“Brooklyn Girls”: A Visual History via Google Street View

Katie Capri

Catey Shaw: New Brooklyn Girl Poppin' Bottles

Calling “Brooklyn Girls” an “anthem” is a stretch, and a song of the same name actually came out years earlier, but the ode to new wave Brooklyn babes got the Chelsea art school visual treatment last week when the Virginia-bred SVA student Catey Shaw released her certifiably viral music video. In keeping with using terms lightly, we grabbed some North Brooklyn (aka just the realtor-coined “East Williamsburg” part of Bushwick) “landmarks” that appear in the video and decided to compare them to the deep well of photographic history that is Google Maps Street View.

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In the six years since 2007, when the omnipotent Internet searching power started archiving their street view, North Brooklyn has become the codified butt of every “hipster” joke. The joke is tired but screen grabs aren’t. So let’s see what’s changed around Morgan Avenue in a historical millisecond.

49 Bogart Ave (Prime “Morgantown”)

Today, half a block between the Morgan Avenue L & Roberta's, the walls are covered in art community-sanctioned street art.

Half a block between the Morgan Avenue L & Roberta’s, the walls are covered in newly redone mural that I honestly am rarely sober or stationary enough to properly take in.

September 2013

September 2013 actually had a different view than the 2014-shot video.

September 2013 actually had very different view than the 2014-shot video.

October 2007 

In Oct. 2007, there was no ramp and less developed graffiti but Hunter S. Thompson held down the fort.

In Oct. 2007, there was no ramp and less developed graffiti but Hunter S. Thompson held down the fort.

3-25 Vandervoort Place

3-25 Vandervoort Place Now

Catey Shaw dancing in a well-composed shot that asks us to suspend the disbelief that she isn’t farting out what we’ll be nice and say looks like gas.

 October 2013

3-25 Vandervoort Place October 2013

We can officially call this a vintage mural since it hasn’t changed at all in almost 10 months.

May 2012 

3-25 Vandervoort Place May 2012

But it did change drastically from the very involved and more west coast-street art vibe that covered the wall just two years ago.

101-111 Morgan Ave (Brand Spankin’ New Pink Panther)

103 Morgan Avenue Now

As a frequent biker down Morgan Ave, I can verify that this Pink Panther makeover is BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW. Like, it wasn’t here in June.

October 2013

101-11 Morgan Avenue October 2013

This is what the long vacant deli at the semi-triangle intersection of Morgan, Knickerbocker and Johnson Avenues looked like not even months ago.

October 2007

103 Morgan Avenue October 2007

It seems the that the deli’s sign had a “face lift” at some point since ’07. It also seems that Google Maps can’t really keep its street numbers straight. But, hey, they do have a whole “Earth” to control, ahh I mean cover.

38-43 Morgan Avenue 

45 Morgan Avenue

Brooklyn graffiti monsters looking nice behind the staged block party antics at this spot that would definitely never have a real neighborhood block party that wasn’t sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery.

October 2013

38 Morgan Avenue October 2013

Maybe the monsters themselves are supposed to represent the spirit of the corner’s block parties of yester-Brooklyn?

October 2011

38-43 Morgan Avenue October 2011

At first glance, Street View cropped this to say “Occupy Walls”, like the sheet metal was calling for its future mural. Fucking Google’s 1% agenda setting, man.

October 2007

And in the beginning (of Google Street Views' cache), there weren't even walls to tag.

And in the beginning (of Google Street Views’ cache), there weren’t even walls to tag.

If you haven’t already, watch the whole video for yourself here.

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