The Listening Project: Brooklyn

 See more at The Listening Project website!

On the face of it, Brooklyn is an international brand, home to hipsters, artists and artisanal food. Things handmade, homegrown, crafted together and decidedly retro in their taste thrive here. Underneath that face, Brooklyn IS retro — it is a place where life stories have been written for hundreds of years. Babies are born, families are raised, immigrants settle and lives are built. While the brand may sometimes overshadow the past, the people who remember a time before Brooklyn’s reinvention are still here to share their stories.

The Listening Project: Brooklyn explores stories of old Brooklyn by connecting with the people who helped to build this Borough for the past 60, 70, 80, even 90 years. In the first half of the 20th Century, Brooklynites worked in New York City’s jazz scene in the 1940s, fought in World War II and helped to liberate concentration camps. They were born on kitchen tables in a time before babies were born in the hospital, they grew up in tenements, played baseball and punchball and stickball in the streets, they didn’t have enough money for a new dress and they remember a time in Brooklyn when only one or two cars parked on a block.

Each video that is part of The Listening Project: Brooklyn represents a single slice of an individual’s life story, but the themes are universal: life, love, children, parents, growing up, work, dying and home. The videos reflect the humor and the pathos, the drama and the mundanity of life in Brooklyn during a time that is past.

The project is broken into three specific segments:  LISTENING where I attentively listened to participants’ life stories, REFLECTION were I screened, took notes and edited each interview into several 2-5 minute segments, and PRESENTATION where the material was screened for the community.

You can read more about the project and screen all of the videos on

The Listening Project: Midwood website.