After hearing about Miss New York, I came across this quote from Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz on the newly crowned Miss America who lives in Windsor Terrace but hails from the lovely state of Alabama.

Here’s the link first via the New York Times.

“That’s Brooklyn chutzpah,” said Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough president, who has met Ms. Hagan a few times. “Who’s more Brooklyn — somebody that voluntarily decided to leave wherever they lived and chose Brooklyn to live and reside and whatever? Or someone who was born and raised here and decided to leave us?

Sorry Mr. President, I totally disagree with you.

Being born and raised in Brooklyn and “deciding” to leave is just as much Brooklyn as moving there and living there for five years.

I’m thrilled to death about Mallory and her recent accomplishment but I would go up against any newbie in Windsor Terrace and discuss the history of our borough!



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27 Responses to HOMEGROWN

  1. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    Marty Markowitz is a blowhard..I believe Ms.Hagan has the right to represent our state, she lives here! But, she does NOT have Brooklyn DNA- which is something that is represented all over the country by the people who spent their formative years here and now live elsewhere for their own personal reasons..

  2. Denise McNeely Decker says:

    Well said, Steve. It gets sickening listening to all these “newbies” who think they know Brooklyn. They’ll live here for one year and then write a book all about Brooklyn. Gimme a break!!!

  3. Willy Wickham says:

    Marty should lay off the Manischewitz.

    • Pat Fenton says:

      There is something about that block, 17th Street, that I will take with me my whole life. No matter where I ever go. So much of me will always be there. It’s a part of who I am. A magical place where one day you could grow older and find out that Miss America moved a block and a half away from where you were young and dreaming of going to places so far away.

      Forget the Double Windsor. That’s not a real place. Let me be the first to welcome her to the neighborhood and offer to buy her a glass of Budweiser at Farrell’s Bar, a place that is the real Brooklyn. And maybe we could even get Pete Hamill to take her for a walk down 9th Avenue and tell her of the history of real people that lived and worked here, went to church in Holy name each Sunday. Always holding on to their immigrant dreams of what America was to them. And what they left behind was a place called Windsor Terrace. A very special part of Brooklyn.

      And if the Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz, wants to tag along, he’s invited too. Maybe he would learn something about the working-class history of Windsor Terrace he didn’t know. I’ll be there whenever he is free. I’ll meet him at my old address, 483 17th Street. (Top floor left) The walk down 17th Street and the beers at Farrell’s are on me.

  4. richie k says:

    you can say the same thing when people say they are american, when they have been in this country 1-2 years only, and when u talk to them they always say, qoute (in my country) meaning where they came from, i say u live here now, but lived and grew up else where,

    • Pat Fenton says:

      John I grew up on 17th Street same time as your mother, late 40’s in to the 50’s. Her name sounds familiar, but I can’t say that I knew her. There was a well liked bartender named Willy Whelan who worked in Kerrigan’s Bar on 9th and 17th Street before Joe Ryan bought it and called it the Shamrock.

      • John Langton says:

        Hey Pat- thanks for responding. As far as I know Willy Whelan was not a relative. My mother’s father passed away at a young age during the 40’s. Did you happen to know my father’s family? The Langtons lived on 20th, and my grandfather had a bar on the circle for decades.

  5. jimmyvac says:

    Gotta agree with you. A big part of who you are today is where you grew up . I have lived in Staten Island for over 30 years, but I am 100 per cent Brooklyn.

  6. Gene Green says:

    I left in 72 but still proud to say I was born and raised in the south . South Brooklyn that is. I still have the accent and attitude and when I do finally lose it I will be 6 feet under and hopefully someone will raise a toast to me in Farrell’s.

  7. Gary Lang says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Miss Alabama won. You can be naturalized an be considered a U. S. citizen but in my opinion, unless you were born in Brooklyn…”you ain’t from Brooklyn!”

  8. Eddie Matula says:

    Left Windor Terrace 17 years ago ( 1618- 10th Ave ) where my family had lived since whenever they had come from “the other side”…….Whenever someone asks ” where are you from ?” the answer is always BROOKLYN. Where do I reside ? OK, Staten Island but Brooklyn is always home. Saw a documentary 10-15 years back on PBS——1/3 of all Americans can trace their roots at some point to Brooklyn.

