Thursday, June 26, 2014

Are You From The Neighborhood?

When San Geraldo and I moved from the East to the West Coast of the United States (Boston to Los Angeles) in 1982, I learned that many transplants from New York City, when coming across other transplants, would ask, "Are you from the neighborhood?" As if the city of 7 million at the time was just one big neighborhood. I had lost most of my New York accent by then and, unless you caught my New York inflections and expressions (and biting wit), I could "pass" for someone not from "the neighborhood," which is what I did.

THE CENTRAL LOBBY OF THE DOWAGER DUCHESS'S BUILDING.
LOOKING TOWARD THE DOWAGER DUCHESS'S "SECTION."
THREE SECTIONS IN EACH OF FIVE 24-STORY BUILDINGS,
FOR A TOTAL OF 2,585 APARTMENTS.

This post is simply more photos of "the neighborhood." This time, more of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, which is in the other direction from the apartment of the Dowager Duchess. The below photos were taken when San Geraldo, Judy, and I walked to and from Starbucks Tuesday morning. Thanks to Judy, I'm seeing the neighborhood with a fresh perspective.

BRIGHTON BEACH AVENUE, UNDER THE EL.
HEADING FOR THE BOARDWALK AND LOOKING BACK AT THE EL. 
HEADING TOWARD THE LIGHT (AND THE BEACH).
LOOKING BACK FROM THE BOARDWALK.
LOTS OF GRAND OLD APARTMENT BUILDINGS (WITH FIRE ESCAPES).
OLD AND NEW ON THE BOARDWALK.
SAN GERALDO AND JUDY LEADING THE WAY BACK TO THE DOWAGER DUCHESS.

14 comments:

  1. "Neighborhood" must be a New Yorker's way of identifying another New Yorker from someone who merely says they're from New York. Sort of like people from Maine (Mainers?) asking if you are from "Down East".

    I can't imagine an apartment complex with 2585 units! I've lived in towns with fewer people than that. New York is such a fascinating place to me. A while back, I visited a friend who lived near the University (Columbia?), and I was totally amazed at all of the people packed on that little island. And I had thought that Washington, DC, was a huge city. :)

    Thanks for sharing the pictures.

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    1. Jo:
      I'll bet you're right. I wonder if wondering New Yorkers still use the phrase. It was a long time ago. Your reaction to size of the co-op is exactly why I shared that info. Members of Jerry's family had the same reaction. When we met, his parents were living in Pipestone, MN, population: 5,000.

      Delete
  2. Is biting wit another phrase for bitchy queen humour?

    I guess el stands for elevated line, like the high line.

    The apartment buildings do look very nice.

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    1. Andrew:
      My best friend in Boston was gifted when it came to bitchy queen humor. I tried when I was with him, but it just didn't work. So, I've always stuck to my biting wit and New York City sarcasm.

      Sorry, yes, "el" does stand for "elevated." So much less elegant sounding than "high line."

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  3. Compare and contrast: Coney Island Boardwalk/Fuengirola Strand (I don't know what it's really called). And speaking of accents/idioms, people (Ken) used to say they could guess I was from New York (which back then included upstate all the way to Albany) because I would say "take the train" when I meant the métro or any other subway/heavy rail public transit system. Do you "take the train" or the subway?

    By the way, I got a great deal on parentheses the other day. Need some (for your own personal use)?

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    1. Walt the Fourth:
      Thanks for the offer of parentheses. You bought several caseloads at Costco before coming here, which is why I use so many myself. So, I'm covered for a while at least.

      So funny what language "quirks" different people use to identify each other. It's been so long since I lived in NY that I can't say for certain, but I think we mostly called it the subway... even though stretches of it weren't underground. I now tend to call it the train (usually) when I write about because I figure some people might not understand why I show a picture of the "el" and call it the subway (and some don't know what the "el" is). Whew. I'd better check my stock of parens -- two in each direction used. Oh... Fuengirola's "Paseo." Yes, I do want to do a post with contrasting views.

      Delete
  4. I can hear Mr. Rogers singing now...

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    1. Jacqueline:
      It scares me how much we think alike. That song was running through my head as I wrote this post. But I had a feeling many people wouldn't forgive me if I included it!

      Delete
  5. Mitchell, very funny definition of neighborhood for me ti is a close area to mine. It seems here is different meaning. Fire escapes are very interesting in Europe I haven't seen them but it is a great solution.

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    1. Gosia:
      To many people, Brooklyn was a city of three-story buildings with fire escapes. It's much more than that, but as you can see they were very common in the early to mid 20th century.

      "A" neighborhood is a particular area of a city or town (a barrio in Spanish). But in English (American English, at least) we also use the expression "in the neighborhood" which means exactly what you write.

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  6. Such a wonderful area that is full of history, Mitch! Thanks for the tour.

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    1. Jim:
      I do enjoy my walks around Brighton Beach, but this was made especially more interesting thanks to Judy's presence. It was so new and foreign to her that it made it new and foreign to me.

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  7. It looks very interesting but I miss the light of your Spanish paradise.

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    1. Stephen:
      I agree. My mother's apartment is large, airy, and light, but Brooklyn is not the Costa del Sol!

      Delete

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