Daily Archives: February 4, 2008

Varkens Hook Road – formerly Varkens Hook Lane – Canarsie, Brooklyn

Varkens Hook Road @ Farragut Road & East 87th Street

Varkens Hook Road @ Farragut Road & East 87th Street

Varkens Hook Road @ Farragut Road & East 87th Street

Varkens Hook Road @ Glenwood Road & East 86th Street

Varkens Hook Road @ Glenwood Road & East 86th Street
© Frank H. Jump

There is much debate over the etymology of this road’s designation. Varken simply means “pig” or “hog” in Dutch and is attributed to any domestic swine (or person resembling one). Varkensvlees means “pork meat” as well. Hook, which the English adapted from the Dutch “hoek” does mean corner. Now if in fact this was a place where pigs were either sold or slaughtered is up for speculation. There is a Varkens Hoek in Suid Afrika (South Africa).

Another Dutch appellation suffix which often appears in New York place names is Kill (as in Fresh Kill or Fish Kill – which could mean “fisherman’s cove”) may derive from the Dutch word kuil. In modern colloquial Dutch, kuil could mean “pot hole,” but can be used for any dent or cave (as in a caved in beehive hairdo), ditch, or perhaps “inlet” or small waterway one may have come across when exploring uncharted territories. Vischers Hook – as mentioned in the Flatlands history below – may mean “fisherman’s corner.” A fishing hook would be vissen haak.

Varkens Hook Road, which runs roughly north/south, now only stretches the length of one block between Farragut and Glenwood Roads (both of which take an odd and unannounced jog south after East 56th Street due to the bisection by the commercial railroad that runs from the Canarsie Market to the Brooklyn Waterfront – see map) but was three times longer according to archival maps dating from the early 20th-century (see below). While travelling east, Glenwood suddenly becomes Farragut and Avenue H becomes Glenwood. Shortly after, you will find Varkens Hook Road.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Varkens Hook Road - Formerly Varkens Hook Lane - Canarsie, Brooklyn

Varkens Hook Road - Formerly Varkens Hook Lane - Canarsie, Brooklyn

Creator(s): G.W. Bromley & Co. — Publisher

Plate 37: [Bounded by E. 103rd Street, Avenue M., E. 104th Street, Avenue N., E. 98th Street, Skidmore Avenue, E. 96th Street, Canarsie Road Avenue, Schenck Avenue, E. 92nd Street, Denton Avenue, E. 93rd Street, Seaview Avenue, Skidmore Avenue, E. 82nd Street, Avenue L., E. 84th Street and Foster Avenue.]

Alternate Title: Plate 37: Part of Section 24.

In: Atlases of New York city. > Atlas of the borough of Brooklyn, city of New York : from actual surveys and official plans by George W. and Walter S. Bromley. (published 1907-1908)

Google Maps

The Paedergats get their names from the Dutch as well. Paerde is the archaic Dutch form of paarden meaning “horse’s,” and gat means “hole” or gap. Perhap the name is a slang for a horse’s stall since the Paerdegats resemble horse stalls. An excerpt of the history of Early Brooklyn with [my additions] in dark red:

Flatlands

Much of Jamaica Bay’s western shore as well as adjacent islands fell within the jurisdiction of the town generally known after the English conquest in 1664 as Flatlands. The Dutch, who first called their village Achtervelt [literally translated as “behind field”] and then Amesfort [Amersvoort] originally founded one of the oldest communities in Long Island, Flatlands. The Dutch also referred to the settlement simply as “de Baye.”

Several local historians claim Flatlands began as early as 1624, but its origins more accurately should be dated as of 1636, when Andries Huddie and Wolfert Gerretse made a purchase from the Canarsie Indians. A small settlement developed at a point near the later intersection of Flatbush and Flatlands avenues. The records of the 1636 purchase, a patent in the following year from the governor of New Netherlands, and other documents produced during the Dutch period fail to delineate the boundaries of the town in a manner intelligible to the modern reader. A clearer description of Flatlands, at least respecting its bay front, appears in a confirmation granted by the English governor, Dongan, in 1685. That document essentially asserted the town’s title to the land between Strome Kill and Creek, now Gerritsen’s Creek, on the southwest and Fresh Kill in the northeast.

