Born in Brooklyn with Pride: Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand is a legendary singer who is the all-time top selling female recording artist. Streisand hails from Williamsburg Brooklyn. She was a member of Chorus and the Choral Club of Erasmus Hall High School along with Neil Diamond.
Streisand six decade entertainment career includes earning ten Grammy Awards. She's recorded over 50 albums and sold over 145 million records worldwide.
She's also won five Emmy Awards and two Academy Awards for her performances in "Funny Girl" and in "A Star is Born." Other noteworthy films include: "The Owl and the Pussycat" and "The Way We Were."
Her memorable songs include "Evergreen" the theme song from "A Star is Born." and then there was a hit duet with Neil Diamond "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." to name a few.
She married Brooklyn born actor Elliott Gould. Their marriage produced a son Jason. Streisand later remarried, marrying actor James Brolin in 1998. They reside together in Malibu California.
Till today, she sells out large venues whenever she tours.
Other Brooklyn born stars include; Vince Lombardi, Vinnie Testaverde, Phil Rizzuto, Joe Torre, Chris Mullin, Carmelo Anthony and yes, the greatest NBA player ever; Michael Jordan.
Brooklyn was also the birthplace of so many well-known comedy stars. Stars such as: Moe and Curly Howard of the Three Stooges, Jackie Gleason, Danny Kaye, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Leah Remini, Joan Rivers, Jerry Seinfeld and Eddie Murphy.
The "Honeymooners" a classic sitcom, was set in Brooklyn. Then there was “Welcome Back Kotter” (1975-1979) which helped launch the career of John Travolta. In 1977 came the movie "Saturday Night Fever" filmed in Bensonhurst starring Travolta. In 1991 the Steve Segal movie “Out for Justice” shot entirely in Brooklyn. These are just a few among the many movies filmed in Brooklyn.
I was a proud Manhattan resident for 12 years. However, I’ve always said with pride, I was born in Brooklyn. I lived in Brooklyn for the first seven years of my life in the Avenue J section near Brooklyn College and later in the Sunset Park (53rd St. & 6th Avenue).
I attended PS 94 and remember as a kid going to Sunset Park with my mother and little cousins to cool off in their large water sprinkler version of a pool. It was how us city kids survived the hot summers. As a teenager, I spent three summers at my Uncle's house in Gerritsen Beach. As an adult, I worked at the Brooklyn Army Terminal for three years.
Who would have imagined the two family house my grandparents bought in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn for $11,000 in 1940’s is now worth nearly $2,000,000. Why the Brooklyn real estate boom? Brooklyn for so long was the less expensive alternative to buying or renting a place in Manhattan. Brooklyn was always a prime location because of its close proximity to lower Manhattan’s Wall Street area.
Why else the boom? There are so many spacious, well constructed Brownstone homes that abound throughout the borough, many beautifully accented with large swooping front stoops and wrought iron fences, gates and railings. When ad agencies starting moving to downtown Manhattan decades ago from Madison Avenue area that was a major factor as well.
Equally as important was the 2012 creation of the Barclays Center, a multi-purpose indoor sports and entertainment venue in Prospect Heights with its public transportation access via Atlantic Avenue Long Island Railroad Station and multiple subway lines access helped fuel the boom and appeal of being in Brooklyn.
The Barclays Center is home to NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and now home also to the New York Islanders. Many leading music performers play there to sellout crowds of 20,000 people.
Asides from the many well-known people who were Brooklyn born, we can’t forget the other classic and iconic associations of the past and present such as: the Brooklyn Dodgers, Ebbets Field, Brooklyn Cyclones, Coney Island, Nathan’s, Peter Luger's Steakhouse and Junior's Cheesecake to name a few.
No matter who I meet or work with, there’s never any hesitation when asked; where I was born. I say Brooklyn with pride.