Larry David: Sheepshead Is Full Of Loud, Nosy People

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Of all the famous people who grew up in Sheepshead Bay, the one I’d like to interview most is Larry David.

Actor, writer, director and producer, the dour David is, alas, a hard man to pin down. He is notoriously averse to interviews.

Unlike most, I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of Seinfeld, the show that brought him fame and fortune. I didn’t grow up with it, and the constant references thrown about in daily conversation go over my head. Curb Your Enthusiasm was my first real entrance into David’s world; one filled with awkwardness and a neurosis that threatens to displace Woody Allen as the world’s most nebbish American Jew.

With Curb I could find something to relate – a guy whose honest, pragmatic idiosyncrasies clash with a culture of pretense and miscommunications.

But that’s not why I want to interview David. As one of the neighborhood’s most notable residents, I want to experience growing up in Sheepshead Bay through the Larry David lens – if only to confirm that, maybe, I already know what he’ll say.

As few interviews as there are with the man, there are even fewer that explore his formative years in Southern Brooklyn. I’ve heard through some who knew him – tangentially, always – that he hated the neighborhood. Last week, one interviewer from the Financial Times touched on this sentiment:

I ask about the most recent series of Curb, screened last year, which was a homecoming of sorts because part of it was filmed in New York. He was raised in the city, and spent his formative years in an apartment in Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn. “Everyone was always yelling at each other. A lot of screaming, a lot of noise. No sense of independence. Everybody knew your business.”

In David’s world, Sheepshead Bay is loud, its neighbors nosy, and its environment confining.

Oh, I could certainly see that growing up.

But, Larry, Larry, tell me more! Tell me if you ever visited PIPS. Tell me what the hallways of Sheepshead Bay High School were like. Tell me where you went, and the people you saw, and the run ins you encountered!

I’ll probably never score that Larry David interview. Until I do, I’ll have to imagine the answers he’ll give, tinged with my own reflections on the quirks of the modern Bay. Where he’d probably talk about the clash of secular Jewish minorities with Catholic Irish and Italian working-class sensibilities, I can’t help but wonder what he’d think of the Eastern European immigrants, the Arabs, the Asians and the Orthodox.

Would miscommunication abound? I’m just imagining my own hilariously frustrating experiences trying to order dim sum on Avenue U or some hot foods in Sheepshead Bay Road’s Russian market. There’s lots of gesticulating, turning to shouting and exasperation. There’s lots of muttering. There’s lots of stink eye.

There’s lots o’ fodder here for you, Larry David. We’ll trade you – an episode about Sheepshead Bay for a statue in your likeness.*

*Sheepshead Bites does not have the authority nor the resources to fund or place a statue of Larry David or anyone else. But we’ll damn well try.

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Comments

  1. “Of all the famous people who grew up in Sheepshead Bay, the one I’d like to interview most is Larry David.”
    No, Vincent Thomas Lombardi is the most famous person who grew up in Sheepshead Bay. And just like Larry you will never get to interview him either. Btw, did you write this article so Larry would read it and give you an interview??? I’m on to your cheap tricks.

  2. “I’ll probably never score that Larry David interview. Until I do, I’ll
    have to imagine the answers he’ll give, tinged with my own reflections
    on the quirks of the modern Bay. Where he’d probably talk about the
    clash of secular Jewish minorities with Catholic Irish and Italian
    working-class sensibilities, I can’t help but wonder what he’d think of
    the Eastern European immigrants, the Arabs, the Asians and the Orthodox.”

    I’m interested in YOUR take on this. Everyone who reminisces about SHB, talks about how it was during the 50s and 60s because thats when they were kids and teens. How about an article about the changing demographics of SHB from the late 70s till now.

  3. Where did Ned say that David was the most famous Brooklinite? All he said was he’d pick Larry if he could interview anyone.

    And Lombardi doesn’t hold a candle to Al Capone’s fame.  Go to any country in the world, chances are they’ve heard of Al Capone.  Unlike Lombardi.

  4. You take that back right now you guttersnipe!
    Vincent Thomas Lombardi should be one of the saints as far as I’m concerned.

  5. Am I the only Brooklyn Native that doesn’t like this guy? I find Curb Your Enthusiasm to be awkward and awful to watch. The laughs are just not natural at all. Seinfeld has NOT held up into this decade in the slightest and it shows with every episode.

    I’m just not amused by the guy and every-time I see him on tv I want to change the channel.

  6. There was no SBHS until 1961, so whoever’s reminiscing about it in the 50s is making it up!

  7. Perhaps, Larry David can help our hero, Ned, get a spot on ‘Law & Order’. 
    I’d like to judge the Hawaiian Tropic Tanning contest, if there are any favors left to be had.    Thanks a bunch.

  8. How do you know that Vince Lombardi won’t rise from the grave just to give Ned the scoop of his career? Maybe no one will believe it happened, but it could.

  9. But these days (and this comes from the best sources) mention Sheepshead Bay, and what name comes to mind from most people? Why, the erstwhile editor of this news journal! So, Ned, when are you going to interview yourself? Curious minds want to know so much, and doing this interview will require your most persuasive skills in extracting interesting and revealing information, as it is well known that you generally do not give such interviews.

  10. I admit, I was referencing Brooklynites in general, not specifically Sheepshead.  that was my mistake.

    Still stand by my other point that Ned never claimed Larry was the most famous Sheepshead resident.

  11. Trust me, Sheepshead Bay didn’t just spring out of nothingness one day in the early 60s. But back then it only bore a faint resemblance to what it is now.

    But I get where you’re going.

  12. I read that a poet lauriette had recently passed away.  I’ve heard some rumblings of a movement to fill that void with an admired writer from Sheepshead Bay.  Unfortunately,  I couldn’t hear the name of the aforementioned revered writer for the noise from a ‘B’ train passing by was quite pungent.

  13. thats your opinion but you’re way off about seinfeld not holding up. seinfeld was waaay ahead of its time. just look at the Kramer character. He was the original hipster. I can go on and on but LD is hilarious and he is on point about sheepshead. ” alot of noise, everyone knows your business”

  14. After all this talk about who is the most famous person to come out of SHb, I think is is Carole King, who grew up at 2466 East 24th street.

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