In a story of Deyan Ranko Brashich, a Connecticut attorney who last week trashed the Bronx in his review of “Monet’s Gardens” exhibit – a story you read here first, has caused a storm amongst furious Bronxites who have had enough with such garbage.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr wrote a letter to the editor of the Litchfield Times where the opinion piece was posted in response to Mr. Brashich’s careless description of a Bronx of the past and not the present. The story even got some street cred and was aired on Channel 7 WABC:
Here’s what Brashich posted on our blog, which is the same response he posted in the Litchfield Times:
Deyan Ranko Brashich says:
June 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm
I am writing in response to Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s letter complaining that my Op-Ed piece, “Monet on the Hudson”, is “libelous and entirely unforgivable”, demanding a retraction on “behalf of the people of the Bronx”.
Far from denigrating the Bronx, I am one of “The” Bronx’ greatest fans. I know Arthur Avenue well since I often visit and indulge myself in its pleasures. As for Jerome Avenue, well it is just Jerome Avenue with the El rumbling above. You must be blind not to see Dyke’s Lumber as you drive down the Sheridan Expressway or miss the strip joint at the exit across from the bus depot, where buses do in fact overnight. As for the water melons, over the years I have bought dozens from the back of trucks, and enjoyed each and every one of them.
But then I could write volumes extolling the beauty and grace to be found in the Bronx. City Island is my very own Cape Cod and Mystic, Connecticut rolled into one and, on your way out, stop by the Bartow-Pell Mansion and Gardens. I whiles away afternoons at the Bronx Museum of Art, the Lehman College Art Gallery and even Wave Hill. There’s a lot more in “The” Bronx.
I do not slander Albanians. I have spent nights in the arraignment part of the old Criminal Court Building and days on trial in Bronx Supreme defending them and other immigrants from ex-Yugoslavia. I embrace them as my country men and friends, attending weddings, baptisms and funerals. In point of fact I was best man at two Albanian weddings.
Mr. Diaz and the guys who found me elitist and racist got me all wrong. This kid, me, was a dumb immigrant who went to PS 22 in Flushing, just across the Bronx Whitestone Bridge and lived through the terror of Junior High 16 in Corona, Queens with the Corona Dukes gang running wild. No elitist am I.
This kid worshiped at that altar of baseball, Yankee Stadium on many an afternoon sitting in $1.25 bleachers seats. I played ball and ran cross country in Van Cortland Park. I played stick ball in the street with cars whizzing by and handball against brick garage walls. No tennis balls for me, thank you, I prefer pink spaldeens.
While I remember the grand Concourse Plaza Hotel once had a cafe I never ate there, but I ate more pastrami sandwiches and drank more beers at the bar of the Yankee Tavern on 161st Street than you can shake a stick at. Knishes at Loeser’s hole-in-the wall Kosher Deli on 231st Street were the best, and ice cones of whatever nationality refreshing.
Mr. Diaz finds my reference to that O. Henry’s “Bagdad on the Subway” offensive. He shouldn’t. It is praise for the very diversity that makes us, and especially me, American. I gladly agree with Mr. Diaz’ assessment of the Bronx’s progress, “You’ve come a long way, baby!”
I do not apologize for my views since they were made by one who has “Da” Bronx and Queens is in his blood. I revel in the Bronx in all of its incarnations good, bad and ugly, but you got’s to call a spade a spade, but I love the Bronx, warts and all, and always will.
Deyan Ranko Brashich
This reply is nothing but more garbage, particularly because he doesn’t bother acknowledging his poor choice of words and instead defends them. This just demonstrates a level of arrogance that one can’t even continue to engage in any meaningful level dialogue because he feels justified in what he wrote.
Bronxites, you have followed the story and read the facts… What say you?