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Utopia, Brooklyn Style

A sampling of artists' visions

A sampling of artists' visions

There’s a lot of discussion these days about what’s best for Brooklyn, or about what makes Brooklyn the best borough (in some folks’ humble opinion). Changes have swept through, forever altering the skyline and the character of some neighborhoods, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.

The Brooklyn Historical Society decided to ponder the question of Utopian Brooklyn, and pose it to local artists. What would their ideal Brooklyn consist of, and what role do artists &#8212 often responsible for first waves of gentrification &#8212 play in creating it?

The result is Brooklyn Utopias, a series of art shows exploring the subject. Michael Rippens envisions a borough in which bicyclists have parity with cars. Robert Minervini dreams of Brooklyn encased in a snow globe of sorts, and a future when “architectural equilibrium has been reached, and a sustainable urban eco friendly environment has been created.” Eduardo Alexander Rabel and Katherine Gressel see Brooklyn as a butterfly, constantly in a state of metamorphosis. Far as we can tell, no one pictured Utopian Brooklyn exactly as it is now, but many celebrated the diversity of both Brooklyn’s people and its buildings, and the flashes of Utopiaa already created here.

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