I always make the joke that my name is Brook, born in Brookdale hospital in Brooklyn, and I have now have two degrees from Brooklyn College. Im always Brooklyn! This is the Brooklyn that I talk about!
I say, “I’m from Brooklyn” like there’s a grenade exploding from my mouth.
I walk different after saying it. My step is a little harder, my shoulders more square, nose held higher in the air. It’s a momentary self-assuredness that follows me for a spell.
I feel it rise into my jaw when I see her approach across the water as I’m crossing the Williamsburg Bridge; when the train doors close on First Avenue and the L snakes under the East River.
The thing is, the Brooklyn I’m from isn’t the Brooklyn of today. It’s not that funky Brooklyn that I keep in my back pocket in case somebody tries it. (You don’t wanna mess with a girl from 1980s Bushwick.)
My Brooklyn is the Brooklyn of the Domino sugar factory and rubble and crack. Nostalgia can be a confusing thing. It isn’t always for the neat and pristine…
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