The bulk of the contents of the Flatlands patent lay inland, the location of most of the farms and homes. However, parts of the bay front received the residents’ early and continued attention. The most important of these, between Bestovers or Befords Creek and Fresh Kill, was generally known as Canarsie, but also called Flatlands Neck, Vischers Hook, and Great Neck. Names were given to specific parcels of land within this area: Canarsie Point; New Utrecht Meadows, located south of Indian Creek; and Varkens Hook Meadows, between Irish and Bedford creeks. South of Canarsie were the Great Meadows, on Bedford Creek; Bergen Island; and the other islands extending to and including Barren Island. ¹

¹ National Parks Website: History & Culture – Online Books-

JAMAICA BAY: A HISTORY; Gateway National Recreation Area; New York, New Jersey; Cultural Resource Management Study No. 3; Frederick R. Black – Associate Professor of History, C. W. Post Center, Long Island University for the Division of Cultural Resources, North Atlantic Regional Office; National Park Service; U.S. Department of Interior; Washington, D.C., 1981
Electronic Transcription; Formatting and Editing, James L. Brown; Gateway National Recreation Area, 2001 PDF:

http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/gate/jamaica_bay_hrs.pdf

Kevin Walsh’s Forgotten-NY’s: Canarsie Alleys

Congregation AAA – Ahavath Achim Anshei Canarsie – Brotherly Love People of Canarsie – Brooklyn

Congregation AAA Sfard - Canarsie,Brooklyn

Congregation AAA Sfard - Canarsie,Brooklyn

Congregation AAA Sfard - Canarsie,Brooklyn

Congregation AAA Sfard - Canarsie,Brooklyn

Congregation AAA Sfard - Canarsie,Brooklyn

Congregation AAA Sfard - Canarsie,Brooklyn

Congregation AAA Sfard - Canarsie,Brooklyn

Congregation AAA Sfard - Canarsie,Brooklyn

Congregation AAA Sfard - Canarsie,Brooklyn
© Frank H. Jump

9420 Glenwood Road – Established 1908Congregation Ahavath Achim Anshei Canarsie – Brotherly Love People of Canarsie (alternate name)¹

Superpages - Microsoft Virtual Earth

¹ Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Writers Project; Survey of State and Local Historical Records (1939); Church Records Jewish – Synagogue –
http://home.att.net/~landsmanshaft/synagogues.htm

More Canarsie history.

GLBTQ Encyclopedia Looks at the Harlem Renaissance Through a Lavender Lens

LGBT Harlem Renaissance Writers
Eight important glbtq contributors to the Harlem Renaissance:
Row 1: (left to right) Countee Cullen and Alice Dunbar-Nelson
Row 2: Angelina Weld Grimké and Langston Hughes
Row 3: Alain Locke and Claude McKay
Row 4: Wallace Thurman and Carl Van Vechten

Images of Countee Cullen, Claude McKay, and Carl Van Vechten are details from photographs created by Carl Van Vechten and appear courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Hughes, Langston (1902-1967)

Langston Hughes - gay poet

“Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts… One of the greatest ironies in the life of the people’s poet was his own understandable silence regarding the oppression of gays. As a gay man, Hughes lived that secret life silently in the confines of a very narrow, but well-constructed closet–one that still shelters him today.” ¹Alden Reimonenq

Alden Reimonenq is Interim Dean of the College of Humanities at California State University, Northridge. He taught at St. Mary’s College of California for seventeen years. He is working on a biographical and critical study of Countee Cullen. His poetry and reviews have appeared in James White Review and in the anthology Milking Black Bull: 12 Black Gay Poets. His book of poetry Hoodoo Headrag was published in 2001.

Check out Frank H. Jump’s
Harlem Renaissance DVD Webquest!

Jacob Lawrence