For displaced, misplaced, and nostalgic ex-Brooklynites

Re: Would You?

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Posted by Rich in Albuquerque, NM on Saturday, July 24th 2021:

In Reply to: Would You? posted by Betty on Saturday, July 24th 2021:

Interesting question because it is one I have pondered from time to time. My short answer is "No." I left fifty years ago upon graduating university and joining the Navy. At the time I could not imagine settling anywhere else upon separation from service and I was sad to receive orders to a ship on the west coast. It did not take long: exposure to Southern California, sailing the vast Pacific and living in and around Southeast Asia gave me a broader world view. All of that aside, I did return now and then over the early years to visit my mother until she sold the brownstone back in the early Eighties and moved to Duchess County. I have followed the neighborhood vicariously and via Google Earth for the past two decades or so. When I lived there, Downtown Brooklyn and Boerum Hill was just beginning its gentrification. In the intervening half century, everything I knew, from the nearby Fulton Street shopping district, to the local churches, schools and industries have changed drastically. So have I, for that matter. None of the people with whom I was acquainted have remained. The neighborhood appears cleaner and much better maintained. Nevertheless, the distinct flavour that was Brooklyn then, distilled through the cultures of dozens of ethnic groups, stirred by the voices of working people (significantly more blue-collar then, rather than now) leavened by the yeast of immigrant experiences, appears to have changed and/or dissipated. Now this is not a bad thing, it is just life. The house, of course, is the same, but the former young boy who looks back on it today, has changed most of all and would not fit in. Therefore, reluctantly and with a large dose of rose-coloured nostalgia, I must say, again, "No." Thank you for asking.

Reference ID: BK96687


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