Photographer 916.276.9149

The Grit

Williamsburg | Ray

f 5.6 1/100 at ISO 2500 - Click to Enlarge

This is my little Bro, Ray.  This summer, my cousin Tony & I decided to take our families and crash my aunt & uncle's place in Brooklyn; it was tight, loud but that's family and how it use to be when I was growing up.  The neighborhood as changed so much that Vice made a video about it. The streets look nothing like the streets of my childhood; however, my aunt's house still feels like home. I took the opportunity to ask my brother if he could comment on how the South Side has changed.

I was born and raised in Williamsburg Brooklyn. Things were different when I was growing up.  We played a lot in the schoolyard that was right in front of our apartment building.  We would play handball, sponge ball and softball and when it was late my mom would yell for me from the bedroom window "Ray, let's go". In those hot summer days my mom would pack a bag and take us to McCarren Pool. For the most part when we played outside we never left her sight and we spend a lot of our summer days on the front stoop of our Titi's house. There was a bus stop in front of the house and we would sit and watch people go by. For me that was the best place to be, but even though we felt safe out front in the daytime we couldn't be outside past dark because back in the day Williamsburg was the hood and it was really bad.

10 years ago I moved out of Williamsburg and I live in New Jersey, but I visit the neighborhood frequently to check up on my aunt & uncle and neighborhood has changed in a big way. All the lots and abandon buildings have been replace by new buildings with restaurants, bars, Williamsburg Cinema, Whole Foods and there's even a Apple Store!  It could be 1am, 2am even 5am and there's lots of people walk around. When I go back and I sit on the stoop it takes me back to the time when I was a kid, to when my family, small tight and together.  At times I make the rounds with my son and he loves hanging out on the stoop and he tells me how much he would love to live here.