Last week, after a two year hiatus, my wife and I moved back to Brooklyn. We were both longtime residents of Brooklyn, and our two year sojourn in Manhattan was designed as a temporary experiment. Boy, does it feel good to be back. I first moved to Brooklyn in 2005 from the upper west side of Manhattan. I wanted more space and was curious about this thing that seemed to be brewing there. The eight years that followed were some of my best, filled with new and interesting friends, diverse culture and rich experiences. It’s how I imagine Manhattan felt in the 1980s and 90s, minus the crime. The Giuliani and Bloomberg cleanup combined with the massive foreign investment make Manhattan feel sterile and somewhat transient to me today. By contrast, all the culture and flavor for which New York City is known is preserved just across the East River. If Brooklyn has become the cultural pulse of New York City, Williamsburg is its epicenter, and that's where we've chosen to live. It makes for an inspiring home when the blocks surrounding you double as a laboratory for the latest restaurant, coffee, clothing and architectural concepts. In my line of work, it’s also quite conducive to triggering the imagination.
Brooklyn has also become a center of innovation, with more and more startups choosing it as their home base. The leaders of this movement are Etsy, Kickstarter, Vice, Makerbot, Lifestream and Huge, but many more smaller companies are sprouting up every day. Brooklyn has also become a brand in its own right. The Brooklyn Bowl and Brooklyn Brewery are now distributed globally. Brooklyn has a rich history of innovation. The Domino sugar factory in Williamsburg once produced more than half the sugar consumed in the United States. Sweet ’n Low was founded and produced in Brooklyn for three generations. Brooklyn is teed up to produce many more successful companies and I’m happy to be back in prime position with a front row seat. Here’s a historical timeline of the borough that is surely still being written. I’m happy to be back.