You're probably asking 'why LIKE A BAT OUT OF BROOKLYN?' for the name of my micro-blog (micro-blog because I plan on keeping it short and sweet).
The timing for answering this poignant question couldn't be more perfect. I currently reside in Los Angeles, but was back in New York City on business for a few days last week. And as I sat in my Upper Westside hotel, all my memories of growing up in Brooklyn came flooding back to me. It reminded me of that quote, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." I grew up in the Seventies. And at that time, NYC was the most dangerous city in the country. Where I grew up in Brooklyn - Brownsville - was one of the most dangerous places in New York.
I lived in a crime-infested ghetto full of gang violence. My outlets from this brutal world were reading and Gymnastics. Years before my body had physically left the slums, my mind had transcended this dead-end world through reading. My books, comic books, and graphic novels took me to other cultures and other eras. Through Gymnastics, I learned discipline as I grew mentally and physically strong. Gymnastics gave me a way out through college as a competitive athlete. The skills that I once thought were utterly useless outside the gym also later gave me a career as a high-paid Hollywood stuntman.
When the time came for me to go off to college, I left Brooklyn like a bat out of Hell. Do I equate Brooklyn with Hell? No (especially now with all the hipsters gentrifying the hell out of it with their wine and cheese shops). I'm glad I grew up in Brooklyn when I did, how I did. Somehow it nurtured my creativity and imagination. So how can I hate a place that ended up defining my life?
And, as we all do when we get older, I've romanticized that dangerous generation of my life. And when I see documentaries on the gang violence of the Seventies like "THE RUBBLE KINGS," old genre movies like "THE WARRIORS," and TV shows like Netflix's "THE GET DOWN," I realize I'm not the only one glamorizing these times.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." And it made me who I am. I see this decade through rose colored glasses. Or to quote a line from the Silk-Spectre in one of the greatest graphic novels of all times ("THE WATCHMEN" in case you're wondering): "I'm 65 years old. Everyday the future looks a little bit darker. But the past, even the grimy parts of it, well, it just keeps on getting brighter all the time."
Amen, Silk-Spectre, amen.
#brooklynapache #diversegenreentertainment #blackgenreentertainment #diverseyoungadult