So before we were New York City, we were Brooklyn. And before we were Brooklyn, we were Gravesend.
You see, back in the old days, we were the only English chartered town in the Dutch colony of New Netherland, founded by this badass boo named Lady Moody. As a widow, she rebelled against Puritan mores in Massachusetts, was chased down here, founded a town, and, upon chillin’ with homeboy Peter Stuyvesant, scored religious freedom for her Anabaptist crew – a coup very unusual for anyone in the 1600s, especially a woman.
Fast forward 200 years, and Brooklyn’s all up there lookin’ smug and stuff, annexing away at Williamsburg, New Lots, Flatbush, et al. Gravesend was all like, “Yo, them Dutchies gettin’ grabby.” But then we thought about the situation a little more and realized those chickenheads needed us. So, like, whatever.
And then a few years later, we realized how sad Manhattan would be if its future leaders had no one to ignore. So we hooked up with them, too, forming New York City.
Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Ned’s a genius. Thanks for filling me in on this rich chapter of history.” You’re welcome.
But if you’re really serious about knowing the details about the formation of New York City from five separate counties, you should check out Bay Improvement Group’s History Night, tonight at 8:00 p.m. at Sunrise Assisted Living (2211 Emmons Avenue).
The group holds this annual event the week before BayFest to remind everyone what it is we’re celebrating, and they’re having a real pro historian – Ron Schweiger – come down and explain it in detail. So, you know, you can actually learn something instead of reading my nonsense.