First stop Wednesday was the African Burial Ground National Monument. The visitor center has expanded since I was last there in about 2010. Sometimes the outside monument area is closed due to icy conditions but this place is well worth a visit. The burial ground is part of a much great story of the role of African Americans in building New York and is certainly a part of the U.S. immigration story not covered by Ellis Island. The price is free and there are frequent ranger lead tours and the rangers are very available for questions. Many of the gift shop choices will not be found elsewhere. And if you have a National Parks passport you can get it stamped there. Open Tues thru Saturday indoors and 7 days a week when the ground allows outside.
Thursday was my day in Brooklyn. The journey to early free African settlement Weeksville is a bit over an hour by subway (and optional bus) and some walking. But, this look back in time at a settlement that was actually demapped from the grid structure is fascinating and educator Nia does a wonderful job of telling the story. I was in fact the first non-group visitor to mention the Black History Month promotion. I hope more of you follow in my footsteps or come later in the year when their new visitor center opens.
From Weeksville, it was a bus ride and a short walk to MOCADA on Hanson Place. MOCADA is an outstanding museum that captures the vibe of the largest African Diaspora county (Brooklyn) in the country. While, I knew they were having an opening in the evening - their openings are great fun. I didn't realize that the museum was closed until the party but I will be back. I have been to MOCADA before several times.
My last stop in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Museum, was not part of the Black History Month tour although it could have been. They have a fabulous collection of African Art. I went to see the winners of the Go Brooklyn Art Open Artist Studio event that I attended in August. I think the crowd of visitors made great choices. I didn't make it to these artists but all of the works selected were awesome.
When going to a specific exhibition in a museum, it is hard NOT to enjoy the art along the way.
This particular sculpture reminded me of a recent New York Times article about pianos being taken to recycling dumps.
NOTE: While some of you don't do subways because there is "nothing to see". There is some great art underground thanks to the MTA Arts for Transit program. This is from the Brooklyn Museum stop. You can tour some of the Manhattan subway art on friend Darryl Reilly's subway tour.
My Brooklyn itinerary can be done on any day although Thursdays are good because the Museum is open late. The nearby Brooklyn Botanic Garden can also be visited.
You don't have to wait until next year to go to these places!