Brooklyn

Why Growing Up In Brooklyn Was The Best

There's no Place Like Home
So I noticed that while my posts are hilarious and relatable (modesty is not in my vocabulary), they are very general. They could have been written by anyone. Aside from a few tidbits here and there, I haven’t revealed much about myself. I bet some of you don’t even know my name. And since I know you’re just keeping yourself up at night wondering what it is, I’m here to tell you: It’s Liz! And if you’re dying to know more about the lady behind this blog (don’t kid yourself, of course you are!), I’ve updated my About Me to make it a little more personal.

But wait, there’s more! Last year I went on a rant (one of my many) bitching about New York City and how it’s not as great as the media would have you believe. I still stand by that post, and could make a brand new one with all the new reasons I’ve discovered to hate the city. But it’s still very much a love/hate relationship when it comes to New York. I have a friend who grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in New York. I was bitching about New York and how it’s not that great. All he said in return was, “That’s what I’ve been saying.” I immediately wanted to bitch slap him while singing Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” I can talk trash about this city all I want but when someone else does, I get testy.

Because as much as I hate many things in New York (it’s dirty, way too expensive, overly-crowded), I still wouldn’t have wanted to grow up anywhere else. This may just be my annoying New York arrogance showing but I take pride in saying that I grew up in Brooklyn. I love where I’m from and feel a little badly for anyone who is from somewhere else.

So why so much Brooklyn pride from someone who has spent so much time bitching about where she lives? Glad you asked. Let me fill you in on why growing up in Brooklyn in the 90s (before a bunch of hipsters from the Midwest took over) was the best.

This was my backyard
Prospect Park Long Meadow Brooklyn
If you ever visit New York, everyone will insist that you visit Central Park. And I do agree with them. Central Park is awesome. But don’t forget its much cooler younger sister: Prospect Park. From the Zoo to the Botanical Gardens, this was by far my favorite place growing up. There was always something new to find. It was like exploring my very own Secret Garden.

Diversity
Every time I see some new Buzzfeed article telling white people what they shouldn’t say to minorities, I cringe. Is it not common knowledge that it’s rude to ask another person if you can touch their hair? Growing up my best friends were Chinese, Jewish, and Puerto Rican. I was introduced to all different races and cultures since Pre-K. It’s crazy to me to think that some people don’t meet someone outside of their own race until they reach college.

Friends

That's little Liz in the middle on the top pic and big Liz on the left in the bottom pic.

That’s little Liz in the middle on the top pic and big Liz on the left in the bottom pic.

When people brag about having the same best friend since college or even high school, I can’t help but get a little hipster. It’s cute but I’ve had the same best friends since Kindergarten. Yes, friendships aren’t measured in time and I’ve met some wonderful people since then, but there is something about being friends with the same person since before you were able to fully read. You know all of each other’s secrets cause you were there for them. You’re close with their family. Some people aren’t lucky to ever find a friend that they truly connect with. I was lucky to find two at the ripe old age of five! And while we’re all grown up now and have busy lives, we’re still best friends. I guess we just do friendship better in the BK.

Independence
I had a lot of independence growing up. Part of it may have been the decade. Parents just don’t let their kids play outside now like they did in the nineties. I was always playing outside. The schoolyard was the place to be. And I can’t even remember exactly when I took the train for the first time by myself but I had to be at least 10.

Field Trips
When you live in such a culturally diverse city, it’s natural that your class field trips are going to be awesome, and my trips in elementary and junior high did not disappoint. There were farms, museums, and science centers. I even got to see my first Broadway show for the senior class trip when I graduated elementary school. It was Cats!

FOOD!
It’s no secret that I love. It’s one of my favorite things in the world. And growing up in Brooklyn I was introduced to some really great food at a young age. Whether it’s a sicilian slice at Spumoni Gardens or cheese fries at Roll N Roaster, plenty of the places I grew up loving are still there today. That’s a pretty great feat when taking into consideration that so much of my borough has changed in the last ten years or so. Eating a home cooked meal was even better, whether it was Italian at home, or Chinese or Spanish at a friend’s house.

So now that I’m done bragging about my hometown, it’s your turn. What’s so great about where you grew up?

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