Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Tommy Grows in the Bronx

Like all good Irish/Italian American families, the BoogieDowner has a lot of cousins. They are scattered near and far, from England to Philadelphia... But up until a few weeks ago, not one of them lived in our beloved borough.

Until now - Woodlawn watch out... Cousin Tommy's in town. Cousin Tommy is perhaps one of the most dapperly clad of the cuzzes, and certainly the best dancer of the bunch. He has agreed to find time somewhere between throwing back pints at the pubs on McLean Avenue and being named 'Salesman of the Month' at his job downtown to contribute his take on life in the Bronx to the BoogieDowner.

Without further ado, here is Cousin Tommy's story:

Well, here it is folks. The highly anticipated, often debated, and most awaited debut of a young man you will come to know as simply, Cousin Tommy. One day, my story will be told at your local barbershop, brew house, and bodega. I'm coming up by my own bootstraps, and calling the shots. But ya' see, not long ago, I used to let the shots call me. But that will come later, now back to why I'm here.

Living in Canada, or Connecticut, wasn't always easy.

The commute to Manhattan alone would be enough to bring a two ton grizzly to his knees in agony. Every morning I rose with the roosters, cared for my stock, and left the farm to head to the big city. While most were sheltered in bed and counting sheep, I was fighting for my spot on the coldblooded "do or die" platforms of the Fairfield County, CT Metro North Railway. The days were long, the nights lonely, and the seats uncomfortable.

So once I finally put a couple of deals together down in the big city, my commission came in, and I heard a voice. It was my cousin Peter, a Fordham alum, who years ago weaved a magical tale of this place in the Bronx (okay, technically the city-line of Yonkers, but close enough), known as McLean Avenue. His story of streets lined with Irish pubs and Fordham girls lit a fuse which burned quietly in my mind for years to come.

This dream did not take to fruition immediately... certainly not, life doesn't work like that. It took a celebration of life to bring me to this place called Woodlawn in the Bronx. I had just returned from a four month stay in Dublin, Ireland, when the birth of ErLu's own baby girl, Pearl, was reason enough for me to head to the BoogieDown for the first Christening that I had ever been on time to. The Rambling House on Katonah Ave held the function, I was charmed, and the rest… well, the rest ain't here yet.

So, while many of my graduating class chose to fertilize Brooklyn with their Connecticut ways, I chose not. I chose life. I chose… the Bronx. And I'm sure that somewhere a tree does grow in Brooklyn, but who cares - a Tommy grows in the Bronx.

~Cousin Tommy


Anonymous said...

Welcome aboard, Tommy!

Simone Davis

BrewDawg said...

Well, Tommy, Connecticut will sure miss you. Although, the Canada comment was a little harsh, believe me, I was in Ottawa recently and I feel you do us an injustice.
After helping you assemble your fabulous new IKEA purchases last weekend and taking a stroll around your new neighborhood, I was enchanted. I look forward to visiting you and seeing more of Woodlawn.