Thanks to Kenny W. for this article from the New York Times.
Here’s a small sample:
That Brooklyn was the quintessential Old Neighborhood, a patchwork of ethnic enclaves safe from any Columbus. The old Brooklyn was a place from which ambitious young people — Jewish, Irish, African-American, Italian — set out, not a place they flocked toward. In the mid-20th-century imagination, it is like a small, provincial town that happens to lie just across the East River from the capital of all aspiration. The journey from one side to the other is long and freighted with symbolism, and at times impossible. Ralph and Alice Kramden, in their Bensonhurst walk-up, were a million miles from Park Avenue. Brooklyn is where young Alvy Singer lived with his squabbling family in a house under the noisiest roller coaster in Coney Island; Manhattan was where he found Annie Hall. Brooklyn is where Tony Manero worked his dead-end job, ate his pizza and argued with his parents; Manhattan is where, in the last shot of “Saturday Night Fever,” he will seek freedom, fortune and artistic fulfillment.