People get emotional about Brooklyn. Those who love it adore it: Borough President Marty Markowitz declares it "Like No Other Place in the World!" in one of his famous road signs. And those who dislike it are really down on the place: A couple years back one web commenter wrote of Brooklyn: "It stinks like garbage, puke and urine. I don't ever want to go back." There's no pleasing some people.
From welcoming an NBA franchise to dealing with a devastating storm, there've been plenty of huge stories in Brooklyn this year, which we've covered at less celebratory moments. But given the deep passions Brooklyn arouses, a standard and all too serious year-end Top 10 list seemed like small ball for a big-league place. If we're going to risk offending the borough's lovers or haters (or both), we want to do it with Kings County-level ambition and, as they say in the Bronx, chutzpah.
So here, instead, are not one but ten Top 5 lists about the superlative borough of Brooklyn. Feel free to distribute, disparage or dismiss. But have a happy new year either way.
1) Worst Parts of the BQE/Gowanus Expressway
1. When you come off the Verazzano heading north
2. That long stretch through Sunset Park
3. Where the Battery Tunnel splits off
4. The section in Cobble Hill where you're below street level
5. The approach to the Kosciuszko Bridge
2) Most Overhyped Events in Brooklyn History
1. Revolutionary War's Battle of Brooklyn
2. The departure of the Brooklyn Dodgers
3. The opening of the Brooklyn Bridge
4. 1977 Bushwick riots
5. The launch of City Limits' Brooklyn Bureau
3) Favorite Brooklynisms
1. "Alright, already!"
3. "Not for nothin'"
5. Dismissing something by adding a "schm" prefix, as in "irony, schmirony"
4) Borough Presidents or Brooklyn Mayors With the All-Time Best Names
1. Bird S. Coler
2. Conklin Brush
3. Francis B. Stryker
4. Marty Markowitz
5. Martin Kalbfleisch
5) The Bronx has the Bronx Cheer. Brooklyn has/should have the ....
1. Brooklyn Yell
2. Brooklyn Salute
3. Brooklyn Whisper
4. Brooklyn Handshake with Elbow Squeeze
5. Brooklyn Man-Hug with Back Thump
6.) Best Brooklyn Movie
1. "Do the Right Thing"
2. "Dog Day Afternoon"
3. "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"
4. "Radio Days"
5. "Saturday Night Fever"
7) Best Athlete Ever from Brooklyn
1. Mike Tyson (boxing)
2. Sid Luckman (football)
3. Sandy Koufax (baseball)
4. Lenny Wilkens (basketball)
5. Nancy Lieberman (basketball)
8) Favorite Famous-ish Person with Brooklyn as their First Name
1. Brooklyn Decker
2. Brooklyn Beckham
3. Brooklyn Sudano
4. Brooklyn Proulx
5. Brooklyn McLinn
9) Most Endless Subway Ride
1. From Canarsie to 1st Avenue on the L
2. From East New York to Canal Street on the 3
3. From Brooklyn College to City Hall on the 5
4. From Brighton Beach to Grand Street on the B
5. Anywhere on the G train
10) Most Beautiful Place to Be
1. Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge (facing Brooklyn, of course)
2. Jogging on the path that runs along the Narrows
3. Getting to the top of the Wonder Wheel at night
4. Seeing the sun rise over Sheepshead Bay
5. Anywhere in Brooklyn Botanic Garden