Autumn in New York City. A view overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. Brooklyn Bridge Park. Dumbo, Brooklyn.
On overcast autumn days, clouds cover the city in a dreamlike haze, wrapping everything in shades of grey and melancholy. Colorful trees and structures awaken the slumbering city from its somnambulistic state.
These last attempts of awakening are the ones remembered vividly before the winter’s shades of solitude set in only interrupted by bare branches and cool steel until the city fully awakens in the spring again.
I had severe brownstone envy when I was younger. Growing up in Queens (another borough of New York City), I visited Brooklyn frequently and the brownstones found in Brooklyn tugged at my heart. Their ornate doorways were flanked by enormous and extravagant stairways and every window seemed to be a frame encapsulating an enticing painting.
There wasn’t anything that came close to these beautiful works of architecture where I grew up in Queens. Watching the Cosby Show fueled my envy of course. I had no idea at the time that the exterior shots of the Cosby’s brownstone were shot in Greenwich Village and not in Brooklyn Heights where the Cosby’s fictional residence was located (why they did this is beyond me since Brooklyn Heights has some of the most beautiful brownstones). All I knew was that these masterpieces of architecture just seemed more ‘New York City’ than any of the buildings I grew up surrounded by.
These deep red brick brownstones can be found in neighborhoods like Cobble Hill located in Brooklyn. Cobble Hill was originally settled during the 1640’s by Dutch farmers. The name “Cobble Hill” is said to have come from the large amount of cobble stones which were used on the original settlement site.
The cobble stones were used as ballast on trading ships arriving from Europe. The high elevation point where the greatest amount of the cobble stones was disposed in Cobble Hill, was used as a Fort during both the American War of Independence and the War of 1812. Source