South East Brooklyn

Marine Pk Marsh

I abide in South East Brooklyn…I live there.

Most people don’t realize there are marshes in Brooklyn. When they think marshes their minds drift to Louisiana, south Florida, never Brooklyn. The truth is quite beautiful marshes and protected wetlands stretch for miles.  The photo at right is of Gerritsen Beach, not technically part of South East Brooklyn, but nearby.  NETWORK THAN DIE, a contemporary whodunit I hope to release next year, opens with a body on a reedy beach in Gerritsen Beach. Hurricane Sandy kind of messed me up by decimating Gerritsen Beach and I’m going to have rewrite a bit to be accurate about the local scenery and neighborhoods.

Barren Island, Bergen Beach, Flatlands, Georgetown, Marine Park, and Mill Basin are the local communities in South East Brooklyn. It’s a hop-skip-and-a-jump from the Queens border and an easy drive to Long Island.

Out of towners think Brooklynites are rude and don’t speak well. You know…they think we say dees, and dems, and doughs. And you’ll find some of that. There’s even a Brooklyn neighborhood-style walk. The shoulders swing back and forth in opposition to the stride of the feet. Sometimes the head bobs up and down, but only slightly. To get the full effect, it helps a lot if you’re wearing a black leather jacket and dark glasses.

I know the South East Brooklyn where the neighborhoods used to be populated with Italians, Irish, and Jews. The Irish were cops, the Jews were the teachers and accountants, and the Italians were in the construction trades unions, or some will claim, in the mob. Now you’ll see turbans and saris on the streets. Tonight is Rosh Hashanah and I can hear my religious Jewish neighbors blowing the shofar as they usher in the Jewish New Year.

It’s all changed and yet it’s all still the same.

About NikeChillemi

Nike Chillemi has a passion for crime fiction, particularly detective stories, police procedurals, and hilarious cozies. She writes literature that reads like pulp fiction, almost a journalistic style. She likes her bad guys really bad, and her good guys smarter and better. She is the founder and chair of the Grace Awards, a member of ACFW. She has judged numerous literary awards including the Grace Awards, Carol Awards, Inspy Awards, and the Eric Hoffer Awards. View all posts by NikeChillemi

11 responses to “South East Brooklyn

  • Deborah K. Anderson

    You’re right. I had no idea there were marshes in Brooklyn. Beautiful setting.


  • Karen Deikun

    My attitude to Brooklyn was formed by going to a wonderful Barbershop Quartet competition in which a group called “The Brooklyn Accent” performed. They were great and I loved their name. I figured such beautiful music came from a place with a deep heart and I loved the tongue-in-cheek name of the group. That was 30 years ago or more. But I’ve always had a soft spot for Brooklyn since then.


  • Elaine Stock

    The Brooklyn of today is definitely not the Brooklyn of my childhood… both have/had so much to offer. No other place like BKLYN!


  • Darla Gardner

    One of my ancestors (Jerrmiah Kenniff) settled on Mamaronek


    • NikeChillemi

      Darla, My entire Sanctuary Point series has a sub-theme about the settling of this village. It is a fictional town, but it could have happened that way. The first settlers to Long Island were Dutch and I made those first settlers to the village missionaries. Then the English came. You had some Germans during the American Revolution. This population remained like this for duration of the 1800s. Then you had immigrant refugees from WWII. Poles, Ukrainians, Scandinavians, Czechs, those from the Balkans. And the same after WWII with lots of Jews coming in then.

      My Czech immigrants came to Sanctuary Point after WWI. Their sons fought in WWII for America. And I have a fictitious Scottish family who is a shipping family. They own a shipyard. They’re very proper now, but their graddad added mightily to the family fortunes during prohibition by running whisky in one of his pleasure craft.


  • Tracy Krauss

    I visited Brooklyn once in 2002. I must have missed the marshy areas… We were in Manhattan in 2007 but never made it back to Brooklyn.


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