Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Weekly Nabe

Many lifelong Brooklynites make fun of the "new comers" to Brooklyn. They call them hipsters.  Nobody calls them self a hipster.  I think that people who call these new  Brooklynites hipsters are just people who would make fun of people because of their skin color, or who they love.  It might be socially OK to call someone a hipster, but not by me.  It is a sign of weakness, it makes you a bigot.

That said, I know a person who is new to Brooklyn who is leaning more about Brooklyn than 99% of the "natives" ever knew. Keith is writing the Weekly Nabe.  A neighborhood is picked at random and then he blogs about it's history and follows up with a visit.

I asked Keith if I could accompany him when he goes to the neighborhoods I grew up in.  Monday I got to go to Brighton Beach..  It is actually the neighborhood next to where I grew up in Sheepshead Bay, but it did have a lot of memories.  I had some youthful fun on that beach, mostly at night and it did involve things I can not type here.  I did see the Warriors on opening night at the Oceania, and yes the real gang from Coney Island set fire to the back row during the movie and no they did not stop the film. (As a side note, some of my teammates in the Prospect Park Track Club were hired as extras in that movie.  There were a lot of chase scenes and they needed people who could run)

We did walk by the building my wife lived in till she was about 5 and the building my mother lived in about 10 years ago.  Neither of them were very interesting.  When my wife was in high school she worked at the Brighton Beach Baths.  She sold beer to men in thongs.  Maybe the same man we saw on the beach.

Anyway, this is Kieth.  Behind that fence was an sad empty swimming pool.  The kiddie pool had some standing water in it.  He made a note of the buildings address and was going to call the Dept of Health.  That is why we have a government.


We both agreed that these people have an unusual relationship with their TVs.  Or maybe they are spies.


He did not know there were boobies on this El

We did have a great lunch at Slovorodka.  I like many "native" Brooklynites have never walked into a Russian restaurant in Brighton Beach before.  I had assumed that my English would not work there.  Ya know what they say when you assume.....  My English worked fine.  What Keith failed to mention was that our massive and delicious lunch cost less than $40.  Thanks Keith, the next meal is on me.

I hope to go on some more trips with Keith and when Sheepshead Bay gets pulled out of his hat I will tell you some things you do not know because you are not me.

6 comments:

  1. There are people who came here yesterday who I wouldn't call "hipsters"--that's reserved for the self-important, superior-acting folks who treat their time in Brooklyn like an anthropological study of the natives.
    (Because I've only lived in Brooklyn half my life I know there are people who would make fun of me.)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I certainly fit into that last category. I hope I don't fit into the first two!

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  3. Keith,

    You are an example of why people should not make generalizations.

    Janet,

    I would not call anyone a hipster, just like I would not call anyone a derogatory term based on their race, religion or sexual orientation. It is a sign of weakness.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow CU this will be an exciting venture. I've never heard of these 'titles' so that was intriguing.
    Hope you and Keith do some terrific exploring and we get to see some great pics!
    In some of our smaller communities over here, it can be very 'clicky' for newcomers, but ironically, its many of the newcomers that have made wonderful positive changes for these communities (not the locals) - go figure!
    When I moved to Tasmania I was there for 16 years and still refered to (by some) as an 'import'(I had only come from another state!)
    Anyway great post look forward to more!

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  5. People called themselves "hippies" and "punk" in our day, and I, maybe mistakenly, considered "hipster" an in-term for the L-train folks who only like to associate with their own.
    I also love to explore the city, including but not limited to Brooklyn, and am again reminded that

    "It’d take a guy a lifetime to know Brooklyn t’roo an’ t’roo. An’ even den, yuh wouldn’t know it all."
    (Thomas Wolfe, Only the Dead Know Brooklyn)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Janet,

    People call themselves nigers, but I don't.

    ReplyDelete

You do not have to be nice!

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