You're from Brooklyn. Or you've lived in Brooklyn for quite a while. Or you've lived in Brooklyn for somewhat less than quite a while, but you've succeeded in informing yourself sufficiently of what your borough is all about. Any one of these scenarios might have furnished you with the prerequisite emblem of respectful residence: Brooklyn Cred.
Do you have it? Allow The L Magazine to help you answer this question.
YOU HAVE BROOKLYN CRED...
...If you can describe at least five Brooklyn neighborhoods according to specific socio-economic and/or ethnic distinctions. And five is the bare minimum. No, ten is the bare minimum, as half-steppin' is vehemently forbidden.
...If you know a few things about the Brooklyn Bridge and bring them up occasionally without sounding like you learned them from a Ken Burns documentary (which is where you learned them).
...If you know at least three alternate names and/or spellings for Brooklyn. Fuck that, you know at least ten. There are around a thousand, after all.
...If from Bay Ridge to Brooklyn Heights to Bedford Avenue, the BQE is your North Star.
...When the "Local Favorites for Brooklyn, New York" section comes up on Netflix, you automatically associate certain films with certain neighborhoods. This makes you a little bit uncomfortable, but it's also unavoidable and funny.
...IF you know about how long it takes for a new condo building to go up (10-15 minutes), so you can estimate neighborhood turnover pretty readily. Well, you once could, anyway, until The Great Recession fucked that up for you. (Condo buildings now take anywhere from 10 minutes to 10 years to complete.)
...When a manhole cover bursts violently and soars a good three stories into the air, you're able to casually turn to the nearest stranger and say, with confident calm and a shrug of your shoulders, "Methane." Occasionally the stranger says, "Fucking hipsters!"
...If on a hot day, you'll do a little raindance or dip your head in front of a forth-spewing fire hydrant without pause. For real Cred, you also drive your car through it very, very slowly, then back up a bit and do it again. This cools down your automobile in precisely no useful way, and neither does it clean it very well, but it's a fucking tradition.
...If you know that the greater number of people on bikes in Brooklyn go the wrong way in the bike lanes, so you do too. The Cred in this lies in the unstated reasoning behind it, which is that you want to make direct eye contact with whatever asshole might run you over one day, the fuckin' fuck. [Ed. Do not do this. Assholes do this.]
...If you're convinced that, despite its appearance on maps, Brooklyn is actually bigger than New York State. This is in part because it can take you hours upon hours to commute, by car or public transport, within the borough, and in part because you almost never leave the borough, which is a good way to limit your worldview—and since someone from everywhere lives in Brooklyn, it is an excusable place in which to limit yourself thusly.
...If you know that French people hate America in general but love Brooklyn in particular—or they must, given their ubiquity. But in general, this doesn't encourage you to heart them back in any particular way.
...If you're not surprised when you see older maps that don't label DUMBO or BoCoCa. In fact, this elicits deep sighs of relief, for all that newfangled real-estate revaluational bullshit consistently exacerbates your daily agita.
...Regarding more legitimate parts of town, you've not only heard of the Marcy Projects, but you also know where they are and have visited to pay homage. And you know to whom you are paying homage.
...If you've been through questionably safe parts of town before, and you've in some way experienced why one's safety in such places is questionable. For this reason, you don't take idiotic bike rides there "to just see what it's like, it's such a nice day!"
...If you constantly see people you recognize from profile-views on online dating sites (we've heard this happens, anyway). This actually has nothing to do with your Brooklyn Cred, but, similar to getting priced out of your neighborhood sooner or later, it is an awkwardly unsettling thing that will almost invariably happen (or so we've been told).
...If Brooklyn Cred is a trait you embody, a quality you display, a swagger you almost passively, perhaps cheekily parade. As such, to maintain Brooklyn Cred is to follow a couple simple rules. The first rule of Brooklyn Cred: You do not talk about having Brooklyn Cred. The second rule of Brooklyn Cred: Just shut the fuck up already.
Thus concludes this inquiry into Brooklyn Credibility, brought to you with all due fairness, sincerity and bling by The L Magazine and the County of Kings.