Taking “South Brooklyn” Back For The Good Guys
In the following screed, Brian Hedden argues for reclaiming the term “South Brooklyn” for the part of Brooklyn that’s actually… you know… south. The post was originally published on his blog BK Southie. Short and to the point, I think it’s something all “Southern Brooklynites” ought to read.
Streetsblog commenter “kapes” on a bicycling thread last month:
I don’t know why I have to be such a stickler.
But it is such a common mistake I have to say something.
“South Brooklyn” is an area of Brooklyn close to downtown.
It is called this because it was south of the original (and quite small) city of Brooklyn. It includes Red Hook, Gowanus, Cobble Hill etc.
Mill Basin, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach etc. are in southern Brooklyn.
You know, I usually make that distinction myself, but quite frankly, I’m a little tired of it. I blame Wikipedia for reinforcing this A-in-history-F-in-geography mentality. I mean, listen to this drivel.
South Brooklyn is a region or composite neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, encompassing areas of Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Red Hook, Gowanus, Park Slope, and Boerum Hill… The somewhat historic name of South Brookyn has been revived in recent years to foster a closer connection among the constituent communities, though the name has always been popular nomenclature for the neighborhood’s locals… [no, don’t stop there, here comes my favorite part] This hilly area is not to be confused with the actual flat southern region of the modern borough of Brooklyn…
Let me see… an area called South Brooklyn that’s not actually in, y’know, South Brooklyn – why would that be confusing? But hey, for those of us that noticed Brooklyn grew out of its onesie and into its big boy pants some 150 years ago, I propose the following revision.
South Brooklyn is the section of Brooklyn that takes its name from its location south of other parts of Brooklyn, and is not north of any other part of Brooklyn.
For archaic uses of South Brooklyn, see North Brooklyn.
Respect my geographah!
We at Sheepshead Bites are considering making the permanent switch to calling our territory South Brooklyn. Damn the hipsters and the yuppies. We know common sense down here, and South Brooklyn ought to be the part of Brooklyn that is south. What do you think?
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