    Steve- check out the email I’ll send you of a picture I took in Bay Ridge the other night. Maybe you’ll post it 🙂

    Maureen —–I was with Tommy Rice the other night in Bay Ridge for Melissa’s birthday. We were talking about you—–all good 🙂 Hope all is well

  9. richie k says:

    a lot of us live in staten island now, but when i go some where, and when i’m asked, where are u from, the answer is brooklyn

  10. jimmyvac says:

    I think more of the neighborhood migrated here in Staten Island than anywhere else. I remember when I showed my dad and Uncle Charlie (Gabbert) the house, they took one look at my 40 by 100 corner lot and said I had a lot of property I told them we were thinking of raising cattle..

  11. Don Cush says:

    I am in North Carolina now, but when anyone asks me where I am from I proudly say Brooklyn N.Y. Incidently when I was a kid I lived on 19th between 7th and 8th and was told at an early age not to walk up 17th between 8th and 9th on the way to Holy Name. That was a bad block back then

    • hoopscoach says:


      I remember people used to say that about 17th between 8th and 9th avenues.

      As I got older I started going on that block and found out it was fine. There were some good people living there.

      I do recall a few “rumbles” back in the day up and around 17th street.

    • Pat Fenton says:

      I lived at 483 17th Street, Don, top floor left. I suppose there were some rough people living there between 8th and 9th, but the majority of them were really good people just trying to get along. I left there for awhile in 1961 when I was 20 to join the Army. Pushed up my draft.

      One summer afternoon, going through basic training in Fort Dix, New Jersey, I was standing in a long row with a group of other soldiers, getting set to go off on a five mile forced march with full pack. Quickly, someone came up behind me, a young Seargent who started to push my pack up higher on my back. “You’re not going to make it through this march with your pack that way, ” he said as he adjusted it, something that just doesn’t happen when you are going through basic training.

      He had seen my name tag “Fenton” and he remembered me from 17th Street. His name was Danny Wilton, and he lived in the last building near 9th Avenue on 17th Street, an apartment house next to where I lived. I never saw him again, but I will never forget that afternoon.

      There were so many kids living on 17th Street in the 50’s that the Herald Tribune did a piece on it. And every summer the P.A.L. would set up a Play Street and block off the street to traffic.

      To me, looking back on it, everyday was a working-class opera, a street carnival that seemed to never end, men selling fruit and pies, carnival type truck rides parked in the middle of the street.

      I walked down my block a few weeks ago with an actor friend of mine that I‘m working with, stopped at my old address at 483, and described it to him. But there was only silence there now. But I could see beyond it. And I was glad for that.

  12. Karen says:

    Haha – I so remember my parents telling me I was not allowed to go past Prospect.

  13. Pat Fenton says:

    John, I do remember Langton’s Bar on the circle. One of those great Brooklyn bars where neighborhood people met and passed on information on where to get a job, where to get a new apartment, gone forever. We never heard the word “yuppies” back then, young, urban professionals or what ever the hell that stands for.

    Most of us were working in the factories of 19th Street, or studying Arco books to become cops and firemen. And that was good enough for us. On weekends we just wanted a Budweiser on tap, or a Seven and Seven in bars like your grandfather ran, and a good juke-box to slow dance to. But that was a long ago time in Windsor Terrace, a time and a place that the Double Windsor crowd with their 50 “craft beers” never experienced or even know once existed. It was our working-class Camelot. And I’m forever grateful that I lived it.

  14. Denise McNeely Decker says:

    I remember well being taken to Langton’s at Christmas time by my uncle. I would meet Santa Claus there and he always gave me a nice present.

  15. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    Thanks Eddie- Thomas is one of the blessings in my life- BIG TIME! 🙂

  16. Duncan J. Farmer says:

    I lived at 472 17th Street from 1947-1954 on the second floor of my grandparents house. His name was Tom O’Gara and he was a Trolley Car driver. I left the block too young to remember much but do remember a French family living on the other side of the vacant lot next to us. I also remember Mr. Pascuzzi’s shoemaker shop and girls my age named Patty and Laura. I still have some First Communion pictures with them if they need copies. We moved to Flatbush in 1955 just in time for the Dodgers’ winning the World Series. By 1960 I was gone from Brooklyn but Brooklyn is never gone from anyone. I live now in Florida but, in full circle mode, my youngest son lives just the other side of the Parade Grounds.

  17. Joan (Ferraro) Hanvey says:

    Hi John, Although I knew my husband-to-be from around the neighborhood, I spoke to him for the first time in Langton’s. Or should I say he was in Langton’s with his friends and I sat in a booth with my friends in the attached pizzeria. At that time, there was a small window between the two. This was during the 60s.

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