Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Silent "H"

In 1638 the fine men of the Dutch West India Company purchased a vast green land along the East River in Brooklyn, NY from a group of hard bargaining Native Americans. In 1802, a real estate speculator by the name of Richard M. Woodhull bought a chuck of the territory and gave Colonel Jonathan Williams the honor of naming his new purchase. Colonel Jon dubbed the land (whose name had become a point of contention for residents) "Williamsburgh," in a vain yet decisive move that leads us more than 200 years in the future to an apartment on Graham Avenue overlooking the Brooklyn Queens Expressway where I sit, my feet on the radiator.

A lot has gone on in the years since Woodhull procured that land and Jon W gave it it's distinctive moniker - most notably for us, the elimination of that closing "h." For the purposes of this blog, the "h" holds the uttermost importance. For contained in that vanquished symbol is the sum of everything that is concealed in Williamsburg -- it's rich hidden secrets, the life stories lost to time, the strange, remarkable characters always on the verge of extinction.

Herein lies the goal of this blog. In the coming months, the Williamsburg Diaries aims to be your guide to the quirks, characters and oddities of this flourishing Brooklyn neighborhood. I've lived in Williamsburg for approximately 2 years now, yet every day I discover something new and fascinating about this unique American town. With any luck, a few of those discoveries will make their way into this blog. Either way, I leave you with the promise of entertainment and wonder of things to come.

Yours truly,

Silent "H"

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