I was never much of a 2Pac fan, but I always loved his track “Do For Love” off R U Still Down [Remember Me] – the first of his umpteen billion posthumous albums. This one first dropped in the fall of 1997. Sadly, in our iTunes culture, it’s become a lost track, but that’s why things like YouTube are invaluable resources. This is probably the most emo 2Pac could ever get, short of thicker glasses and wearing rejected, oversized Cosby sweaters.
And, of course, if I’m going to post a rare 2Pac clip, I’ve got to show you a little something from Biggie Smalls, and I found something perfect – 17 year old Notorious B.I.G. freestyling on the streets of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn; prime footage of BIG when he was still unsigned talent, local phenomenon.
These days, if you hit up Bed-Stuy, you’re liable to find one of three things – a renovated crack house that goes for $1000 a month, a luxury condo, or a Time Out-winning restaurant. The landscape of this borough is constantly evolving; far past the Hipster Cliches that seemed to rule the 718 only a few years ago. And to be frank: Williamsburg has been officially annexed by Manhattan, so no one south of it takes it all that seriously anymore. Now, we have The Barclays Center to worry about, partly masterminded by BIG’s former protege, Jay-Z. With the impending arrival of an NBA franchise 15 blocks away from my house, there’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said. Brooklyn has changed, and some of the elements that made it Brooklyn are gone, too. But as with all things, new can only bring another identity for another generation of Brooklynites. And I wonder sometimes, what that will be, the possibilities are endless. Therefore, I’m applying tomorrow to open up a Dinosaur Farm in Ditmas Park. Bike shorts and t-shirts to be available via Cafepress come June.
This was my lunch yesterday. My budget is super-tight and I can only afford to eat out once a week. Yesterday was that day.
This is the Lobster Wrapped appetizer from Jpan Sushi in Park Slope.
The following is a fictional recollection of a real conversation I had a few weeks ago. I’m sad to say that there’s more truth than fiction in what you’re about to read.
Friend 1: I don’t get why anyone would want to live in Brooklyn.
Friend 2: Yeah, I know. It’s so isolated.
Me (ears perking up): Uh, I live in Brooklyn.
Friend 1: Yeah, I know.
Friend 1: I’m just saying, it seems like so pointless when there’s so much in Manhattan.
Friend 2: Plus it takes forever to get into the city.
Me: It take 15 mins on the local, 10-12 on the express train.
Friend 2: Where do you live again, Matt?
Me: Park Slope.
Friend 2: Wow, you live out there.
Me: Not really, no. It’s one of the most popular neighborhoods in New York City.
Friend 1: It must be so hard to get around in the outer boroughs.
Friend 2: Well, if you have a car, I guess that makes it easier.
Me: I don’t own a car.
Friend 1 (ignoring me): Plus, like, here’s the other thing: what’s the difference? $1,000 a month.
Friend 2: Oh yeah, I know.
Friend 1: You pay $1,000 less a month to live in a place that’s not Manhattan.
Me: That’s kind of the point in moving to Brooklyn.
Friend 1 (still ignoring me): I’d go crazy. I mean, like what about a place like Artichoke Pizza?
Friend 2: Artichoke makes the best pizza in NYC.
Friend 1: Do you think they’re still open?
Friend 2: Oh yeah.
Friend 1: It’s freezing outside, but I would so walk the extra three blocks for Artichoke right now.
Friend 2: I know, where else but in Manhattan can you get great pizza?
Me: Brooklyn’s famous for it’s pizza.
Friend 1 & 2 (now completely ignoring me): PIZ-ZA! PIZ-ZA! Artichoke rules!
Me: There’s Grimaldi’s. Di Fara. La Villa. Two Boots is right up the block from me.
Friend 1: Plus, you know what else I love about Manhattan? The women. I bet there’s no place in all of Brooklyn to meet women.
Friend 2: Yeah, Manhattan girls are so awesome with their baggage, and the fact that I just need to flex my muscles and they’ll have sex with me.
Friend 1: Manhattan rules! Only here – in the whole world – can you get a midnight slice of pizza and sleep with girls who have daddy issues!
Friend 2: Plus, you pay $2,000 a month to live in a closet and $3 more on Brooklyn Lager here!
Friend 1: Yeah! And then there’s the Yankees!
Friend 2: Let’s Go Yankees!
(Both of the friends start rhythmic clapping and humping every single parking meter they see.)
Friend 1: I love New York!
Friend 2: New York City rules!
(Matt stares at both of them as they strip naked on 14th Street in the dead of winter and begin to spank each other while singing Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York”.)
Me: Uh, guys I’m going to grab this cab home. Enjoy your pizza. Get home safe.
(Matt hails a cab and leaves. Friend 2 is over Friend 1’s knee.)
Friend 1 & 2: “Start spreadin’ the news!” spank! “I’m leavin’ toooooo-daaaaaayy!” spank!