Now You See Me
Leigh Klonsky observes a changing Brooklyn during daily walks.
Shifting Ground was an open call for visual reports about how the events of 2020 and 2021 reconfigured our relationship with both public and private space. Select entries were posted on the League’s Instagram account.
Leigh Klonsky submitted snapshots taken throughout 2020.
As a New York City public school teacher, I began teaching from home in March when schools were closed due to COVID-19. Each day, I made myself take a walk to get out of the work / Zoom space I was abruptly forced to share with my wife in our Crown Heights apartment. I needed to move and see how my neighborhood was holding up.
I developed a new relationship with Prospect Park—along with thousands of others, it seemed, all of us looking for a safe place to find pleasure, relaxation, and sanctuary. In the summer, during the uprising, my walks became marches. I watched police helicopters in the sky and saw Black Lives Matter signs everywhere, joining the Cancel Rent signs that had appeared around the neighborhood in the spring. Later, I walked by remnants of homes left on the sidewalk by people who had moved (out of the city?), as well as new kinds of architecture created by neighbors who stayed put, arranging chairs or stools outside their buildings. I saw small businesses close their doors for good. In November, I watched my neighbors project Kamala Harris’s victory speech on their new roof deck.
In 2020, private and public became the same and also the opposite, overlapping and also repelling.