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‘Brooklyn Spaces’ compendium reveals diverse array of cultural hot spots

Brooklyn BookBeat

May 11, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn Spaces author Oriana Leckert. Images courtesy of The Monacelli Press
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When industry largely left Brooklyn, long a manufacturing giant, a vast number of large, empty spaces were left scattered throughout one of the densest cities in the world.

Beginning in the 1990s, factories and warehouses in various states of dilapidation — and therefore incredibly affordable to rent — began attracting a bevy of artists seeking a place to live, make art, throw parties, host classes and performances, and build innovative products. “Brooklyn Spaces: 50 Hubs of Culture and Creativity” gathers up a diverse array of these cultural hot spots in one timely compendium of the sites that make Brooklyn Brooklyn.

Brooklyn’s creative outpouring has not slackened — on the contrary, its scope continues to broaden. Head to New York’s fastest-growing borough and you’ll find a sprawling artist collective in a former feather-processing factory, a DIY bio lab in a repurposed bank and an experimental distillery in one of the oldest manufacturing complexes in the country.

These sites foster creative communities, hubs for like-minded people to support and inspire each other while welcoming more and more curious visitors into their fold.

Oriana Leckert, author of the popular website, takes us on a tour of 50 of these unique alternative spaces and introduces us to the creative class driving Brooklyn’s renaissance. In their company, she shows us how these spaces are being reimagined and celebrated, presenting a vivid slice of life in the borough that has come to be accepted and celebrated as both the incubator and the arbiter of taste.

Oriana Leckert is a writer, editor and cultural “hipstorian” whose love for Brooklyn borders on obsession. She is the creatrix of the website Brooklyn Spaces (, a compendium of the borough’s creative and underground culture; a writer for Atlas Obscura, the definitive guide to the world’s wondrous and curious places; and a matchmaker for ghosts at Gotham Ghostwriters. Her writing has also appeared on Slate, Matador, Hyperallergic, Untapped Cities and Brooklyn Based.

“Brooklyn Spaces: 50 Hubs of Culture and Creativity” is available May 19.


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