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February 14, 2013 8:33 AM   Subscribe

In an article titled "So You're From Brooklyn," Brooklyn is declared a "bourgeois borough" full of "baby carriages, rubber plants, gold fish and green grocers.” The author warns that "Your average Manhattanite's conception of that great unexplored area beyond the three bridges is at once as naive as a child's idea of Alice's mythical Wonderland and as weird as a futurist artist's impression of Heaven."
The Brooklynite magazine (1926-1930) rediscovered and reviewed.
posted by griphus (12 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
So essentially, nothing has changed. :)
posted by zarq at 8:36 AM on February 14, 2013 [4 favorites]

Was this something from before half of Sicily moved in?
posted by Goofyy at 8:47 AM on February 14, 2013

It was certainly before ALL of Poland moved in.
posted by spicynuts at 9:03 AM on February 14, 2013

The Brooklynite was not even the first journal of that name to make waves in Manhattan literary circles. In 1910, the writer Hazel Pratt Adams started a journal by that name which published original poetry by H. P. Lovecraft and others

The Double-Wide Stroller from the Deep
Gentrifiers of Yuggoth
The Horror at Red Hook (oh wait)
posted by exogenous at 9:05 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Brooklyn had trolleys in 1930

The author declares, "Yes, I'm from Brooklyn. I have parked on the Shore Road of Fort Hamilton and seen the sun set in splendor across the harbor. I have watched dusk gently creep across the city from the roof of the Bossert. I have gazed out over the Prospect Park lake on calm summer evenings and my ice skates have flashed over its surface on glorious winter nights.I know the names of the people who live next door and the family down the street. I have traversed our great water-front and the exotic odors of spices have been wafted to my nostrils. I have walked through Kings Highway with the immortal spirits of the sturdy yeoman who tilled the soil close by the waters of Jamaica Bay."

Sounds Idyllic, I gotta check it out some day.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:06 AM on February 14, 2013

I wonder if that person walked all the way up and down Kings Highway because that is a) a hell of a walk and b) either starts or ends smack-dab in the middle of Brownsville (which was apparently a violent slum back then too.)
posted by griphus at 9:21 AM on February 14, 2013

The article mentions the Chicagoan, another jazz age New Yorker rival that was likewise rediscovered on a dusty shelf a few years ago. How many of these beasts slumber, awaiting their time?
posted by Iridic at 9:26 AM on February 14, 2013
posted by item at 9:54 AM on February 14, 2013

The persistence of character in a geographic area is an interesting thing. In Two Years Before the Mast, Richard Henry Dana describes how Southern Californians are a beautiful but shallow people, overly concerned with status symbols such as houses and horses. The book was written in 1840.
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:58 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

no, really:
posted by item at 10:05 AM on February 14, 2013

Ad hominem: " Sounds Idyllic, I gotta check it out some day."

I learned to ride horses on the beaches of Jamaica Bay. It was idyllic.

Of course, there's a 50/50 shot you'll hear someone yell, "Hey buddy! Get dat stinkin' horse outta here. He's usin' da whole fuckin' beach as a terlet."

But that's part of its charm. :)
posted by zarq at 11:49 AM on February 14, 2013

Several Brooklyn trolleys lasted well into the 1950s (see wikipedia). I was a habitue of the Church Avenue trolley. Church Avenue is pretty narrow, and trolleys are really bad at driving around obstacles, and that made for very relaxed travel.

Some of the trolleys were for a time replaced by the Trolleybusses, but eventually diesel overwhelmed.
posted by hexatron at 1:26 PM on February 14, 2013

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