Flea-ing back to Brooklyn

My parents grew up in Brooklyn and lived there after they married and had their first child–me. When Queens was being developed in the early fifties from potato farms, many young marrieds hotfooted it out of Brooklyn so they could own their own homes. Brooklyn was home to immigrants from Ireland, Poland, Russia, Germany and Italy. My parents were first-generation Americans and Queens represented the new American prosperity after World War II.

I grew up in Queens and couldn’t wait to get out of there. It was too bourgeois for me. The architecture was tacky. Not a bit of culture.  Manhattan was the borough of choice for many in my generation. It represented the new prosperity of the seventies and eighties.

Guess what? My kids’ generation is hot footing it out of Manhattan and moving into–you guessed it–Brooklyn and Queens. Hip young artists, writers, and designers now inhabit the homes where the immigrants settled over a century ago. Even not- so-hip-financial types are flocking into parts of Brooklyn and Queens. Luxury condos have sprung up where factories once stood. Everything Brooklyn is cool: the restaurants, the bakeries, the independent clothing shops and the coffee houses.

Today, David, Douglas (ex) and I went to the outdoor flea market in Willamsburg Brooklyn, where waterfront condos sell for upwards of $1 million. It was great fun. Entrepreneurial twenty and thirty somethings were selling their homemade breads, brownies, ice pops (it was 78 in New York today), jams and pickles.There were babies and dogs galore. Sunbathers sprawled on the grass, hip couples walked arm in arm and a streams of sentences in foreign languages wafted into the air.

Cool kids on a warm day


Rigby meets a dachshund
They were lined up for homemade ice pops.

Homemade cupcakes

My parents and grandparents would have been speechless, something they rarely were.

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0 Responses to “Flea-ing back to Brooklyn”

  1. Vera B says:

    Thanks for a wonderful story, Geri!
    Growing up mostly in the country, I just can’t imagine the experiences you had in the “big” city! Love to visit New York but could never imagine myself living there. I’m just a ‘lil ole country girl. Girl maybe stretching it a bit… just turned 61 today! And loving every minute of it!

    As of today, I’ve lost a total of 72 pounds! Now… just 20 more to go!


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