BROOKLYN- Times Square. Central Park. Wall Street. The Empire State Building. Down The Hatch. All of these historic places are located in Manhattan, but a recent study revealed that 95% of Brooklynites have never even heard of Manhattan, let alone been there. The study was headed by Matt O’Talloran, a native of Bay Ridge, who is the author of the book “The River Between Us: Brooklyn, Manhattan, and The Search For The Drunken American Dream.” “My intentions were to figure out why Brooklynites ignore the presence of Manhattan,” said O’Talloran, “but in my research, I discovered that it’s because they can’t even see Manhattan. I’m serious. I spoke to Dr. Paul Davee, the nation’s leading optometrist, who discovered that when it comes to the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklynites can only see fifty percent of it, the side that’s closer to Brooklyn.” O’Talloran then raises an important question: if Brooklynites can only see half of the Brooklyn Bridge, is it because of poor vision? Or is it because they don’t want to see where the bridge leads to? In order to answer that question, O’Talloran sought the expertise of renowned psychologist Monique Soltani, who said, “You have to remember that bridges represent a link between two places, not just in a physical sense, but in a psychological sense as well. And since residents of Brooklyn fear anything that resembles excitement or culture, Manhattan can be terribly frightening for them. They have a serious case of tunnel vision, or, in this case, bridge vision. Ha ha!”
But some people aren’t laughing. When Anthony Ihavealowique was informed that Manhattan exists, he became angry, saying, “Fuck Manhattan! All I’ll ever need to be happy in life is a gold chain, some hair gel, and a pizzeria that’s within walking distance. And since Brooklyn has all those things, why would I ever need to go to Manhattan?” Vinny Cuccia of Bensonhurst said, “You know, on September 11th I was watching the live news coverage of the terrorist attacks, and I kept saying to myself, ‘That building that’s on fire looks nothing at all like the Williamsburgh Savings Bank. And why are there two of them?”
O’Talloran’s book has caused quite a bit of controversy. Byron Cunningham, a spokesman for Amnesty International finds the book to be “immoral,” saying, “When you take an animal out of its natural environment and put it somewhere else, it doesn’t know how to adapt to its surroundings, and it ends up dying. Well, that’s what happens to most Brooklynites if you put them in Manhattan.” Despite the controversy surrounding the book, “The River Between Us” soared to number one last week on the New York Times Bestsellers List, and the book’s publisher, Random House, plans on printing two million more copies.
February 14, 2006