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The Brooklyn Skyline

Dec 19, 2008

by honeybeeproductions

I adore the skyline of Brooklyn. When I first moved here way back in 1993, I remember being so taken with the wood water tanks that stood on top of many buildings near the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the East River. This was ages before Brooklyn Industries came on the scene with their water tank logo and multiple store locations. Over the years I have climbed up on to the rooftop of many a Brooklyn row house to watch fireworks, partake in friends’ barbecues, and one time, to see a meteor shower in the middle of the night. In a city with a street level as dense as ours, looking up where man-made meets sky can be a beautiful respite.

Rooftop Bees on DVD by honeybeeproductions

As a film-maker interested in the urban environment, I wanted to find a way to incorporate rooftops into a project. When I heard about a beekeeper with beehives on his rooftop in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, I immediately thought that he and his honeybees might make great film subjects. I could document the pleasures of both urban beekeeping and Brooklyn rooftops. John, the beekeeper, agreed to let me film him at work with his thousands of amazing honeybees. He checked their hives throughout the summer and then harvested their honey, selling it at Habana Outpost, a local outdoor market. It was quite an experience to be on the roof next to the buzzing hives. The views of the Williamsburg Savings Bank building and Fort Greene Park were lovely and although it was ridiculously hot and I got stung twice, I fell in love with the Brooklyn skyline all over again. 

Evidently there are other Etsy sellers who derive inspiration from the Brooklyn skyline:

Kentile Floors Sign Brooklyn by livepoultry

LivePoultry is a t-shirt company based in Red Hook, Brooklyn that specializes in limited edition silk-screened tees. They take inspiration from Coney Island and the industrial buildings, waterfront and street scape of New York City past and present. This design features the big metal Kentile Floors Sign, which can be seen from the elevated F train as it passes through Gowanus, Brooklyn.

Tracks At Marcy Ave. by kateblack

KateBlack loves the view from her elevated train station so much that she took a photo of it and turned it into a bottle opener key chain.

New York Rooftops by LaurenCastillio

LaurenCastillo’s “New York Rooftop” painting sets rooftop antennae, chimneys and vents against a beautiful blue sky.

Baby Blue Skyline Chalkboard Tee by classattire

Classattire’s skyline t shirt is actually a writable and erasable chalkboard so you can sketch your own drama on to the cityscape.

Coney Island Parachute Jump Necktie by toybreaker

Coney Island offers some of the most iconic structures of the Brooklyn skyline. And while redevelopment plans are under way and will definitely change the gritty character of Coney, the Parachute Jump, the Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone are here to stay. Toybreaker  makes a screen-printed necktie for the Parachute Jump fan.

2009 Letterpress Calendar by brooklynbookbinder

Maggie Campbell of BrooklynBookbinder uses a detail from the Cyclone roller coaster as the background for the July page of her 2009 letterpress calendar because there’s nothing like riding the Cyclone in July!

Wonder Wheel Signed Fine Art Print by sherrijackson

SherriJackson’s beautiful photograph of the Wonder Wheel captures the saturated color, typography and fun of Coney.

Brooklyn From Bay Ridge by samypaden

Another asset of Brooklyn’s cityscape is its proximity to the water — you can see the ocean, the harbor and the river from many spots in our fine borough. This painting shows just that, and is one of many landscape paintings he has made of Brooklyn.

Handprinted Artprint by nateduval

NateDuval’s screenprint of the Domino Sugar Factory on the East River looks good enough to eat, in a post-industrial waterfront kind of way.

Crafting in Brooklyn 8.5×11 Print by lauramccabe

With over 2 million residents, Brooklynites live in apartment buildings, row houses, private homes and even a few houseboats.  LauraMccabe captures the beauty of Brooklyn’s row houses (and the beauty of knitting) in this print.

Puerto Rican Flags by stephanieland

StephanieLand  offers a Brooklyn tableau in her photograph of a house in Bushwick strewn with Puerto Rican flags, against a gorgeous blue sky.

Brooklyn, New York Greeting Card Series, 6 by GreenwichLetterpress

And for the crown jewel of the Brooklyn skyline, let us not forget the incredible Brooklyn Bridge, which has been the pride of our borough since it opened to the public in 1883. GreenwichLetterpress has made both Brooklyn Bridge holiday cards and greeting cards. Get ‘em and send ‘em!

Brooklyn Bridge Necklace by Brookadelphia

Brookadelphia’s very cool Brooklyn Bridge necklace is made of black acrylic.

Cuff Links on Nickels by wabisabibrooklyn

WabisabiBrooklyn’s cufflinks have an image of the Bridge decoupaged on to five cent coins.

Brooklyn Bridge Tote Bag by brooklynglobal

makes both a tote bag and T shirt screen printed with the Bridge’s double archway.

Baby Brooklyn Bridge Onesie by serimony

Serimony has hand block printed a tiny Brooklyn Bridge onto onesies for the newest Brooklyn appreciators. They also make shirts for full grown fans.   

Brooklyn Skyline by Pennyvictory

A water tank and the gorgeous Williamsburg Savings Bank Building both adorn Pennyvictory’s cool canvas tote bag.

Rooftop by homespuncity

HomespunCity makes an elegant silver pendant, water tank necklace. Wear it or gift it with Brooklyn pride.

Further Resources to appreciate the Brooklyn skyline:

The Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment is dedicated to educating individuals about the built and natural environments of New York City. For information about events and walking tours visit

Forgotten New York is a great resource for little-known facts about New York City, past and present.

The Place Matters mission is to foster the conservation of New York City’s historically and culturally significant places. On their website you can nominate a place that matters to you.

