This Is Not My Brooklyn

My son lives in the “new” Brooklyn. He moved from Michigan while attending NYU. He graduated from Brooklyn Law School. I don’t know the old Brooklyn. I’ve only visited the “new” Brooklyn.

I’m thankful for New York and the role it’s played in molding the man he has become. He is richer for having lived in New York City and Brooklyn more recently.

Vanessa Mártir's Blog

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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