Historic Bushwick, Brooklyn Walk: From 19th Century Breweries to Artists Today

Sat 3 March à 17:30

Timezone : Paris (GMT+01:00)

Outside the entrance to the Swallow Cafe & Espresso Bar

This Bushwick, Brooklyn walk is along a very scenic route filled with interesting places. I will occasionally comment on some things (the architecture and social history of buildings in these neighborhoods, etc.) along the way, but you will have plenty of time to socialize with others. WE WILL, ONCE IN A WHILE, STOP AT POINTS OF INTEREST.

Cost: The cost of this event is $3 per person. which is paid at the start of the walk. This is for the organizer's Meetup preparation costs and fees. (Please read the "About Us Section" for more information regarding the $3 per person fee for each event.)

The walk is about 6 miles and moderate paced. 


If you are registered for this walk and can't attend, please change your RSVP online from "YES" to "NO". (PLEASE READ THE "ABOUT US SECTION" FOR THE GUIDELINES REGARDING THE NO SHOW POLICY.)


No young children or pets allowed on this walk without the prior approval of the organizer. Thank you for your cooperation.

If you have a personal matter or questions for me, please contact me directly through my private Meetup account. The organizer for this Meetup event is John, the Event Host. This is intended to help reduce the number of unwanted emails from being sent out to everyone. 


We'll first talk about Bushwick's German breweries and the German culture that was once prevalent in the neighborhood. Bushwick was considered a major brewing center from the late 19th century to the 1950's and supplied almost 10 percent of all beer consumed in the U.S. during the height of its production. We'll walk past old brewery buildings, mansions, and churches that were once part of the German community. 

Next, we'll discuss what happened after all the breweries and many other industries left the neighborhood or closed. We'll look at the high crime rate, drug culture, hopelessness, and poverty that engulfed Bushwick in the late 20th Century. 

At this point, we'll have a late lunch, which will be at about 2:00 PM. We stop inside SHOPS at The Loom, which is an indoor mall on Flushing Avenue in Bushwick. Bring lunch or buy lunch (there are few food shops [just a pastry and health food stores] inside of the mall but there are food stores outside of the mall.) Restrooms will also be available inside of the mall.

After lunch, we'll look at how artists and others have been colonizing Bushwick's industrial zone in the 21st Century and making it the epicenter of "Brooklyn Cool." We see many of Bushwick's streets lined with outdoor art/murals as well as the creative types and new businesses that are settling in the neighborhood.

Meeting Time/Place: The meeting time is (before lunch) at 11:30 AM. The meeting place is outside the entrance to The Swallow Café & Espresso Bar at 49 Bogart Street (located near Grattan Street) near the neighborhood of Bushwick. (A restroom is available in the back of The Swallow Cafe & Espresso Bar.)


Take the "L" subway train to the Morgan Avenue station. Depending on where you exit from the Morgan Avenue station, you will be one to three blocks away from The Swallow Café & Espresso Bar.

In Manhattan, you can connect from another subway train to the "L" subway train at the following stations: 8th Avenue/14th Street (A, C, E), 6th Avenue/14th Street (F, M, 1, 2, 3, and PATH), and Union Square/14th Street (N, D, R, M, 4, 5, 6).

According to the MTA website, the "L" subway train is running normally on Saturday, March 3rd.


Drivers will be able to find free street parking somewhere around the meeting place. However, this is a one-way walk. We will not be going back to the starting point. For the drivers who want to get back to their cars parked at the starting point, the ending point (2 Wyckoff Avenue) will not be too far away (about 8 or 9 blocks) from the starting point. You would walk via Flushing Avenue (a main street) back to Bogart Street. (Several drivers did this last year.)


This walk will finish between 4:30 PM and 4:45 PM at 2 Wyckoff Avenue, which is near Troutman Street. This is near L subway line at Jefferson Street (which is one stop away from the "L" subway line at Morgan Street) and less than an half of mile from the starting point. If you want to get back to the starting point, you would walk via Flushing Avenue back to Bogart Street.

Rainy/snowy weather or very cold weather or cold and windy conditions will cancel this walk. Therefore, if it is rainy/snowy weather or very cold weather or cold and windy conditions or the forecast is for rainy/snowy weather or very cold weather or cold and windy conditions, I will email about the cancellation notice sometime before 9:00 AM on Saturday morning.  If I don't email a cancellation notice, I plan to be at the meeting place. 


Illustration of the Ulmer Brewery complex in the 19th Century. William Ulmer operated the brewery in Bushwick until he retired in 1900. His wife, daughters and their husbands then took over the business. The brewery reached its peak production in 1908 but the family closed the brewery at the start of Prohibition in 1920. However, at that time, the Ulmer family had already diversified their business and were much more heavily invested in real estate than beer. (Sources Brownstoner /Brooklyn Historical Society [Eugene L. Armbruster Photograph and Scrapbook Collection])

Photo of the Liebmann's Sons Brewery, the makers of Rheingold beer. Anti-German sentiment during and after World War I and Prohibition in 1920 nearly put Liebmann's Sons out of business. Liebmann's Sons survived Prohibition [masked]) by producing lemonade, root beer and apple cider, ice, and and cereal beverages, which was a contemporary term for “near beer.” (Sources Brownstoner/The New York Daily News)

An advertisement from the Huber-Hittleman Brewery, which was based in Bushwick. With the vast increase in the population of German immigrants after 1848, the new lager style of beer started to become very popular during the later part of the 19th Century. In 1850, there were only about a half-dozen taverns and tap rooms in New York City that sold lager, and all of their customers were Germans immigrants. Eventually the general population starting drinking lager beer, and by 1870, ale had fallen out of favor and lager was largely accepted as the “universal” beer of New York City.(Source The New-York Historical Society)

Photos of Bushwick after the 1977 Blackout.  Bushwick saw some of the most devastating damages and losses due to arson, looting, and rioting. One week after the Blackout, a fire was started in an abandoned knitting factory and this borough-wide‐alarm fire raced through seven blocks in Bushwick, destroying 23 buildings. This fire was in addition to all the other fires, mostly from arson, that destroyed buildings during and after the Blackout. (Source Brooklyn Visual Heritage Project [Brooklyn Historical Society])

Photos of Bushwick Today. Early in the 21st Century, artists and hipsters who were being displaced by Williamsburg's rising rents (or disaffected by it having become tamer) began to move along the L subway line to Bushwick in search of cheap spaces and new frontiers. The L train afforded ready access to Williamsburg's shops and social life and Manhattan. (Source Freudenheim, Ellen, The Brooklyn Experience, Rutgers University Press, May 20, 2016)

Source: https://www.meetup.com/fr-FR/NYC-and-NJ-Walks-Explore-Architecture-Art-History-Sculpture/events/247380450/