, the fall season has finally arrived in New York City. For one thing, I couldn’t wait for those air conditioners to be switched off again, as New Yorkers seemed to love those a little too much… Surprisingly, I spent a lot of time this summer feeling cold, because being inside a subway train or a public building for a mere twenty minutes can already be enough to turn you into a frozen popsicle. Along with the end of summer, the cities’ famous rooftops bars have started to close down for a season of hibernation. Last weekend, the clock has been set back to winter time and soon, Christmas lights will start to give ambience to the early 5 pm darkness we all have to get used to again (however reluctantly…).
Here is where I share my explorations of New York City with you!