ALL ABOUT BROOKLYN

“I felt unhappy and trapped. If I left baseball, where could I go, what could I do to earn enough money to help my mother and to marry Rachel? The solution to my problem was only days away in the hands of a tough, shrewd, courageous man called Branch Rickey, the president of the Brooklyn Dodgers.”  

- Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn, Dodgers

“Brooklyn's good. Brooklyn's funky. Brooklyn's happening.”

- Waris Dirie, Somali Super Model, Special Ambassador, UN, leader in fight against genital mutation.

 

"I remember perfectly my first trip to New York, when I was on the bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan (sic), when I saw the skyscrapers. It was like an incredible dream."

- Diego Della Valle, entrepreneur in footwear, chairman international known footwear company Todd’s.

"Everyone should walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I did it three days in a row because it was one of the most exhilarating experiences I've ever had. The view is breathtaking." 

- Seann William Scott, actor, writer, comedian

"There's a certain type of character that you can't help but come in contact with growing up and living in Brooklyn and Long Island. A certain mixture of moxie, heart, and a wise guy sense of humor." 

- Steve Buscemi, actor, movie producer

"Even after Jim Crow was supposed to not be a part of the South anymore, there were still ways in which you couldn't get away from it. And I think once I got to Brooklyn, there was this freedom we had." 

- Jacqueline Woodson, American Writer of books for children and adolescents

"My family originally lived in Brooklyn. Our first apartment was a little place above my father and uncle's hardware store in Coney Island. Now, don't get the impression that we were surrounded by merry-go-rounds, roller coasters and Ferris wheels. Nope, this was a little side street." 

- Gilbert Gottfried, actor, comedian

"An independent Brooklyn probably would have built a new stadium for the Dodgers, so today there might be not just baseball but also the only football team on this side of the Hudson." 

- Pete Hamill, columnist, author

 

"And the soul of New York has moved to Brooklyn, where everything new and exciting seems to be." 

- Alec Baldwin, actor TV, stage and screen

"I didn't have any sophistication. I didn't really have any great taste or anything like that. I was just a kid from Brooklyn. But what I learnt is the why, the how. The work ethic. Jimmy Lovine

You go to Brooklyn, everybody's got a beard and plaid shirt. They may be able to tell each other apart, but they all look alike to me."

-Don Lemon, CNN Anchor

"No, I ain't a star - I'm just a kid from Brooklyn, living his dream. Astro Hip-Hop star

I didn't appreciate Brooklyn until I left it."

- Rosie Perez, actress, comedienne

"I could do nothing but Brooklyn shows for the rest of my career, and I could die ignorant."

- Anthony Bourdain, Internationally famous “foodie” and food reviewer

"When my husband and I first became parents, we joked that our chubby baby was destined to grow into an Alex P. Keaton Reaganite - the most unlikely, and therefore hilarious, course for the child of an interracial gay couple in gentrifying Brooklyn."

- Rumaan Alam, author of books and major magazine articles, many along gay-marriage themes

"Brooklyn was a famous team. I wanted to play for the Dodgers."

- Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh Pirate Hall of Famer

"I grew up in Marcy Projects in Brooklyn, and my mom and pop had an extensive record collection, so Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder and all of those sounds and souls of Motown filled the house."

- Jay-Z, rapper, music producer, entreprenneur

"My life! That's a long story, too. I was born in Brooklyn, New York, like half of the world, I think." 

- Erik Larson, journalist and author of non-fiction books including five NY Times Best Sellers

"I don't think people realize how much I love basketball. A lot of people think because of this idiotic comment I made that I love baseball and don't like basketball. Baseball came first because if you grew up in Brooklyn in the 1940s, that was the No. 1 thing. But if you have more than one kid, you love them both."

- Jerry Reinsdorf, owner Chicago White Sox

"I remember being very young and going to AA meetings with my father in Brooklyn. I thought it was fun because they served hot chocolate and cookies."

- Rochelle Aytes, actress

"I grew up in the projects in Brooklyn, and I consider myself lucky and blessed to be where I am - just working."

- Tracy Morgan, actor, comedian

"Brooklyn is where I primarily developed. I had an opportunity to make records and perform in clubs here and there, and I started networking with the right people in the right places."

- Busta Rhymes, rapper, music producer

"You know, I still live in my neighborhood. I live in Brooklyn and the same neighborhood, so I don't really get star treatment like that. I'm still Vanessa from the neighborhood."

- Vanessa Ferlito, TV Actress

"There's no story that breaks, including a five-alarm fire in Brooklyn, that I don't wish I were covering."

- Walter Cronkite, world known TV News Anchor for CBS News

"I hope that my story, I hope that my life is... an encouragement for people, especially in Brooklyn. I feel humbled and blessed."

- Iyanla Vanzant author, lecturer, teacher of New Thought, lawyer

"I consider myself fortunate to have grown up in Brooklyn. It's what gave me my drive to succeed, the upward mobility I've been after my whole life."

