I was reading BOBBIE’S post about getting stuck in a part of Brooklyn under the EL train, she mentioned that it was the same area as shown in the opening credits from the old TV show 'Welcome Back Kotter' - she also said that no one spoke English - Hah!! they were speaking Brooklyn.
Bobbie does this wonderful series called 'Misadventures On the Road' - check it out.
As I read her post I realized I had some photos of the area Bobbie is talking about. I took these in January when I was in Brooklyn for a birthday party.
All of these photos are in the neighborhood called Bensonhurst.
This is 18th Avenue. Commonly referred to as 'Da Avenue' - it is full of shops. My office was on 'da avenue'. Here we're facing the EL.
If you turn right under the EL you are on New Utrecht Avenue. I can't even begin to list for you the way 'Utrecht' is pronounced in the hood. I couldn't decide it I liked this shot in color or B&W ...
The car in front of me kept trying to back up. There was an open spot behind that white truck and the driver of that car wanted to go through me to get to it. Meanwhile the car behind me was leaning on the horn wanting me to move up. Home sweet home - where the asshats and the morons roam.
Speaking of driving in Brooklyn I'm so glad I took this photo.
Here I'm waiting at a red light on a single lane street. The car to my right was originally behind me - he rode my tail for several blocks - tooting his horn. I was already doing 50 in a 35 zone but that wasn't fast enough for him. At one point he nearly crashed into me when I slowed for pedestrians. At the light he squeezed his car in between me and parked cars and shoved himself into the intersection. All this to be one car length ahead of me. At the next corner - another view of the EL - he nearly mowed down several people crossing the street.
Another graduate of the Hooray For Me - The Hell With You school of driving.
This is the view of New Utrecht High School made famous in 'Welcome Back Kotter'.
I went to New Utrecht for a few days. I was at Lafayette High School but got thrown out for hitting the Dean of Girls. She grabbed my arm and tried to throw me against a wall so I hit her. They told my mother I could either go to another school or face disciplinary action which would involve the police. I wanted to fight but Mom heard police and panicked. So off to New U I went. I hated it there. The school was run by hoodlums. There was a group of girls who specialized in sneaking out to the football field to get high and give their boyfriends uh - oral pleasure. I called them the BJ Bimbos. Once satisfied they would return to the halls to terrorize the rest of us. I was a favorite target for them. Although I had a tough girl exterior I was really a very good girl. I took all the underdogs under my wing, I loved classes, I read several books a week. I just wanted to learn and be left alone. After a few weeks of trying to make it work I refused to go back. The Board of Ed. said my parents could home school me which was hilarious. My father was always drunk and my mother asked me to read things for her. WTF!? If I had been home schooled I would have spent my days taking care of my siblings and my parents - it was enough that I did that all night and all weekend. School was the only place I had to escape to. A friend went to Lincoln High and I got special permission to go out of the district. I took 2 trains and walked a mile to get to Lincoln and I didn't mind at all. The principal there soon figured me out, he was one of the only people to ever believe me about what a horror my parents were. I became his student assistant. He was one of the finest people I ever knew and a perfect example of how a caring educator can save a child's life.
Wow! I hadn't planned on spilling all that. I guess the photos just brought it out.
Hope you enjoyed the little photo tour of the hood.