Alright, hold up a sec. Put down whatever you’re eating. Forget about all that My Family Is From The Deep South, Boo Hoo Motherfucking Hoo bullshit for just a second. After spending the better part of my weekend digging through old newspapers and family records (shut up, my life is unspeakably exciting usually), I found something surprising — relatives in Brooklyn!
“Pretty cool!” I said, out loud, and promptly shushed by the attractive archivist. (On topic: I’ve yet to meet an archivist that wasn’t twenty-four, with thick glasses, semi-hostile and bizarrely good looking. Time to get my MLS!) I scratched down a couple of unfamiliar looking street addresses and resolved to look into it later.
And I did. And they’re in Bushwick. Bushwick! Not even a nice part of Bushwick! Do you understand what this means? The absurd bizarre legitimacy this bequeaths me? I can only imagine my newfound conversational leverage:
Oh, hi. You moved to Bushwick three years ago? Nah man, that’s cool, cool, y’know, I got here in uh, 1858. It was sort of lame then, though, that’s why we moved to some shithole upstate town and stayed there for about a hundred twenty years. Until the yuppies took over. Yeah, man. Brooklyn, right? Now I live in Greenpoint, whatever, yeah, cool, you know, there aren’t so many paved roads and shit. Wanna buy me another drink?
Jay-Z thinks it’s badass he grew up in the Marcy projects… but they demolished my family’s house just to BUILD the Marcy projects! So that must have been an improvement! God knows what it was like. I heard my great-great-grandfather sold crack out the back his Escalade, although records from that era are, of course, inconclusive at best. Wood Escalade, bitches!
Anyway, I’m sure the past was exactly like today, what with the prosperity and silly outfits and $8 beers, although every single member of my family is listed in 1880 as “Laborer in hat factory.” Ironic hats? Somehow I doubt it. But whatever, man, I’m sure lofts were cooler when you couldn’t turn the lights on. And I don’t have to tell you how much cleaner the subway was, back when it was a horse.