Rooftop Films is a summer screening series that brings underground films outdoors at venues throughout New York City. Go see a movie on a rooftop!

Find more documentaries on DVD on Etsy.

Shop Local in Brooklyn | Brownstoner’s Shop Live Picks | Shop Local Series

TRACKS AT MARCY AVE. Bottle Opener Keychain.
TRACKS AT MARCY AVE. Bottle Opener Keychain.
Crafting in Brooklyn 8.5x11 print
Crafting in Brooklyn 8.5x11 print
New York Rooftops
New York Rooftops
WONDER WHEEL - 8 x 8 signed fine art print
WONDER WHEEL - 8 x 8 signed fine art print
Brooklyn - Handprinted Artprint
Brooklyn - Handprinted Artprint
LIVE POULTRY - Kentile Floors Sign Brooklyn- Womens Espresso S, M, L
LIVE POULTRY - Kentile Floors Sign Brooklyn- Womens Espresso S, M, L
Brooklyn Bridge Tote Bag
Brooklyn Bridge Tote Bag
Brooklyn Bridge Necklace SILVER CHAIN
Brooklyn Bridge Necklace SILVER CHAIN
Coney Island Parachute Jump, screenprinted microfiber necktie
Coney Island Parachute Jump, screenprinted microfiber necktie
Brooklyn, New York Greeting Card Series, 6
Brooklyn, New York Greeting Card Series, 6


  • michelemaule

    michelemaule said 8 years ago

    I went to visit my friend in Brooklyn in May, and I absolutely fell in love with it. The images of the Brooklyn bridge reminded me of my last night there. We walked over it right as the sun was setting. A perfect way to end my time there. I totally heart Brooklyn.

  • Slowshirts

    Slowshirts said 8 years ago

    This is a drawing turned screen print from our recent visit to Redhook,

  • kmwatkins

    kmwatkins said 8 years ago

    Wonderful! I want to go see.

  • sweetestpea

    sweetestpea said 8 years ago

    Here's another Brooklyn skyline from peppersprouts It's a cut out skyline silhouette in a shadowbox - very cool!

  • edithweezie

    edithweezie said 8 years ago

    sigh. I just got back from NYC- Brooklyn was by far my favorite borough. Hmmm, wonder if airfares are cheap...

  • pinkshowercurtain

    pinkshowercurtain said 8 years ago

    Cool Stuff! Thanks for sharing. :)

  • poppyandclover

    poppyandclover said 8 years ago

    I love so many of these items...I don't know where to start!

  • mandiesuee

    mandiesuee said 8 years ago

    walking across the brooklyn bridge is my absolute favorite excursion when visiting the city!

  • thirdfloor

    thirdfloor said 8 years ago

    Bought a Toybreaker tie with the parachute jump for a gift for Christmas. They are even better in person! Great Brooklyn images! Thanks.

  • wabisabibrooklyn

    wabisabibrooklyn said 8 years ago

    Thanks for featuring my cuff links!

  • BluCille

    BluCille said 8 years ago

    I don't care much for the city scene. The letterpress calendar is pretty neat though.

  • papismami

    papismami said 8 years ago

    Thanks. Now I have to buy stuff.

  • MayLuk

    MayLuk said 8 years ago

    I *heart* Brooklyn!

  • BROOKLYNrehab

    BROOKLYNrehab said 8 years ago

    three cheers for BROOKLYN! if you want to buy me a present, i'd be happy with any of these :)

  • vyphuisdesigns

    vyphuisdesigns said 8 years ago

    I too love the Brooklyn skyline...unfortunately nothing stays the same and many tall lack-lustre buildings are cropping up. Nevertheless, Brooklyn continues to reinvent itself. That in itself gives hope...

  • ThePeachTree

    ThePeachTree said 8 years ago

    No way! I just saw those Kentile shirts at a craft show in Brooklyn Heights today! And my nephew to be is getting the bridge onesie for christmas :)

  • MariesVintage

    MariesVintage said 8 years ago

    Some really gorgeous items!

  • Kultur

    Kultur said 8 years ago

    Fantastic picks!

  • FromMyEye

    FromMyEye said 8 years ago

    I love Brooklyn! Wonderful selection!

  • NicoAndMooMoo

    NicoAndMooMoo said 8 years ago

    Cool stuff, I miss you Brooklyn!

  • fubabee

    fubabee said 8 years ago

    I love Brooklyn. These Brooklyn items are right up my alley!

  • annamatrona

    annamatrona said 8 years ago

    makes me appreciate my town.

  • ArtWhims

    ArtWhims said 8 years ago

    Those neckties are absolutely stunning! I wish I knew someone who wore ties :D

  • MyElegantThings

    MyElegantThings said 8 years ago

    Great cool stuff thanks! Keep on you are amazing!

  • peppersprouts

    peppersprouts said 8 years ago

    yay for brooklyn :)

  • angeatelier

    angeatelier said 8 years ago

    the most magical thing i have seen was the fireworks with the silhouettes of our friendly water towers against them...

  • jamieshelman

    jamieshelman said 8 years ago

    cheers! i must have walked over the williamsburg bridge 1,000 times, love the domino sugar factory!

  • fofolle

    fofolle said 8 years ago

    If I had a boyfriend/husband that I was crazy about I would gift him those Wabisabi cufflinks for sure!

  • MissLissOriginals

    MissLissOriginals said 8 years ago

    I was just in Brooklyn for the first time a few weeks ago and seeing all of these fantastic items made me nostalgic! I want to go back!!

  • dirtylovesclean

    dirtylovesclean said 8 years ago this would have been great!

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