In a piece published in Litchfield County Times up in Connecticut, “Monet on the Hudson, A Bronx Tale“, attorney and author of the story, Deyan Ranko Brashich, spends more time dissing the Bronx than actually focusing on his review of the beautiful exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden.
The first half of the review is basically Brashich’s myopic view of the Bronx and he spares no details to paint a distorted reality of the Bronx to the point that at times it appears to take rather bigoted undertones.
Like when he refers to Arthur Avenue as, “…Bronx’ Little Italy, now in Sicilian Vespers death throes orchestrated by hard eyed Albanian immigrants, America’s newest version of the Mafia.”
(No shock there since Brashich is from the former Yugoslavia where ethnic Albanians suffered ethnic cleansing with Serbs trying to drive them out of Kosovo). Then there’s a little jab where he’s talking about driving along the Sheridan and all the negative, gritty things you see including, “…up the street, they sell watermelons from the back of trucks as traffic whizzes by.”
The title of the piece is as inaccurate as it gets, Monet on the Hudson? Apparently geography is not his strong point since NYBG is located on the Bronx River not the Hudson. He then gushes on Riverdale and Fieldston with their manicured estates and they seem to be the only places worthy of praise because the rest of the borough is for the most part, “…Baghdad on the Hudson, or “Bagdad-on-the Subway”, as O. Henry calls it. But flowers do bloom in ghettos and the Bronx now boasts Monet’s sublime water lilies.”
Excuse me Mr. Brashich but in O. Henry’s “What You Want“, the short story opens with the line, “Night had fallen on that great and beautiful city known as Bagdad-on-the-Subway.”
Nowhere in the story does it refer to the Bronx nor modern day Baghdad as a matter of fact but of New York City as a whole and a Baghdad of well over a century ago which he describes as an, “occidental city of romance“.
The Bronx is far from perfect. It is not paradise but it is our home and the place where many of us fought to keep our communities alive when our government, landlords and financial institutions abandoned us out of pure greed.
A better tale to tell when describing the Bronx might be how it is now a vibrant borough where the residents did what the nation and the world thought impossible: make it a place where people want to live and call home. Or that Melrose, once mostly burned out buildings and rubble strewn lots became the first and only LEED Certified Neighborhood District in the State of New York.
Perhaps Mr. Brashich should focus more on the exhibit rather than cowardly, sensationalsitic garbage which he thought his neighbors in Litchfield County Connecticut would be interested in reading.
Powered by Facebook Comments