Are you old enough to read this blog?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006



For starters, let's set some boundaries. Not an easy task. Defining boundaries for East Flatbush is not unlike trying to nail Jello to a wall.

I always thought East Flatbush was a clearly defined, commonly agreed upon geographic area. It obviously isn't.

To most Brooklynites, East Flatbush was a convenient area that kept Flatbush, Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Crown Heights and Pig Town from bumping into each other.

But, for this Blog I've set some arbitrary boundaries; albeit we'll take some liberties from time to time and journey outside this center of the universe as well as allow 'outsiders' in.

So, conjure up this mental map of our universe: Starting at the intersection of New York and Clarkson Avenues, go South to Cortelyou Rd, then East to Schenectady Avenue, make a right (South) to the railroad right-of-way (the old New Haven or South Brooklyn Railway or Long Island, Conrail freight line. You know, the tracks on the embankment with the overhead power lines), then East to Rockaway Parkway. Make a left (North) up to Clarkson; make a left (West) to New York Avenue.

Now, that's our world.

If you lived on a Parkway (other than Rockaway) forgedaboudit! If you lived north of Kings County Hospital, you lived in 'PigTown' (When did it get to be called Wingate?) If you lived south of Holy Cross Cemetery, it technically may have been East Flatbush, but that is uncharted territory and we ain't goin' dere. South of the tracks mentioned in the preceding paragraph and you were in Canarsie and further south: Mill Basin - neither of which is EAST FLATBUSH.

Don't argue with me; it's my Blog.

OK; so on occasion we'll stretch the boundaries. In subsequent blogs we'll talk about hallowed ground that belonged to Brooklyn - not to a neighborhood of the borough: Kings Highway, the Junction, Flatbush Avenue, Coney Island/Brighton Beach, Downtown, Ebbets Field, the beaches.

Our target audience:
  • If you remember where you were the day John Kennedy was assassinated, you are in our target audience. Give yourself 50 points.
  • Add 5 points if you remember riding a trolley car on Church Avenue;
  • Add five points if you know the east bound destination (last stop) of the Church Avenue trolley; Add ten points if you remember trolley tracks on Utica Avenue south of Snyder Avenue.
  • Add five points if you know what SP means. 
  • Five points each if you remember the name of the bank on East 51st and Church and the one on Nostrand and Church, the name of the drugstore on Church and Utica.
  • And ten points for remembering plaid and green stamps.
  • Passing grade:65.

Name from memory ten Brooklyn high schools, excluding vocational schools, that were in existence in 1960. In our next session, we'll be discussing some interesting facts regarding East Flatbush schools - both elementary and high schools.

Now remember, no cheating and 'no fair' if you ask your parents.

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