As 2021 comes to a close and we welcome in the new year, it is important to take a moment to think about the past before moving on to the future. This past year was undoubtedly out of the ordinary – perhaps not as much so as 2020, but abnormal nonetheless.

As the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus spreads throughout the city, forcing bars, restaurants and performance venues to close, it is easy to feel that we’re living in some form of simulated circle. In some ways, the current time is so reminiscent of spring 2020 that the past year and eight months feel almost nonexistent. But, that is far from the truth.

In 2021, we experienced joy, celebrated and grew. At the same time, many of us suffered through hardships and loss. Below, in no particular order, are a seven of my favorite articles that we published over the past 12 months. Although some of the articles were not edited or assigned by me, I believe these pieces, as a cumulative group, do a great job at reflecting the wide range of emotions, experiences and subjects we encountered in and around Bushwick in 2021.

Catch a Game of Ecuavóley, Ecuador’s National Sport, on the Courts at Maria Hernández Park

Ecuador’s national sport has made its way to Bushwick, where it thrives on the red-top courts at Maria Hernández Park.

Allie Iliana Herrera, August 31, 2021

Martin Greenfield: The Bushwick Clothier That Has Dressed Both Obama and ‘The Joker’

Started by a Holocaust surviver, Martin Greenfield Clothiers, located right here in Bushwick, has created custom handmade suits for U.S. presidents and celebrities throughout the nation.

Jackson Schroeder, November 4, 2021

Photos: Bushwick Collective Brings the Party Back to the Block

After a year hiatus, the Bushwick Collective Block Party returned with a headlining set by Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah.

Photos taken by Rafael Fuchs and Greg Moreno, August 30, 2021

Orient Grove: East Williamsburg’s Best Kept Secret

A dive into the life of Dominick Ferro, the primary custodian of Orient Grove, a shaded community garden that has provided an oasis on the eastern edge of ever-changing Williamsburg since 1997.

Matt Fink, June 23, 2021

Teaching ‘Black Lives Matter’ To A Disney Princess

Calvin Z. Heyward, a local writer and educator, echoes some of the struggles Black fathers endure and overcome.

Calvin Z. Heyward, May, 25, 2021

Photos: Take A Look At Bushwick In the ‘80s

A collection of photos from photographer Meryl Meisler’s book “New York PARADISE LOST Bushwick Era Disco.” The photos were taken while Meisler was teaching middle school in Bushwick in the 1980s.

Andrew Karpan, May 28, 2021

A Nightmare Becomes A Miracle

The story of a massive fire that left families homeless in East Williamsburg.

Samy Nemir-Olivares, Jan. 27, 2021

Featured image: Erik Kantar

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