In 1790, 61% of all white Households in Kings County owned slaves, representing 30% of the borough's total population. This was enough to earn it the ignominious distinction of "the highest proportion of slaveholders and slaves in the North." Our walk this week covers the grounds of Canarsie and the Flatlands where many of these slaves resided, along with the courageous and vibrant abolitionist history of Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg and Weeksville. We'll also step into Manhattan to visit the African Burial Ground National Monument near City Hall.
This week takes us further still into the south of Brooklyn, doing a sweep of Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach. Our return path skirts Sheepshead Bay, rolls straight through Homecrest and Midwood, goes up the Kings Highway and heads home.
We stay in Brooklyn this week to continue our survey walks of the area, dipping to the southeast to cover such neighborhoods as Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, Fort Hamilton and Gravesend. The trip up takes us through Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Prospect Lefferts Gardens and Brownsville, grazing Greenwood Cemetery and Prospect Park along the way.
Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted literally shaped the landscape of New York, with an influence that touches millions of lives every day. On this walk we take a day to visit experience nearly all of their local contributions, starting at Morningside Park and hanging a right to take in Riverside. Cutting through the lower half of Central Park, we take the Manhattan Bridge over to Fort Greene Park and head for a ramble through Prospect Park. We come out the other side to take a long stroll down the Olmstead designed Ocean Parkway, then up the Prospect Park again before concluding the day on another Olmstead route, Eastern Parkway. Excluded in this walk due to distance is the previously visited Forest Park in Queens.