Brooklyn Heights was an illuminating as well as enjoyable experience… besides my ears and nose freezing off. I met a group of people who looked like undergraduates led by Professor Panetta. I met the group at noon so Panetta took us on a tour of the Heights. He would stop every now and then and lecture on the buildings’ and on Brooklyn’s history. It was fascinating because the buildings from different eras all had distinctive looks. Panetta was like a geologist digging through strata of earth with Brooklyn itself being the earth.
He stopped by two buildings I remember in particular. One had a Greek design around the front door. It was a communal building holding, I think, eight families. The other was based on Gothic architecture. That particular building had a drawing room that protruded out of the building so everyone could see it. It had an old grand piano made of brown ringed wood.
Panetta took us to the Heights above the harbor. We saw a complete view of the city during the afternoon. Even tourists were there, which isn’t surprising. He showed us the massive dirt mounds that damped the sounds of the harbor and the ventilation buildings that told you a connecting tunnel were under them. We saw a plague on the sidewalk of the skyline and a 9/11-memorial picture.
Then we went to the Brooklyn Historical Society. It was very old because a lot of things were made of wood inside, which is also how Alexander Robinson School looks, an old private school from the 18th century I used to attend. Artifacts from the past were displayed on glass cases and there even was a small museum on the first floor. The library itself was on the second floor. It was warm and cozy, but it had strict rules. You had to write with a pencil and you couldn’t take out any books. A lot of them were old and falling apart anyway. Good luck carrying a historical artifact in your backpack. The librarians are kindly and helpful, especially the one named Joanna.