As few as ten years ago, it was common for people outside the Northeast who were familiar with NYC to look only at Manhattan. Today, the Brooklyn brand is so big that almost people think of Manhattan no more than our home borough. In a recent Spike Lee short, the acclaimed filmmaker seeks to answer the causes and effects of this development and its relationship with the Brooklyn brand as a whole.
Brooklyn: A Borough for Everyone
When you enter Brooklyn by car, you see borough boundary signs that read: “Welcome to Brooklyn: Home to Everyone From Everywhere!” Brooklyn has been a haven for immigrants from the time it was settled. As New York City grew in size and might in the 19th Century, enclaves of immigrants from throughout Europe and the Caribbean adapted traditions from their homelands to fit lives in Brooklyn. These enclaves, while less clearly delineated than they once were, still give Brooklyn much of its character and charm. Even today, no matter where in the world a Brooklyn dweller hails from, he or she is sure to find others with the same culture and heritage somewhere in the 70 square-mile borough.
Creativity is Synonymous with Brooklyn
Brooklyn’s diverse makeup and history have long fostered an environment in which creative types can flourish. Song, dance, and spoken word, inspired by traditions from places as varied as Haiti and Ireland, have long made Brooklyn a hub for performance art. Brooklyn’s literary history is rich, and writers of all types flock to the city today in greater numbers than ever before. Virtually every successful business in the borrough has a creative element that helps it thrive.
Spike Lee and the Brooklyn Brand
Spike Lee, one of Brooklyn’s many and most famous sons, has played a unique role in the branding and celebration of the borough’s name and greatness. Much of his work centers around Brooklyn and its people, and his role in internationalizing the brand can hardly be overstated. Brooklyn is artsy, authentic, hip, and overflowing with quality. Spike Lee shows that this has always been the case, even if Brooklyn has only recently become a household commodity.
If you’re fascinated with Brooklyn, check out Spike Lee’s recently released short “Brooklyn Made.” Like Brooklyn, the film is pretty awesome. And it’s only ten-minutes long. If you’re visiting Brooklyn in the near future, check it out before you come. While you’re here, keep an eye out for the sights and brands featured in the film. Many of them are within walking distance of NU Hotel.