Coney Island Avenue: The Answer to World Peace

Posted on August 15, 2007 In Blog

USA Today has a piece on Brooklyn’s Coney Island Avenue, with its car washes, grocery shops and other low end stores that, even for New York, is a mini melting pot. Orthodox Jews, Russians, Israelis, Pakistani Muslims, Chinese Americans and others live and work on the five mile strip, and everybody gets along. And the question is – in other parts of the world these groups could be, or are, in conflict – maybe even war, so what makes it different here. Why do they get along? That’s up for grabs – our friend and partner at JCRC, Rabbi Bob Kaplan says it takes hard work and building up trust. Others say it’s because folks in Brooklyn, like many New Yorkers are just too plain busy to fight. And there are a half dozen other opinions on why.

We like to think it’s a bit of a combination. Surely the hard work helps, as does American culture. But in the end of the day, New Yorkers basically are live and let live kinda folks. It’s a lesson we’d hope other locales could learn from. Urdu-Russian-Yiddish speaking barber shops need not be confined to Flatbush.

Hat tip to a former IPA legislative fellow, Michael Bleicher for alerting us to the article.