Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Little Hipster Grows in Brooklyn

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Little Hipster Grows in Brooklyn

Article excerpt

This is a story about the rebirth of an old community and the birth of one of its new baby residents. More on that cute guy later, but first things first. I promise not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Brooklyn, N.Y., which I memorably visited last week, is one of those communities where youth and diversity have conjured up magic. That is true of New York City in general, but in Brooklyn anything seems possible. Why, I might even seem hip in Brooklyn - which is obviously going too far, but the theory still holds.

It wasn't always this way. Blame the Dodgers for saying goodbye in 1957 and taking a piece of its soul, but Brooklyn had years when it was simply gritty, not trendy. It is hard to imagine now but young men with fluffy beards, short hair and tight pants did not always frequent the joint.

For decades it was as if the great, storied melting pot had stale ingredients for its once piquant stew. Ironically, Brooklyn's reduced circumstances made it more affordable for young and old, but especially the young, trying to escape high rents in Manhattan.

Now the matronly old brownstones are in their glory again, animated by immigrants different from those of old. These ones drink lattes, ride bicycles and do yoga.

I sometimes think that all of Pittsburgh's grown-up children live in Brooklyn and not just Pittsburgh's but every city in America. Pied Piper, thy name is Brooklyn. My own Pittsburgh-born son, Jim, lives in Brooklyn. Last week, he and his wife, Katie, who is from Massachusetts, added to the population by one. This was the aforementioned cute guy.

Nathaniel Crews Henry, to be called Nash, was born on April 22 at 2:12 p.m. A bantam among babies, he weighed in at 5 pounds 7 ounces and his size and a long and trying labor put him in a monitoring nursery for a while. He did not come into the world with tight pants or a beard but he does have the short hair, which should set him right.

It is possible that this community news was not news to Brooklyn residents, as my wife, Priscilla, told every stranger she met, no matter how random. It just goes to show that before social media, social grandmothers were there to do the job. …

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