The Castello Plan. Watercolor. Courtney Zell

The Castello Plan. Watercolor. Courtney Zell

So, I live in Brooklyn. And near my home is a lovely neighborhood called Ditmas Park. And in Ditmas Park is a lovely avenue called Cortelyou. And along Cortelyou are an array of lovely businesses, one of which is called the Castello Plan, a nice spot to get some brunch.

In researching New Amsterdam for drawing The Wonder City, especially Issue 2, I’ve learned a lot about the Castello Plan. Not the brunch spot, but rather the early map of Lower Manhattan circa 1660. The plan made its way to Europe and seems to have been lost until 1900 when it was found in the Villa di Castello near Florence, Italy.  What I didn’t know until recently was that the Castello Plan was made by Jacques Cortelyou, who was surveyor of New Amsterdam.

All these years of eating eggs and drinking mimosas and I didn’t make the connection between Cortelyou and Castello! It reminds me to be more curious about the names of these streets we traverse–all around us are clues to the origins of the city we love.

About Courtney

Brooklyn based artist interested in illustration, printmaking, photography, comics and travel.
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