Thursday, January 24, 2008

Brooklyn

I was born in Brooklyn. Then I moved to North Carolina 20 years ago. I moved back to the New York City area 10 years ago and now live in New Jersey. But for the better part of the last 20 years I have had this disdain for the city of Brooklyn. I always felt there were too many ghosts there for me. Ghosts of being a young dumb kid that I don't like to associate myself with. I am a far better refined person than that little kid now. But maybe a lot of us feel that way about the place we grew up in.

But recently I have visited some places in Brooklyn and felt an exhilaration for some reason. I've noticed there have been big changes to the city. Especially as the real estate market grows, some of the Brooklyn neighborhoods have improved drastically. With all these changes, I finally realized that it is not 1988 anymore. For me Brooklyn had become a metaphor of what I did not want to be. This is no longer the Brooklyn I remembered.

Also as we mourn the tragic death of Heath Ledger, I see that he previously lived in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn. Which has become a very clean and decorous neighborhood. It reminds me that if Brooklyn was such a terrible place, then why do so many celebrities live there? (Ledger, Michelle Williams, John Turturro, Tony 'Paulie Walnuts' Sirico to name a few).

Of course not everyone in Brooklyn lives like The Huxtables from the Cosby Show. But I've started to become more curious about the city of my birth. Why hate it? I am better off embracing it. To make peace with my past helps ensures peace for my future.

- The Mountain Cat

28 comments:

Doc said...

Does this mean that your disdain has now moved it's way to North Carolina ??

The Mountain Cat said...

No, only Kannapolis.

Seriously, who else has shied away from their own birth town? I open this question up to my readers.

Jay said...

The only thing I know about Brooklyn is what I learned on Welcome Back Kotter.


I was born in Yellville, Arkansas. Population 1,237 .... SAAAAAAA-LUTE!

The Mountain Cat said...

Jay, I heard Yellville is the yodelling capital of America. Is that true?

Leighann said...

I know nothing about the city I was born in. My family moved away from there when I was 3 months old and I've never been back.

Glenn Frey said...

You belong to the city. You belong to the night.

DirkStar said...

In an effort of bipartisan blogging I have come up with a way to help stimulate our economy faster than the tax rebate program just announced on C.N.N. News.

My proposal is bold, innovative and puts cash money into the hands of the American people when they need it the most; at this very minute.

Please help me to help America in its moment of greatest need.

Casdok said...

Love your last line.

leapofaith said...

I now live 13 blocks from where I lived from age 6-12...I pass my grammar school almost every day! It wasn't done on purpose, but I do feel a sense of comfort from the familiararity of my hood!

However, there's just something about Bklyn. I'm born and raised in NY, but I think I've been to Bklyn once...I have some weird aversion - don't know why!

Christine said...

I loved Brooklyn! Hop, skip and a jump to the Big Apple! The best pizza! Sidewalks! I just don't want to live there anymore... Home, I find now, is where you feel most like yourself...

The Mountain Cat said...

Leighann: Are you from a small town?

Glenn: Tell Don, Glenn's great.

Dirkstar: You've been eating way too many Peaches En Regalia my friend.

Casdok: Thanks. I try to show some humility.

Leapofaith: I pass by my old home every day too; your desk!

Christine: Good answer sis! But I thought you hated Brooklyn too? You used to complain about going back since you got so used to the 'burbs.

Doc said...

Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten, From the battery to the top of Manhattan!

leapofaith said...

Doc's on fire today!!!

Ad-Rock, Mike D & MCA said...

Foot on the pedal never ever false metal
Engine running hotter than a boiling kettle
My job's ain't a job it's a damn good time
City to city I'm running my rhymes
On location touring around the nation
Beastie Boys always on vacation
Itchy trigger finger but a stable turntable
I do what I do best because I'm illing and able
Ain't no faking your money I'm taking
Going coast to coast watching all the girlies shaking
While you're at the job working nine to five
The Beastie Boys at the Garden cold kickin' it live

No sleep 'til -

Doc said...

NO SLEEP 'TIL....

Ad-Rock, Mike D & MCA said...

NO

SLEEP

'TIL

DirkStar said...

Doc - I'm hurt by your comment! You haven't even seen phase two of my economic stimulus program yet.

Tomorrow I introduce the second part of my program called, Jobs for America, getting families back into the marketplace."

I'm looking to help America, not profit from her...

The Mountain Cat said...

Dirkstar you are a dancing fool!

Jahooni said...

I was born in Madison, Indiana. My mother raised me on her own when my dad bailed when I was only 6. I think of my childhood as being a "gypsy" child. I remember UHAULS and GREYHOUNDS very well. I went back to Madison in 2003 for the very first time since being a little girl. I didn't get everything that I needed from that trip. I plan to go back some day to make peace. When? Dunno.
wow, now I am down in the dumps. Thanks TMC or TMR!

The Mountain Cat said...

Sorry Jahooooni, I'm learning to exercise my demons. I guess it is part of my 12 footprint step program that I talked about in a previous blog.

Jahooni said...

It's okay. I finished my box of kleenex. I am all better.

Karen said...

Brooklyn is probably the only borough I would want to live in. I live in NJ - just outside of the city. I don't think I have the temperament for living in Manhattan. I have family in Da Bronx and Staten Island, but they don't excite me. But there is something charming about sections of Brooklyn.

Christine said...

I never said I hated Brooklyn. I am very fond of Brooklyn and had a great time growing up there. Lots of friends, career opportunities... I'm sure we all have dark spots of regret in our memories...but that's part of being young and growing up. It's all good.

DirkStar said...

I was raised in a leper colony.

I think that is why there are so many parts to me...

Everyone I ever met in the colony left a little part of themselves with me.

The Mountain Cat said...

Dirkstar is losing his Cosmik Debris.

DirkStar said...

Janis Joplin grew up in the very same leper colony that I grew up in.

Seriously, when she sang, "Take another little piece of my heart now, baby." she really meant it.

DirkStar said...

Mountain cat - You really know your Zappa...

It gives you a certain, Zoot Allure.

The Mountain Cat said...

Thanks Dirk. I will save another Zappa reference for another time.