Category Archives: Kvetch

A Tale Of Two Hoods: Bensonhurst Is Really Two Neighborhoods

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 I recently read an announcement for the Bensonhurst Green Market and have to say, I was pissed.

I love farmers markets, and I (sort of) love living in Bensonhurst, so it would make sense that I would be psyched and not disappointed at the prospect of organic Hudson Valley kale coming to a market stall near me. The problem is that I live nowhere near this event – it probably would take me a similar amount of time on public transit to get to green markets at Grand Army Plaza and Borough Hall. The fact is it should be called the West Bensonhurst Green Market because Bensonhurst is really two neighborhoods. Continue reading

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2011

It was the year 2011 and women were still overworked and underpaid in the workplace. To this end, Jason’s company enthusiastically practiced affirmative action when it came to hiring members of the female sex.

Toby, who considered himself a leftist, liked his ambiguously liberal neighborhood newspaper; which is published by a multinational media conglomerate owned by a right wing billionaire.

Maria, who is disabled from the waste down, had been calling 311 about the pot holes on her street for what was going on three years. She never asked for a bike lane.

Laura, who couldn’t afford the company health care plan, worked less hours in order for her family to qualify for Medicaid.

Sherman’s family emigrated from China for a better life. After grad school and seven years of dedicated service at GE, Sherman was picked to travel to India on the company’s behalf; to train his $5,000/year replacement.

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Blizzard of 2010 Continues To Remind Us How Much Bloomberg Cares

The corner of 23rd Avenue and 63rd Street Day 5

Even after several days of above freezing temperatures, snow is still causing problems in Brooklyn. I’d like to see the snow melting trucks that never leave Manhattan pay a visit to South Brooklyn, where the snow total amounts were some of the largest in the city.

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Brooklyn Blizzard of 2010

Here’s a few photos my girlfriend and I took during the aftermath (day 3!) of this Sunday’s snow storm.

Buried car sitting across an unplowed 23rd Avenue from P.S. 226 in Bensonhurst

 

60th Street was the first plowed street we saw. The parked cars however, weren't going anywhere.

 

Traffic on Seventh Ave in Park Slope was flowing well. Bike lanes, not so much

 

 

Although Seventh Avenue was the most functional street we saw, traffic was still slowed by vehicles that had been left stranded over 48 hours before

 

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the Bensonhurst Plea

Bensonhurst:

Yes, there are sweeter-sounding names for neighborhoods.

There are more trendy zip codes with higher rents and noisy night life. It is in these quarters where the renters are young and the landlords thank God for their corn-fed tenants.

There are more architecturally interesting, historically steeped places in Brooklyn. It is in these superior precincts that brownstone stoops are left vacant; where the kids are referred to as “children” and are raised by nannies.

Bensonhurst is the antithesis of gentrified North Brooklyn. It has low crime without high rents. It’s neither a slum nor a yuppie playground. It’s  honest and straightforward; it intimidates with its bluntness.

Bensonhurst is Brooklyn; the Brooklyn that people look down on. The Brooklyn from old movies, the hungry Brooklyn  that may just get its big break.

The Brooklyn that everyone is searching for on those northern streets that resemble sound stages.

Why look here?

“I mean it’s like a whole nother 8 and a half minutes from the rilly kewel *nabe* where the like *creative* artists and ya’know like musical people in bands? Are. You know? Do yew really expect me to take the train to the baar; that-is-not what I meuved here after college for.”

On second thought, you’re right. Bensonhurst sucks; it’s the Staten Island/New Jersey of Brooklyn.

Now, stay away.  (please?)

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Going Home

Walking down 40th Street in Midtown Manhattan after work I experience the 10 minute rush so many others feel when they leave work. “I need to get to my train,” I tell myself. “Get the fuck out of the way,” is what my body language says.

People come from the other direction like jagged rocks in a rushing river current. Some people are cooperative, they create a dance trying to match your bobbing and weaving. Others meet your force of motion with their own opposition. People clash with each other in the street like exploding meteors, like crashing suns. I tell myself, “just two more blocks and I’ll be there.”

I look back at all the times I’ve felt anxious; through the long 40+ minute commutes home on public transportation from high school through the countless “adult” jobs I’ve held. I look back at my attempts to put my thoughts together for myself to review, and for anyone who cares to see. I’m thankful for finally finding a way to bare witness to life and share it with anyone. Here in cyberspace, I’m home. It’s good to be back.

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Today’s Forecast

Jack Scott of the BBC: the James Bond of weathermen

Today’s forecast calls for schvitzing with the possibility of afternoon heat rash.

Tonight there is a chance of scattered thunderstorms. Again. Look, it probably won’t happen but we have to say it, alright?

The smell of urine in Manhattan should be taking on a vinaigrette quality by tomorrow morning. Yum!

The city has begun its “pools for subway rats” program and so far it’s been a success.

Later on in the week, we should be seeing some relief from the heat wave, followed by another heatwave.

Oh and by the way, Con Ed cut the voltage by 15% just in time for your staycation. Myself and the rest of the city’s “press corps” will be staying at the mayor’s house in the Bahamas having sex with underage prostitutes. Have fun, suckers! Oh shit, did I just say that out loud?

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