Walk BK, from Weeksville to Red Hook

The Brooklyn Paper

The Center For The Urban Environment (formerly BCUE), now at its new location at 168 Seventh Street in Brooklyn, concludes its current season with a series of walks throughout the borough and beyond.

Unless otherwise stated, free are $13; $8 for seniors and students. For information, call 718-788-8500 extension 217 or visit www.bcue.org.

· June 28, 1-3:30 p.m., discover Weeksville: Past, Present, Future. Slavery in New York ended in 1827 and by the early 1830s a new Free Black community was formed in the area known as Weeksville. The historical significance of this community was all but forgotten until the land was about to be cleared for a housing project in the late 1960s. You will see what was unearthed from the archeological dig and how it affects the community today. The highlight will be a visit inside the original Hunterfly Road houses. Admission to the houses is an additional $4.

Meet in front of Boys and Girls High School on Fulton Street and Stuyvesant Avenue.

· June 29, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., tour Cypress Hills & Highland Park. This tour will take you through some surprisingly lovely and eclectic architecture in the area of Brooklyn known as the Eastern District. Fine civic buildings, grand mansions, interesting row houses, and even a church by Richard Upjohn are to be found there.

The varied hilly topography is due to the terminal moraine of the Ice Age and makes for an interesting walk up and down the streets. At the beginning of the tour you will briefly visit the Cemetery of the Evergreens, one of the city’s first garden cemeteries, whose park–like setting is the final resting place of some of Bushwick’s renowned citizens.

Meet in the assembly room of the Broadway/Eastern Parkway station, which serves the A/C/ L trains.

· July 13, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., brings a Newtown Creek Cruise. This canalized creek, a tidal arm of the East River, forms the boundary between Brooklyn and Queens. Join to cruise what was once the busiest waterway in the world. In its industrial heyday, it carried more traffic than the Mississippi.

Other waterways may equal — but none can surpass — its historical significance. Learn how this area developed from marshland to a flourishing industrial center and then declined. You’ll hear about the bridges and industries along its edges, and how adjacent neighborhoods such as Hunter’s Point and Greenpoint came to be.

Meet at Fulton Ferry Landing, foot of Old Fulton Street, opposite the River Café. The free is $50; $40 for seniors and students. Pre-payment is required. For reservations and pre-payment, call 718-788-8500 extension 217.

· July 19, 1-4 p.m., take a Jamaica Bay Fringe Bike Tour. More a “two wheeled historical tour” than a group bike ride, this is just the best way to reach this rarely accessed corner of the city. Highlights of this tour: Fort Tilden, Jacob Riis Park, the glass strewn shores Barren Island on Dead Horse Bay and NYC’s largest community garden at historic Floyd Bennett Field.

From there you’ll be riding along Jamaica Bay to the Q train at Sheepshead Bay. You’ll keep a casual pace, just right for all levels of riders. Bring a spare, just in case.

Meet near the Rockaway Park station, at the NW corner of Rockaway Beach Blvd. and Beach 116 Street in Rockaway.

· July 20, 2-4 p.m., discover Carroll Gardens. Join for a walk through one of Brooklyn’s most interesting neighborhoods. Remarkably, only a very small portion of Carroll Gardens (a name of recent vintage for what was once considered part of South Brooklyn or Red Hook) is a historic district.

You will look at it and consider what other parts of the neighborhood may deserve such designation. The area is home to many beautiful residential streets and churches, and is rich in social history, especially that of a longstanding Italian-American community that will play a large part in our story.

Meet at Smith and Degraw streets.

· July 26, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., come discover Grand Central Terminal. Inside and out, this magnificent beaux-arts railroad terminal delights everyone. Learn some of its secrets as we take an in-depth look at its art, architecture, engineering, history and its $200 Million dollar restoration. Highlights include the “kissing gallery”, the “whispering gallery”, and the site of a private apartment.

Meet by the entrance to Track 29 in the Main Concourse.


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