“We’re off to New York”, we cry, but we really mean Manhattan, that long, treasure-laden island with the most recognisable skyline in the world.
We know about Central Park, Greenwich Village, Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, and myriad other places from movies, news, song, all sorts of sources.
To some of us, it’s the Emerald City; to others the heart of the Evil Empire.
But Brooklyn. We know the name, and maybe that it’s east and south of Manhattan, probably because that beautiful bridge points in that direction. It’s takes up a lot of Long Island (which it shares with Queens) and has even more neighbourhoods than Manhattan. It has the second largest arts museum in the US, a 500acre park designed by those democratic landscapers Vaux and Olmstead, the famous boardwalks and amusements of Coney Island, and is the setting for most things by Neil Simon.
Most boggling to me: there are TWICE as many people in Brooklyn than in Adelaide – and I mean the whole greater metropolitan Adelaide – and in an eighth of the space!
Time for a map:
Now see those squished place names between Williamsburg and Sunset Park. That’s our bit. It felt enormous as we hoofed about for five days. But now I know I can’t say “Oh Brooklyn, it’s fab” because I’ve only explored one tiny little pocket, in a pocket of the wallet of the courier bag of the set of luggage that holds this borough.
Anyway, as everyone knows, there’s only one way to learn NYC geography, and that’s to listen to Ella sing about it.