“Brooklyn is the conscience of New York. While Manhattan tears everything down and changes everything, Brooklyn does a similar thing, but fails miserably at it. It is a crazy quilt of a place. A mongrel place of sorts. It mixes old and modern in a haphazard way. It represents a tiny microcosm of the world—a functional utopia.”
A complex and quixotic urban animal found ranging across southwest New York, the Brooklynite has obtained a sort of mythological status, representing the “you tawkin’ to me” attitude for which the city is known. For over three years, writer Anthony LaSala and photographer Seth Kushner trekked tirelessly across the borough, documenting these charismatic characters in The Brooklynites, a collection of images, interviews, and essays.
Kushner and LaSala, native Brooklynites themselves, sought out the famous and the nameless, current residents and former inhabitants, providing a profoundly comprehensive portrait of both the metropolis and its denizens. Featuring the likes of Paul Auster, Spike Lee, Steve Buscemi, Rosie Perez, Sufjan Stevens, John Turturro, Casey Spooner, Steve Schirripa, Matisyahu, and Jonathan Lethem—as well as local heroes, The Brooklynites features figures from nearly every neighborhood, from Brooklyn Heights to Brownsville, Bensonhurst to Bedford-Stuvesant, Bay Ridge and beyond.
Providing images and musings from directors and workers at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Peter Luger’s Steakhouse, the Coney Island Aquarium, Brooklyn College, the Prospect Park Zoo, Totonno’s Pizzeria, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Coney Island Freak Show, or the Brooklyn Museum, The Brooklynites also features a foreword by Brooklyn-born, Emmy Award–winning writer and producer Terence Winter (The Sopranos, Get Rich or Die Tryin’). Think you know Brooklyn? Fugghedaboutit.
“It’s funny, everyone outside of Brooklyn thinks you are either part of the mob or a tough guy. I was down in Virginia on vacation recently and someone asked me to say something in Brooklynese. So I said, ‘Give me your wallet.’”
Photographs by Seth Kushner
Text by Anthony LaSala
Foreword by Terence Winter
HC, 9 x 10 inches, 160 pages
206 duotone photographs