Time to haul out the "Brooklyn Blogger" T-shirt (white with blue lettering). Or maybe the simple (long, soft cotton, kinda elegant) brown T-shirt with "Brooklyn" in neon green lettering. Today's Dining section of the NY Times leads with "Brooklyn: The Brand."
To some (see "Hip deep in Brooklyn," Alex Beam's screed against the city that is its own county), it's an object of ridicule. But if you were brought up by a mother born in Brooklyn with children and, recently, little-children, who call it home, then, well...Brooklyn is sacred ground.
Clinton Avenue, Brooklyn
Photo from Ephemeral New York
I was bred to believe that Brooklyn was the best place on earth - or at least was when my mother was growing up. When asked where she was born, she smiled: "Clinton Avenue near Pratt Institute," as if the association with both places coated her upbringing with panache. When she was a child, Clinton Avenue was the wide street with elegant mansions on both sides. My grandparents owned the candy shop at the corner of Clinton and Myrtle, now the home of Connecticut Muffin. She loved it, never more so than the day when she was five and she found a gold bangle with diamond chips on Clinton Avenue. (The owner never located, I have it today, 95 years later.)
When the Dodgers left Brooklyn, there was great sadness in our house. They were never forgiven.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was referred to so many times by my English-teacher mother that I thought there were no trees there except that one.
Of course, we never visited Brooklyn because by the time I was old enough to remember anything about it, it had become a "bad neighborhood," a scourge to throw over an entire borough. Myrtle Avenue had become "Murder Avenue."
All that began to change in the past decade. My mother's neighborhood is now Clinton Hill, bordering nearby Fort Greene. The second largest farmers market in New York takes place each Saturday at Grand Army Plaza in the center of a circle that includes Prospect Heights, Park Slope, Flatbush, Lefferts Garden, Crown Heights, Bed-Stuy, and a lot of other nabes that are increasingly desirable (some have been for a while: quiet down, Park Slopers). And I see that I have posted at least 20 times about Brooklyn.
So no surprise that the NY Times is catching up today with a bit of an enjoyable snark about how everyone (of the food purveying sort) wants to be from Brooklyn.
Me, I'm from Brooklyn twice removed, I guess, once by my mother, the other by my kids.