- Ian Schrager,  Entreprennuer, hotelier, famous for the boutique hotel style

"It would take me three or four lifetimes to do everything I want. I'm a Brooklyn boy who learned to hustle, and I have to do something every day or I get the guilties."

- Wolfman Jack, famous Dj

"On a personal note, I was born in Brooklyn. My folks moved out to Long Island when I was quite young, but once a Brooklynite, always a Brooklynite."

- Mitch Kapor, communication entreprennuer, inventor of the Lotus system for computers.

"In my experience, growing up in Brooklyn and all that, the real tough guys didn't act tough. They didn't talk tough. They were tough, you know? I think about these politicians who try to pose as tough guys - it makes me laugh."

- Pete Hamill, columnist, author

"Gleason used to rack balls for me when he was a kid in Brooklyn and in Long Island."

- Minnesota Fats legendary pool player

"I was raised on the streets, in hot, steamy Brooklyn, with stifled air."

- Barbra Streisand, world famous, singer, actress state and screen

"We left my birthplace, Brooklyn, New York, in 1939 when I was 13. I enjoyed the ethnic variety and the interesting students in my public school, P.S. 134. The kids in my neighborhood were only competitive in games, although unfriendly gangs tended to define the limits of our neighborhood."

- Irwin Rose, American biologist, winner of Noble Prize

"I was bused to a school in Gerritsen Beach in Brooklyn in 1972. I was one of the first black kids in the history of the school."

- Chris Rock, comedian

"Most people associate Wu Tang with Staten Island or Shaolin, but actually, I'm a native of Brooklyn. I was born in Crown Heights, raised in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brownsville, and Bushwick."

- Gza, musician

"I have been down and out, living in Brooklyn, no money even for a subway, no food whatsoever. Like, I remember just sitting in my room all day - even my television wasn't working!"

- Viola Davis, award winning star of stage and screen

"I came up in Brooklyn singing doo-wop music from the time I was 13 to the time I was 20. That music served a purpose of keeping a lot of people out of trouble, and also it was a passport from one neighborhood to another." - Richie Havens, musician, singer

"I grew up in Brooklyn, and my parents were Holocaust survivors, so they never taught me anything about nature, but they taught me a lot about gratitude."

- Louie Schwartzberg, award winning producer, director, cinematographer best known for time/motion/stop frame photography

"I like L.A., but I'm definitely a Brooklyn girl; I'm a city girl. I need the cars honking. I need the bright lights. I need people yelling in the middle of the night screaming at each other. I need all of that."

- Justine Skye, actress

"I grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. For part of my life, I was living in Detroit, and I remember a friend of mine commenting she could always tell when I had been speaking to my mother because my New York accent had come back."

- Deborah Tannen, academic, professor of linguistics at Georgetown, University

"I am happy everywhere except in places where I see glitz and rich farts. I am happiest in Brooklyn, where the concentration of rich farts is minimal."

- Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Lebanese American author, writer, statistician

"In writing 'Another Brooklyn,' I had to imagine what happens when friendships dissolve."

- Jacqueline Woodson, author, writer, lawyer

"If you've never seen people taking the pledge of allegiance for the first time as U.S. Citizens, it will move you: a room full of people who can really appreciate what I was lucky enough to grow up with, simply by being born in Brooklyn."

- Alexis Ohanian, internet entrepreneur and investor


"I was a Yankee fan in Brooklyn because my father was a Yankee fan. And my father was required to live in Brooklyn with my mother's family, who were all Dodger fans. So he was surrounded by Dodger fans. He was a Yankee fan. So his revenge was to make me a Yankee fan."

- Rudy Giuliani, prosecutor and former mayor of NYC

"In restaurants in my Brooklyn neighborhood, I always ask for a doggie bag to bring the leftovers home."

- Alek Wek, South Sudanese model/designer

"I don't really go out, 'go out' that much anymore. I live in Brooklyn, in Williamsburg, so I just like to wander around. Williamsburg's such a cool little neighborhood community spot."

- Zoe Kravitz, actress, musician, singer

"The major perk of living in Brooklyn is that everything is there. If I did not want to leave Brooklyn, I could stay there the whole time." 

- Cynthia Erivo, British actor, singer, song writer

"I love Brooklyn; it's a part of who you are."

- Paul Dano, American actor, singer, screenwriter, producer, and musician

"From the year of his birth in 1914 until the outbreak of war in 1941, my father lived in a mostly white, mostly working-class, mostly Irish Catholic neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York."

- Tim O'Brien, Irish American Novelist

"I was born in Brooklyn, delivered by a Chinese doctor on a table in a boarding house on Sept. 23, 1920."

- Mickey Rooney, star stage, screen, Tv, and multiple marriages.

"And when we used to play and fight in the streets in Brooklyn and I would get hurt or something, my mother would always come out and save me. So that sort of postponed the inevitable about getting a good beating, without having somebody to come and save you."

- Sanford I. Weill, computer entreprennuer former chairman of IBM