Why Brooklyn? Look around – Brooklyn is booming … not just with new construction everywhere, but with creative energy and entrepreneurial verve that we haven’t seen in ages.
I am delighted that this endeavor marks my return to publishing, and this time, it is for collaboration with The Brooklyn Free Press. We will publish this section as an insert in the paper every other month. Combining our assets and skills will enable us quickly to reach a wide audience, and to have an immediate impact on the communities that are bubbling with new blood and fresh ideas.
CALABAR magazine is a brand extension of the Prospect Heights-based shop, CALABAR IMPORTS, which I co-own. My goal as publisher is to spotlight home décor and fashion people, practices and places in a print magazine. (Of course, we are online at http://www.calabarmag.com). I will be wearing different hats as we begin this exciting and daunting journey: navigator, provocateur, raconteur and storyteller. Like the producer of a Broadway play, my job is to bring together the talent and the resources that will create a satisfying and enlightening experience for you, the reader. I hope you will join us every two months as we continue this journey… and that you will help us find our way by sending us your comments and suggestions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This inaugural issue draws upon the talents of several Brooklyn residents who offer their take on the borough’s vibrant culture beginning with the insights of award winning poet Patricia Spears Jones in her column, Cosmopolitan in Brooklyn, and style maven Bonnie Sandy Sterling on Fashion. a Bronx interloper, the irrepressible Deirdre Scott, (creative director and president of DesignPolice a design and cultural technology firm) who will generously contribute her opinionated take on a variety of issues. Finally, we examine culture, the arts and music with Laylah Amatullah Barrayn and Peter Kondrat.
Our writers explore Brooklyn design and style; more important, they will seek to uncover the connections between creativity and commerce. This first issue centers on Brooklyn as a crossroads, a working base and source of inspiration for American, African, Asian, South American and Caribbean artists amd designers. It also asks question whether Brooklyn is a “melting pot” for design inspiration. Our writers offer you a taste of the diasporic canvas that is blended in Brooklyn, with cultural ingredients from Haiti to Nigeria to Bed-Stuy.
I am excited to launch this issue with a clear focus and acknowledgement that Brooklyn is the place to be. CALABAR will be the center of a circle, with concentric rings emanating out into the most interesting corners of our neighborhoods. I encourage you to make CALABAR yours and find us again in the July and September issues of The Brooklyn Free Press.
Atim Annette Oton, Editor/Publisher