Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brooklyn mothers-to-be heading to Manhattan hospitals to have their babies



The recent New York Times article, “Manhattan Birth Certificate, Brooklyn Address” caught my attention because I also commuted from another borough and from another state to have my children; but mine was a case of reverse migration.

I had my first child while living in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn (Avenue K and East 35th Street). The fine obstetrician recommended to my husband and me had his offices in the Park Slope section and was affiliated with Methodist Hospital. When I was pregnant with my second child we were living on Staten Island. It was a no-brainer for us - he (it turned out to be a boy) must be born in Brooklyn. With our third child (also a son), we were living in Matawan, New Jersey, but knew we’d trek into Brooklyn for his birth.

Of course there were fine doctors on Staten Island and in Monmouth County, but I wanted all my children to share the birthplace of their mother and father. The reason was simple: I have always been immensely proud of the fact that I’m a Brooklynite. Today you hear much about the Park Slope and Carroll Gardens areas, but hardly a word about the Flatbush and East Flatbush areas where I grew up and went to school. Or about the East New York section where their father was born.

My sister Nan and I often bored our friends I’m sure, with our stories about Brooklyn back in the 1940s and 1950s. Yet of all the books written about Brooklyn seldom will you find one about our neighborhood.

The babies born in Queens or Manhattan, the Bronx or Staten Island will always be able to claim they’re native born New Yorkers. But for those born in Brooklyn, it will be an added cachet to say “I was born in Brooklyn.”