My Brooklyn was and always will be Canarsie. I moved out of there when I was 15 to another neighborhood in Brooklyn but my heart will always be in Canarsie. All I had to do was walk three blocks to Flatlands Avenue to get anything I needed. Pizza from Frank's, candy from The Nosher, deli from Tony's on Glenwood Road. I went to OLM grammar school and Nazareth High School. I now live in Staten Island. My parents still live in Brooklyn. It is definitely not how we grew up but it is still Bklyn. Staten Island is nice but no one knows any of the neighbors and no one has a stoop. They know that you are from Bklyn if you sit outside. I bought my house because it had a small stoopabout 7 steps, not enough to play stoop ball but enough for me and my husband to sit outside. I see no kids playing outside like we used to do. What has happened? We couldn't wait to go outside even when it rained. My friends tell me their kids never go outside and if they are forced to they don't know what to do. What ever happened to handball, box ball, hit the penny, skully and all the other games? There are no ramps where we live to play punch ball. My girlfriend lives in Jersey. No one has even heard of paddle ball. There aren't even any walls in the parks to play handball. At least in Staten Island we have walls in our parks. I guess the old saying still rings true "You can take the girl out of Bklyn but you can never take the Bklyn out of the girl." You can tell who the true Staten Islanders are and who comes from Bklyn. The true Staten Islanders are still dressing a decade behind with all the makeup and such. I will never forget when I first moved here 6 years ago I saw a bunch of girls with pumps and skintight jeans with the pants cuffed at the bottom with their hair up to the sky and the whole MAC counter on their faces. I must say that has changed but they are still behind the times. Nothing like good ole Bklyn.
21 September 1999
Growing up in Brooklyn for the first 35 years of my life. There is nothing, no where, no how like Brooklyn. From L&B Spumoni Gardens to Jahns of 86th Street, from the Loews Oriental to Nellie Bly Amusement Park, this place . . . Brooklyn is and will always be one of a kind.
Brooklyn's own Joe Causi103.5 FM WKTU New York
22 September 1999
I never lived in Brooklyn, but was a frequent visitor. My family all was born and lived in Brooklyn. But in the mid 60s moved to the suburbs in Jersey where I was born. Yet most of my family (aunts, uncles, grandparents and such) remained. My fond memories of Brooklyn were going to see my grandfather and aunt in Red Hook (201 Nelson St.) right under the train. Sitting in the living room drinking coffee soda and watching TV waiting to be shook when the train roared by! My grandmother lived around the corner on Liquier St., where I would sit on the stoop with my cousin and watch the people walk by. Driving to go see my uncle and aunts that lived in Bay Ridge, going over the Verrazano Bridge, looking at the Statue in the Bay, and going to 86th St. to pick up Italian desserts from the bakeries that lined the street. Walking in and smelling the sweet delights always made me hungry. Brooklyn wasn't my home, but it still leaves memories that I will never forget. I haven't been to Brooklyn in twelve years and actually will be returning for a short, yet memory filled trip. I will be going to Bay Ridge now as a husband and an expectant father, instead of the son, and will be going to the same bakery that we went to years ago buying treats for the family. It will be the first time that my wife will experience this and hopefully not the last.
25 September 1999