Around the block: Film talks to locals in Bushwick’s changing scene

Cooped up: Lifelong Brooklynite Armando “Pucho” Pineiro keeps pigeons on the roof of his Bushwick home, as documented in the film “Neighborhood.”
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

A new documentary short film explores the development of a Brooklyn community through the lens of three strangers. “Neighborho­od,” premiering on June 22 as part of a block of docs at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s film festival, follows the lives of a pigeon keeper, a webcam performer, and a man who believes in ghosts to comment on the true star of the film — Bushwick, according to its director.

“The initial inception of the film was walking around the neighborhood, and noticing what was once empty lots are now luxury condos,” said Ben Garchar. “I wanted to explore those questions of change, and development, and impermanen­ce.”

Garchar — who moved to Bushwick from Ohio in 2009 — hopes that documenting the rapidly developing Brooklyn will inspire viewers to re-examine the changing landscape around them.

“I hope it will make people think about what they can do —I don’t mean from an activist perspective, but about the small decisions people make,” he said. “Am I engaging with people in the neighborhood? Learning about these people and their experiences, and finding some common ground?”

Garchar sought out people in his adopted neighborhood, and wants his 15-minute film to explore how long-time residents can continue to live in the newly gentrified borough — such as Gabino Quinones, who swears by the omnipresence of inexplicable spirits.

“He’s a secretive mysterious dude, which comes across on screen,” said Garchar. “But once we met him, he was very open and hospitable, and I felt a connection with him. He’s very philosophical and metaphoric­al.”

Quinones and those like him are being priced out of the neighborhood, and the changing demographics leads to a changing culture, said Garchar.

“I have mixed feelings,” he said. “On the one hand, most people would be happy that there’s not as much crime. But on the flip side, you have these new developments, and bars, and restaurants that are clearly being marketed only to people on the higher end of the economic spectrum.”

The director has no answers, but hopes that his flick will inspire more questions.

“Is this the best way we can go about this? What are we doing well, and where can we improve?” he asked. “It’s about fostering that conversati­on.”

“Neighborhood” premieres at BAMcinemaFest [30 Lafayette Ave. between St. Felix Street and Ashland Place in Fort Greene, (718) 724-8023,]. June 22 at 2 p.m. $20.

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at
Posted 12:00 am, June 20, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: