I was born in Brooklyn.
I tend to wear that like a badge of honor, proud to be part of a place with such a rich heritage (and strange accent!). But the truth is, I haven't lived in Brooklyn since I was nine, and that was more years ago than I care to post on this blog. In fact, I've lived in my Upper West Side Manhattan apartment longer than I've lived anywhere else in my life.
But I still don't claim to be a Manhatanite. That kind of sophistication--knowing just what accessories go with which little black dress or black slacks, or black skirt and jacket (people wear a lot of black in Manhattan)-- just isn't where I'm at. In fact, right now I'm in a pair or ripped cargo pants and a Grateful Dead concert shirt, which I actually dared to wear to the flea market across the street! I guess the fact that both my parents still don't have any idea where to put the Rs in words (somehow soda still comes out soder, while car still sounds like cah), or the fact that our favorite family book is called When Brooklyn was the World, keeps me attached to that outer borough. Is it any wonder that I drag my kids to Brighton Beach for real Russian food, or insist they ride the rickety old Cyclone every summer? (Alas, Coney Island is changing fast, and the ride may soon be a thing of the past, but that's another story for another blog).
All of this explains why I was so thrilled to be asked to speak at the Brooklyn Museum's Book Fair on November 17. I speak all over the country, at schools, book festivals, and conventions, but this one is kind of special. Let me tell you, my folks were really excited. Even though they don't live in Brooklyn any more, like me, they still have that umbilical cord firmly attached to our little house in Mill Basin, or the old apartment on Ocean Parkway. So if you're in the New York are on that autumn day, (and who doesn't love Autumn in New York), come on out and say hello.