Quote Of The Day: ‘Brooklyn Is More Major, More Important And More Historical Than You Realize’

Just as a good lot of us damn Yankees might associate New Zealand with kiwis and koalas, it appears folks down south—way down south—have an equally simplified, if not tarnished view of Brooklyn. A rallying post on that nation’s leading news website Stuff.co.nz, explains the bounty of Manhattan’s borough to the east in a fawning story that opens, “Turn off the TV. Don’t believe the hype about Brooklyn.”

It continues, “Pop culture reinforces an idea to us that Brooklyn is an outpost for the working class and burnt-out Manhattan residents. Witness the dramatic heft given to Miranda’s exodus for Brooklyn in ‘Sex & the City,’ or the rampant us vs. them class condescension bestowed upon Brooklynites by the Upper East Side clan in teen-drama ‘Gossip Girl.'”

The story’s author James Robinson explains that our locale offers “intriguing history, surprising breadth and unique culture. Brooklyn is more major, more important and more historical than you realize.” He points out the borough’s robust population, new basketball team, BAM, Barclays Center, Brooklyn Museum—and the beauty of Brooklyn Heights…

“Brooklyn has a history you should tip your hat to. Truman Capote wrote ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ from a yellow mansion on Willow Street, among the pleasant row houses of Brooklyn Heights that look back over Manhattan. Henry Miller strode the avenues of Williamsburg when it was still a dirty stretch of industrialism, and not the mecca for artistic youth it is today. Before him, Walt Whitman hung around Fort Greene Park, a small gem,” Robinson writes. “The area is embedded with a myriad of small enclaves that bear account to centuries of wildly varying immigration. A walk through Brooklyn’s streets could take in small pockets of shops paying homage to Polish, Russian, Norwegian, Irish and Chinese populations, and only just scratch the surface.”

Overall, Stuff.co.nz’s “NYC’s Big Beautiful Borough” offers several sweeping accolades: Brooklyn is peaceful and pretty; it’s a blossoming culinary destination; it’s fun (“Brooklyn is beset with young people. Many of its areas are awash with the well-dressed frames, interesting haircuts and novelty facial hair patterns of the borough’s artists, young-professionals and students); it’s infectious; and “most importantly, it’s close.

Robinson concludes: “Cap off an evening meal with a walk over either of the timeless Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges, and properly appreciate the way the New York skyline serenades the East River with its towering lights.”

Indeed… How sweet it is!

(Photo: djn-Brian/flickr)

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  • BH’er

    Are seriously entertaining the teenage notion of making real life out of the fiction shown on Sex in the City and Gossip Girls??

    TV certainly plays a role in people’s perceptions, but it’s hard to believe that any of our neighbors would bat an eye at people that form their worldly opinions based on a tv drama (all due respect to SJP)

    I thought that was the insular ignorance Americans were so famous for .. I guess we have company in the kiwis

    But, get out and see for yourself – or, at least read a good book and draw your conclusions based on something a little more real!

  • stephen conti


    Let’s leave it that way!!

  • km

    There are no koalas in New Zealand – that would be Australia.

  • Bloomy

    WHAT!!! The Brooklyn Dodgers are back in town? How on earth did I miss that. (I think you meant a new basketball team not baseball)

  • hoppy

    “New Zealand. . .Where men are men and sheep are nervous”

    (I’m half-Aussie. . . couldn’t resist.)

  • Elmer Fudd

    Please, cut it out. Too many damn tourists already. The tourists buses are packed, and getting worse than ever.

  • jmhl

    I’m a Kiwi and a Brooklyn Heights resident. Most New Zealanders do get a lot of their knowledge of the US, for better or worse, from the background and settings of the large volume of US TV shows that are shown there. So it’s hardly surprising the writer opened his article with touches on where most of his readers know Brooklyn from. Kiwis are a very well-traveled lot, but New York is not on the Kiwi backpacker trail because it is too expensive for most of them. (London is as well, but there is a historical connection, and visas that make it easy to stay for extended periods, so you can’t move in London for Kiwis.) The little I knew about New York growing up came mostly from watching “Fame”, “The Cosby Show” and “Taxi”.

    I say well done to the writer: his article captured Brooklyn well.

    (And yes, koalas are from Australia, not from New Zealand.)