Wednesday, March 21

"It-ification" in Brooklyn

I love my new neighborhood in Brooklyn.

(begin celebrity namedrop) So do Heath & Michelle (end celebrity namedrop)

Turns out it's the same neighborhood that Brooklyn man of letters Jonathan Lethem wrote about in his coming of age novel "Fortress of Solitude." (An earlier book, "Motherless Brooklyn," took place a few blocks away on Court St).

Lethem's appropriation of the neighborhood, and its overall gentrification, have the NY Obsever's Alexis Swerdloff a little hot and bothered.
Even after leaving those quiet, brownstone-lined streets for Bloomingdale’s and doormen, I still made my annual Atlantic Avenue Salvation Army pilgrimages. I’d mutter under my breath that things sure ain’t what they used to be. Like the burnt-out punks who wax nostalgic for the East Village of yesteryear—when you couldn’t walk an inch without stepping on a crack vial—I did my own back-when-ing.

“Back when I lived here, Bar Tabac was a Chinese restaurant—with pictures.”

“Back when I lived here, there was a drunk guy who sat on the stoop across the street from my house and shouted obscenities at me.”

“Back when I lived here, I had a gymnastics birthday party at the YWCA on Third Street and Atlantic Avenue, and it was too dangerous to walk there, so we drove.”
You want my opinion Alexis? It's New York, whaddyagonnado?


Carino said...

Didn't know you were living in such a chi-chi neighborhood...time for some stoop-sitting. Good entry kiddo


Jeff said...

Alexis must have been back before you two moved in. Otherwise there would have been no shortage of drunks to yell at her.

exNavyMike said...

It's nice to read a bit about Brooklyn. I was born and raised in Flatbush and, after being away in the Navy for over a decade, am back in my old 'hood. I'm glad to hear you like your new 'hood.

And thanks for mentioning Motherless Brooklyn. I loved that book!