by n'dada vaz
Dec 6, 2017

Brooklyn is home to some of the most iconic winter tableaus in the world. Whether it's the ski worthy snow-capped hills of Fort Greene Park, the odd beauty of fire escapes adorned in holiday lights, or the faces of the brave souls who wait bundled and stoic for the B26 bus; Brooklyn winter is a special kind of wonderful!

To celebrate the holiday season we’re decking the blog with some of our favorite seasonal photos from the Brooklyn Collection. We dug deep to find images that celebrate the character and vivacity of Brooklyn landmarks and people. There are hilarious snapshots from the Our Streets Our Stories collection, an award winning photo from the Brooklyn Eagle, and even a vintage portrait of librarians having maybe a bit too much fun at a 1959 Christmas party at Central Library. Our staff was tasked with picking their favorite photo and sharing a little bit about why they think it's awesome. We hope you enjoy these finds as much as we do.


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Celebrating New Year with fireworks and champagne was one of my most enduring traditions. This picture though makes me wistful: the first day of the new millennium strangely reminds me of Bruegel's Landscape with the Fall of Icarus: everybody is going about their business and nobody notices that the drunken snowman is lonely and sad.

Alla R.
Senior Librarian | Brooklyn Collection


OSOS. Sanjour, C. Millenium New Year in Prospect Park. 2000. Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection
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Oh the Kid's Table - the safe haven from the adults where no one made you keep your napkin on your lap, where your cousin would spit mashed potatoes out of her nose and where you were far, far from political arguments. If only every holiday could be spent at the Kid's Table.

Ally M.
Supervising Librarian | Brooklyn Collection


OSOS. Archer, E. Mugging for The Camera at Christmas Dinner in Park Slope. 1978. Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection
 
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I like this little altar to the holidays in a modest Brooklyn apartment. An abstract tree-like pyramid, made from a table on a shelf with a motley set of lights, including plump Santas, all in perfect symmetry. In a city with tight spaces, this compact and ad hoc arrangement seems like a very New York way to celebrate the season.

Deborah T. 
Special Collections Cataloger | Brooklyn Collection


OSOS. Flatlands Apartment Decorated for Christmas. 1990. Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection

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The image of a snow-covered trail in Prospect Park reminds me of the excitement of every major snowfall during childhood, hoping that school would be canceled and we could spend the day playing in the snow. The first snow every year still brings the same childlike thrills.

Diana B.
Archivist | Brooklyn Collection


Schwartz, Alfred C. Prize-winning Shot.  1952. Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection
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Having grown up with the Commonwealth tradition of Christmas Crackers and, therefore, wearing poorly-fitted paper hats through every childhood Christmas dinner, I feel sympathy and absolute respect for the next-level Christmas headgear exhibited in this photo.

Jen H.
Educator | Brooklyn Connections


Brooklyn Eagle.  Prospect Heights High School Arista Honors Society Fancy Hat Show.  1954. Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection
 

 

 

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Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! It’s snowing outside... There's nothing more exciting than waking up early in the morning and realizing that your day will be filled with hot chocolate, family time, and snowy adventures.

Julia P.
Educator | Brooklyn Connections


Way, Breading G.  Blizzard of 1888. 1888. Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection
 
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I chose this photograph because it combines two of my favorite things –Christmas and baseball. Delivering toys and holiday cheer to the children of St. Giles in this 1951 image are Dodgers pitcher Don Newcomb, Yankee shortstop Yogi Berra, Dodger catcher Roy Campanella, and Dodger first baseman Gil Hodges as Santa himself. The holiday party was organized by Hy Uchitel, president of Republic Television.

June K.
Senior Librarian | Brooklyn Collection


Brooklyn Eagle. Baseball Christmas. 1951. Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection
 
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I think the caption says it all!

Kaitlin H.
Program Manager | Brooklyn Connections


Brooklyn Eagle. Oh Those Drumsticks. 1950. Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection
 

 

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This photo for me speaks to the act of holiday gift giving and the happiness of receiving a new book as a child. It’s a gift that lasted a lifetime, through the written story and its effect on the imagination.

Natiba G.
Manager | Special Collections


Verna Photographers. Winter Book Fair at Central Library.  1953. Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection
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This woman's face as she refills her eggnog glass is amazing. The speech bubble caption possibilities are endless!

N'dada V.
Program Admin | Brooklyn Connections


Bramm, B. Holiday Staff Party at Central Library. 1959. Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

 

Williamsburg Savings Bank - One Handson Place

 

Boys by the fireplace

 

Crying Child Christmas in Brooklyn

 

Coney Island Polar Bear Club

 

Channuka Candle Lighting YMCA

 

Afraid of Santa

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