The Beastie Boys played an incredible show in Brooklyn Thursday night — their first-ever Brooklyn show. A huge crowd of devoted fans, dancing in the ruins of an outdoor public pool. Sheri, Katie, Ellen and I all went, and were wondering how it was that they had never played a show in Brooklyn before. Kind of amazing, considering how many times they’ve name-checked their hometown borough over the years. Surely No Sleep Till Brooklyn must be their most famous song. How was this so?
There is good reason for this: Brooklyn is cool.
From it’s recent influx of icy-cool hipsters to it’s red-hot real estate, it’s just the place to be. It’s so cool that famous people even choose it as moniker for their kids. Yet my recollection is that it wasn’t always so. There was always the sense that it was cool in a street-cred rap sort of way — a nice place to say you came from, but not to visit. While there were always nice parts, there were far more interesting places in Manhattan.
So much has changed. Over the past 10 years, Brooklyn has gone from the type of place that I would complain about traveling to, to a truly desirable place to live, play, and even work (It’s not uncommon for people to live in Manhattan, and work in Brooklyn).
I can go on and on about the virtues of Brooklyn, as well as the shortcomings of Queens, for the rest of my life to write lengthy diatribes. So I will just close with this: I love you, Brooklyn, and I’m glad I was able to have such a great time in your pool. I just wish that Queens can find it’s voice sometime soon. Maybe it’s time for someone to write a good song about it.