Bensonhurst: We’re “Crazy” Safe

Author John Khoury (source: Rupert Murdoch's Brooklyn Paper)

A new book by Brooklyn native John Khoury about growing up in Carroll Gardens includes some memories about one exotic Southern Brooklyn locale.

Bensonhurst – a far away, almost mythological land that, according to the Brooklyn Paper, is “still very much the Little Italy it has been since the 1950’s (?!)”

The Newscorp-owned “community newspaper” goes on to paraphrase the author of Go Sit On Your Own Stoop! (probably out of context), that during the 1980’s Bensonhurst was “the craziest place in the borough for him.”

More like the safest.

In the 1970’s and 80’s crime in Carroll Gardens had gotten so out of hand that Smith Street, today one of Brooklyn’s “restaurant rows” became, in the Brooklyn Paper’s words, “an uncrossable line of demarcation” between its more safe-ish streets and those controlled by gangs from the crime-infested local housing projects.

That must be why Mr. Khoury, who lives out on Long Island and works as a broadcast operator for American Movie Classics, spent so much time in Bensonhurst. It’s a place that even detractors would admit had some of the lowest crime in the city. And still does.

My advice to the Brooklyn Paper?

The grownups are speaking. Why don’t you go write about DUMBO or something?

Anyone interested in learning more about John Khoury’s book, which actually looks like a good read, should visit