Welcome to Brooklyn!
Brooklyn is the Brooklyn Bridge, Coney Island, and the birthplace of the Dodgers. One in seven Americans has family roots in Brooklyn. Even now there are 93 ethnic groups from over 150 countries.
Brooklyn is a vital cultural center and is now home to the majority of New York City's artist population.
The conference program opens in the world-class Brooklyn Museum of Art, known for its extraordinary Egyptian, African and decorative arts collections, and in the charming and world-famous Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Host UrbanGlass is located in the revitalized heart of commercial and cultural Brooklyn, once the borough's theater district. UrbanGlass, next door to the BAM Majestic and a few blocks from Brooklyn Academy of Music, is only 10 minutes by subway from SOHO in Manhattan and 30 minutes from Times Square. Long Island University, one block away, will house other programs. Rock and roll fans and preservationists will especially enjoy this year's Technical Display to be held in the University's gymnasium, formerly the Paramount Theatre where Alan Freed's weekly shows featured Buddy Holly, Elvis and other rock and rollers.
The G.A.S Conference should inspire a great deal of media attention to glass. At last count there were over 600 commercial galleries and 89 museums in New York. Glass exhibitions will be on view throughout New York City: in Brooklyn, in Soho and in Chelsea. One of the most unusual exhibition sites will be in a gallery inside the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch at the entrance to Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza. The roof deck of the arch offers panoramic views of Brooklyn, the harbor and Manhattan.
Brooklyn itself has a lot to offer: experience "Little Odessa" in Brighton Beach with America's largest Russian community; the Carribbean world of Flatbush; Bedford-Stuyvesant, with the largest African American population on this continent; the Italian neighborhood of Bensonhurst and Atlantic Avenue's Middle Eastern community. The shops and restaurants in these areas offer authentic goods, cuisine and the ambiance of the nationalities.
The newest immigrants to Brooklyn are artists. Check out the studios and clubs in Williamsburg, the art complex and Polish shops in Greenpoint, or explore D.U.M.B.O. The closing party for the conference is there, Down Under the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge with its million-dollar-movie view of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.
The last day of the conference also happens to be the annual Welcome Back to Brooklyn Celebration. Brooklyn-born celebrities are crowned king and queen of Brooklyn for the day as several hundred thousand people take to the streets to enjoy multi-cultural vendors and live entertainment. You'll know you're definitely welcome back!
John Perreault and Brett Littman
GAS 2000 Co-chairs