Brooklyn Moment

Those who know me know of my long-standing love of my borough. So here’s the first of what is sure to be many posts about the endearing minutiae of Brooklyn life.

Warm night, great for a stroll. I head to Cherry Tree on Fourth Avenue with a plan to enjoy the bar’s courtyard, fantastic brick-oven pizza and extensive beer menu.  Brick oven was dark that day, so no pizza. Game 1 of the NBA Finals was that night, so no courtyard (they wall-projected it over the yard’s entry/exit point)  However, they provide local menus for delivery to the bar when their own kitchen is closed.  I’m famished.  Must…have…food…now.  Dash down the block to the Halal spot for Chinese takeout and back to the bar to get my grub on, toss back a brew, and catch a bit of the game.  Now I understand there is a long history of Islam in China and I’ll admit I’m not a huge basketball fan but there’s something great about the confluence of cold brew, hot Halal Chinese and Kevin Garnett’s fourth quarter dunk projected larger-than-life on the wall of a favorite Brooklyn watering hole. Sweet!

 

photo: espn

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5 Responses

  1. Who knew you watched basketball :)) Go Boston.

    As for the Halal Chinese food, I must try that. Please email me the restaurant and addy.

    Loving the blog.

  2. As a native Boogie Downer I’ve never been a fan of BK, but I must say I have discovered quite a few things about Brooklyn that have made me smile. Unfortunately here recently there seems to be a sense of 718-snobbery brewing over yonder– in DUMBO, Park Slope and Clinton Hill specifically. Check this very insightful NY Times article:

    It concludes:

    “That’s why our feelings about Park Slope are linked to our feelings about our entire city: our overpriced, chain-store city run by bankers, socialites and, it seems, mommies. The artists are fleeing and your friends, it seems, have become Park Slope pod people. (And they’re coming for you, too.) It’s starting to feel as if there’s nowhere left to hide. And that if we lose Brooklyn, we lose everything.”

    Yeah, go head and say it– I’m a hater, right?:)

  3. Hater? Maybe, but more so an identifier. You in your Harlem outpost know first hand the effects (pro + con) of gentrification in neighborhoods once considered taboo wastelands by those who lived outside their bounds.

    I love Brooklyn not because of its recent designation as an “It” borough, but in spite of it. And though I’ll speak fondly of my years of Fort Greene/Clinton Hill residency, there’s so much more to NYC’s most populous and widely diverse borough than The Slope, Clinton Hill or DUMBO. Having lived here for 20 years, I have borne witness to many changes–some wonderful and some painfully sad. The “718 snobbery” you speak of is embodied in a couple of different ways. The smugness of the Newbies who seem to believe their arrival heralds the start of “civilized” Brooklyn grates on my nerves mightily. DeKalb Avenue in Ft. Greene may be a bustling Restaurant Row now, but Sheila’s, Two Steps Down, Cino’s and Joe’s on Waverly once serviced the community wonderfully.

    My first apartment sat above the long-gone Valhal Pub, home of jam sessions with the likes of locals Branford Marsalis, Donald Harrison and Terrence Blanchard. Spike was living and working a few blocks away. Wendell Pierce’s booming baritone could be heard making insightful, wry commentary ’round the hood long before he’d bring life to “Bunk” on The Wire. It was an era likened to the Harlem Renaissance, exciting and filled with promise. My own bias, however, is not so much snobbery as it is having a sense of community and a personal history in a place that has provided home, sweet accessible, home from the “City” where many have alighted in pursuit of their dreams.

  4. Sharon, I remember the Brooklyn of which you speak so fondly and am afraid it is being slowly buried beneath a heap of flighty ex-Manhattanites or would-be-if-they-could-afford-it-Manhattanites. The whole gentrification business is very complicated in as much as it goes beyond people fleeing rising rents and includes city government enabling such displacement. That said Brooklyn like most places will always be a reflection of the people who live there. Hopefully those who have Brooklyn in them will remain and thrive in that borough in all of those areas cited and continue to be the true life blood of Brooklyn.

    Ciao,
    Henry

    PS: I have plans to become one of those adopting Brooklyn as a new home sometime this year.

  5. Bienvenue, Monsieur Henri!

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