Ok, so I’m not really any of those things. Not totally anyway. We all have our prejudices, and the media loves to exploit them, and we let them. We know that not all Irishmen are drunks, and not all Italians are guidos with uncles in the mafia, but we go along with the stereo-type because it’s funny. Having said that, and despite my mixed Italirish heritage, I can’t stand the drunken shanty-irish and the loudmouth guidos that populate my neighborhood. Or at least they used to.
A misanthrope is someone who has a hatred for mankind. I’m on the fence about this. I don’t think people are so terrible. I just think they are selfish. I was complaining once and my brother told me, “You don’t get it. They are starring in their own movie, you’re just an extra.” It’s totally true. When someone cuts you off on the highway, they aren’t trying to cause an accident, they think they deserve to be in that lane before you. It’s their birthright. I had a guy race past me on third avenue only to get stopped at the red light. I pulled up to him and said, “You won. Congrats.” He looked at me like I was an escaped mental patient. He had no idea what I was talking about. It was HIS movie. He didn’t even know I had a role.
It wasn’t always like this. Somewhere along the line, people did change. Phrases like, Thank you, Excuse me, and Please are rare. We should put them on the endangered species list.
I am, however, highly Xenophobic. Xenophobes have a fear or hatred of foreigners. For me, foreigners are those born west of the George Washington bridge. I’m not too fond of anyone east of the Queens/Nassau county line either. As a matter of fact, I don’t like Queens all that much. 22nd street, 22nd road, 22nd place, all within 5 blocks of each other. Who thought that was a good idea?
Oh, I like the people in Seattle and Miami just fine. As long as they stay there. It’s the transplants that I don’t like. The ones that move here on Thursday and call themselves New Yorkers by Monday morning. Er.. sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. It takes 10 years to become a New Yorker. Maybe 20. Call me in 10 years, I’ll let you know.
I recently was having a discussion with someone about some trivial topic and they said, “You think anyone not from New York isn’t as smart as you.” Well, duh. I mean, isn’t that obvious?
Even more than being a New Yorker, I love being from Brooklyn. I am an unabashed snob when it comes to Brooklyn and it’s offspring.
I hate hipsters the most. Hipsters are the unwashed masses of scraggly faced Iowa transplants with the skinny jeans and Clark Kent glasses. I didn’t mind so much when they stayed in the East Village, but then they started coming over to Brooklyn. They confined themselves to Williamsburg, which is fine since Brooklynites consider Williamsburg the armpit of the borough, but after the hipsters moved in, it actually started to smell like an armpit.
The problem was, the downtown newspapers started to promote this migration, then they really started coming, in droves; straight from Iowa to North 6th street.
This year, the Nets came. I was happy when the Nets came. I was happy that they built the Barclay’s Center. I will be happy and torn when the hated Islanders get here. What I’m not happy about is the endless stream of articles about the resurgence of Brooklyn.
How can the greatest place on earth experience a re-birth?
How can so many so-called journalists be so wrong?
When Rick Telander of Sport Illustrated writes : “Brooklyn had always been, despite all its complexity and populace, a loser”, it becomes obvious that Rick has no idea what he’s speaking about.
The media is often fond of showing the images of urban decay from the 70’s; the burned out cars, the graffiti. Those are the things we let you see. We showed you those pictures so you would be scared and stay away. For the most part it worked.
Brooklyn was the site for one of the first, and largest battle of the American Revolution, the Battle of Brooklyn. The haters call it the Battle of Long Island, but we know better. A rag-tag force of 400 were able to hold off the far superior British troops, (estimated at 32,000), giving General George Washington enough time to allow him and his troops to escape to lower Manhattan to live to fight another day.
When you look at the list of people that have been born or raised in Brooklyn, the sheer volume becomes daunting:
Streisand, Neil Diamond, Dom Deluise, Vince Lombardi, Red Auerbach, Michael Jordan (Yes, he was born here), Carl Sagan, Mel Books, Marv Albert, Woody Allen, Issac Asimov (raised in Brooklyn), Larry David, Jackie Gleason, Milton Friedman, Carole King (raised in Brooklyn), Sandy Koufax, and Biggie Smalls and Jay-Z and, Buddy Rich and Chris Rock, and newest basketball Hall of Famer Bernard King. Tony LoBianco is from Brooklyn. His father drove a cab here. Actor Mike Tyson is from Brooklyn. Oh wait. He did something else before the Hangover.
I could go on and on, but I’m exhausted.
Oh yeah, Al Capone was from Brooklyn too, and yours truly as well.
Not to mention, it’s the birthplace of Nathan’s, and the Egg Cream, and the home of the greatest wooden roller-coaster of all time, The Cyclone.
In 1947, there were 16 teams in baseball, spread across 11 cities. Anyone of them could have broken the color line by bringing in a black ballplayer, but it happened in Brooklyn.
In recent times, Brooklyn has given us Aaliyah and Spike Lee and Adam Sandler and Chris Mullin, so exactly why do we need a re-birth?
Brooklyn has always been the brunt of jokes and stereotypes about our manner of speech, but whenever Hollywood wants to show pictures of NY, guess where they go…The TV show Becker took place in the Bronx, and the King of Queens obviously takes place in Queens, so how come they both used scenes from Brooklyn in the opening credits? (pay close attention next time you see a re-run.)
The term ‘sweat hog‘ from Welcome Back Kotter was coined about Brooklyn High School students. I guess it was meant as an insult. That’s ok. We didn’t mind. You see, we know the truth.
NYC city is the center of the universe, and Brooklyn is the borough that drives the engine and keeps the island afloat. Why do you think they call it KINGS county?