Because it’s about Brooklyn.
That would be my pitch for everyone to check out “Brooklyn Bound”1, a new quarterly for the new American city.
For those interested in a more in-depth take, I recently spoke with Benjamin Meadows-Ingram, the founding editor of the magazine about the birth of his new project and all things Brooklyn.
The publishing world is not new to Meadows-Ingram, having previously worked on one of my favorite hip hop publications BLAZE, and currently working as Music Editor of Billboard magazine and executive editor of RESPECT:
“I got my start when I was nineteen working for BLAZE. Fourteen years later I’m still at it. In the beginning, I kind of fell into magazines — I was young and thought it was cool that a music magazine wanted to give me money to do what I was doing anyway, which was listening to music, thinking and talking about it. Working in a creative field always appealed to me. I liked the brainstorming aspect, the fact that I’m making something and I liked the challenge of having to do it over and over again.”
Meadows-Ingram has thought of making a city magazine for a long time. But the actual process of “Brooklyn Bound” started over a year ago, when he was traveling and thinking a lot about what lifestyle magazine Monocle was doing.
In detailing Monocle as an influence, Meadows-Ingram is actually describing a lot of the qualities his own magazine already possess when you browse through their launch issue:
“It’s well designed, it leans towards the practical and informative and it’s interested in the way things — the city, society, fashion, art to name a few things — work and what makes them work. They have all the characteristics that I think should be the strengths of a good magazine in today’s publication landscape.”
“We’re in an information age — information is abundant. But what isn’t abundant is a strong perspective, guides and analysis. Assuming we get to where I want us to be, Brooklyn Bound will be able to deliver all of those things.”
The names attached to the project should be familiar to most — Paul Cantor, John Francis Peters, Jeff Staple and Sophia Chang to name a few. Having this core group help him build a quality product is not something that Meadows-Ingram takes for granted:
“I was fortunate to have a longstanding relationship with Staple and Francis Peters and they’re both just category killers in their fields. That gave me a great start. On top of that, I’d known Angela Zucconi — my business partner — from my days at VIBE and she’s a monster when it comes to keeping books, offices and production back-end. Being an editor for so many years allowed me to reach out to my extended contacts.”
“Our whole team is just stellar and I’m incredibly lucky to have the help of such talented and great writers and editors, not to mention photographers and illustrators. It just all started to seem like something we could pull off on our own and in between all of our other jobs and commitments. It was an adventure, but we got it done.”
Of course, the arrival of the Brooklyn Nets plays a huge part into all of this buzz for the borough. After all, it’s the first major league sports franchise in Brooklyn since the Dodgers left in 1957. Meadows-Ingram sees this as a tremendous opportunity for the community:
“I think the franchise just puts a face on what’s already been happening in Brooklyn. The community is growing and changing and the arrival of the Nets has only accelerated and reinforced that change. As in every borough, pride runs deep in Brooklyn.”
“Now as the only borough with a franchise to call its own, it’s a pretty safe bet that the borough is going to rally around the team, especially once the franchise is able to put a winning squad on the floor. Everyone’s going to want to check out the arena once it’s opened, that’s for sure. it’s new, said to be state of the art, and certainly going to be a draw. Plus, it’ll save those in Brooklyn the trouble of having to go into the city to see games. I know I’m trying to go to as many games as possible.”
For Meadows-Ingram, the Brooklyn Bound project is a way to speak to the themes that make New York such a special place, and also a way to highlight the continual change within the city:
“I think that we’re in an age of transition. We’ve seen seismic shifts in society over the past ten to fifteen years, both at home and abroad. In New York — and specifically in Brooklyn — the whole shape, look and feel of the city has changed. For better or worse, the city is different now than it used to be. The younger generation is growing older and more entrenched, and in the process redefining what it means to be a New Yorker.”
“Hopes, dreams, challenges, realities, even processes - all of these things have changed. And as this generation continues to come of age and assumes power and responsibility across the board, what it thinks and feels and understands about the city around it will become that much more important and vital to shaping and informing the city that New York will become. And Brooklyn Bound was born out of what we felt was a need for an outlet to provide a voice for that conversation.”
And specifically, Brooklyn is a huge part of that change and represents a lot of the wonderful qualities about the city:
“As we like to say, Brooklyn Bound: It’s where New York lives. Now, this isn’t a slight at any other borough, the whole city informs itself obviously, and people live all over. But the thinking here is that the New York ideal - that of a place that is driving art and culture and that can be shifted by one inspired individual, and is full of individuals out to make that kind of impact all of the time - that spirit feels like it lives on in Brooklyn in a way that can be a bit more difficult to find elsewhere in the city.”
“It’s no secret that the Brooklyn brand has exploded over the past ten years or so and the community itself has undergone rapid transformation. We anticipate this trend only to continue in the years to come. Today, Brooklyn is ever changing and evolving - it’s where one of the city’s big stories — if not the biggest. And as journalists, you always go to the story and it feels like the story is in Brooklyn.”
1 You can read Issue 00 of the publication by clicking here.