It’s no big shock that celebrities have found inspiration in Brooklyn’s streets, parks, and architecture. These four Brooklynites were either raised in the borough before making it big time, or live there today. (And some of them have famously incorporated Brooklyn into their work.)
Woody Allen was raised in Brooklyn, where he started writing jokes which were sold to newspaper columnists. Today, the infamous New Yorker lives in the Upper East Side. He has famously incorporated the borough into his work, most notably in Annie Hall and Manhattan. Who could forget the scene of Annie Hall when Alvy Singer recalls his childhood in Coney Island, and his house is located under a roller coaster? (The actual building was the Kensington Hotel, which was situated under Coney Island’s Thunderbolt roller coaster. The hotel was built in 1895, and the roller coaster was built right on top of it in the 1920s. Both were demolished in 2000.)
Still from the BK Anthem music video | via YouTube
The rapper Foxy Brown grew up in Brooklyn and actually penned a song about her childhood called BK Anthem. As a teenager she won a talent show in Park Slope for rapping and joined Def Jam Records when she was just 17.
Mel Brooks, center, outside his grandparents’ home in Bensonhurst | Mel Brooks via NYMag
Director/screenwriter/comedian/actor/producer Mel Brooks was born into a German Jewish family in Brooklyn in 1926. In 2013, he penned an article in New York Magazine about growing up in New York: “I grew up at 365 South 3rd Street in Williamsburg. I remember doing my homework—it was to write down as many signers of the Declaration of Independence as you knew. I knew three. My brother Irving came home, and I said, ‘Irving, I only have three. I’m going to fail this test.’ He said, ‘Where do you play ball?’ ‘I play ball on Franklin Avenue.’ He says, ‘There’s one.’ He said, ‘Where do you play roller hockey?’ ‘On Hooper.’ ‘There’s another. Where’s the library?’ ‘Hewes.’ ‘Well, there’s another one.’ I said, ‘Wait a minute, I’m beginning to get it.’ I aced that test.”
Steve Buscemi filming Boardwalk Empire in Brooklyn | via Zimbio
Steve Buscemi was born in Brooklyn back in 1957, but graduated high school on Long Island. His ties to the borough, however, remain strong. He lives in Park Slope, and a few years ago a neighbor got some attention for starting the Tumblr entitled “What’s On Steve Buscemi’s Stoop?” (The answer: doll heads, a bag of batteries, a “bath seat” and a free plant.) Buscemi also films much of Boardwalk Empire throughout Brooklyn, as pictured above.