My First Love: My Ode to Brooklyn

I am a New Yorker. Take that with a grain of salt because many would disagree and would not label me as true New Yorker. It’s true, I was not born there and I did not spend a lifetime there but once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker. I was lucky enough to experience Brooklyn. What I like to think of as old school Brooklyn. The years I spent there were some of the best of my entire 30 (almost) years of my life and even now, all these years later, I still feel like a jilted ex. I fell in love with a place so incredible and our time together was crudely and abruptly cut short.

Brooklyn has the audacious power to captivate even those that are merely passing through. With it’s scintillating smells and tantalizing visual appeal , Brooklyn is like a sassy woman. She grabs hold of you and intoxicates your senses and manipulates your mind. Once she has her grip on you, she does not let go. From the second your foot hits the pavement, you are distracted by the boisterous accents and array of people. There is something to see on every corner and there is never a dull moment; from the children laughing merrily on on one of the many playgrounds, to the graffitied street signs, there is always something to see in Brooklyn. On hot summer days, you can see all the children from the block splashing through the water streaming from the fire hydrant. Their shrieks of laughter are only paused by the high pitched song of the approaching ice cream truck. The memory of days like these are imprinted in my head and returning to them is always like revisiting a well read book. Brooklyn is familiar, she’s home. She nestled me in her bosom and welcomed me in a way that is indescribable….she cared for me, nurtured me. On my bad days, she was there for me in a way that made me feel so secure and protected. In short, I loved her. Brooklyn will always be my my first love and because of her, I will always turn my nose up at any kind of pizza that didn’t come from a small shop on 5th ave. I will always emphasize the “cough” in the coffee. I will always be from Brooklyn.

Until next time, keep smiling


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  1. brokenradius | 2nd Oct 17

    If New York is a melting pot of nations, than Brooklyn must be the soup inside. So many excellent writers lived there and wrote about it, so many great movies were set up there.
    I just have one question about your post. As a non-English mothertongue I am sometimes surprised by the gender given to english nouns or names. Why do you write about Brooklyn as “she” ? I thought that cities always have neutral gender ? Am I wrong ?

    • rudymariee | 4th Oct 17

      Well I believe that everyone’s experience with a city or any other thing is personal. Brooklyn to me was like a mother that nurtured me and taught me life lessons. Everyone’s experience is relative and I my experience with Brooklyn was deeply personal and it seemed best explained to personify it. Thanks so much for your comment!

  2. brokenradius | 6th Oct 17

    That sounds pretty interesting.
    Maybe you can conduct a survey among Brooklyn people if they think of their town as a male or female one.
    From what you write it sounds acceptable to assign a gender to something (like a city) based on ones very individual feelings ?
    In German the cities are all neutral (does not matter what are your individual feelings to it), but the big confusions starts with the rivers: Rhein, Main are male (but a sort of exclusion, together with big rivers abroad like Amazonas, Missisippi, Hudson, Rio Grande, Nile, Don, Po, Dnjepr, Jangtse, and Ganges). But 90% of the smaller German rivers are female (Donau, Elbe, Spree, Havel, Mosel, Isar, Saale) and most other European ones (Seine, Wisla, Moldava, River Themse, Neva, Neretva). Strange thing, since it has no relation with the spelling. I guess it was also historically based on how the people felt emotionally related to the individual river. But at a certain point it became fixed. So today, you have to follow the rules, you can not modify the gender any more based on your very own emotion. I think one could almost start a research project on “Gender studies of geographic objects” here.
    regards, Michael

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