I had a blast in England and it dawned on me that Jolly old England is similar to my hometown of Coney Island(CI).
QSN: Coney Island is actually a peninsula but it’s hard to move shirts that say “Coney Peninsula” on them.
Similar in that little places sometimes over achieve. In England they say they punch above their weight. There was a time when the sun never set on the English Empire. This little country the size of Alabama basically had the world in a choke hold. The effects still linger. Ever wonder why the pound is still stronger than the dollar? Usually large sample sets breed greater competition and thus better quality. For example, the best pizza in New York City would probably be better than the yummiest pizza in North Dakota because they are probably 8 times as many pizza shops in New York City.
That’s just basic math. But sometimes a smaller sample group focused on one thing can dominate. In my neighborhood we set our sights on basketball and a little neighborhood only 3 avenues wide and 18 blocks long runs the whole city of New York.** Seems improbable but there are 2 NBA players from this tiny place and scores of division 1 players and top prospects on the horizon. Lincoln, The local High School has won the city championship 4 times in a row. This is New York friggin’ City we’re talking about here! Even on the thug tip you won’t find hoods with more legendary reputations, like Bed Stuy, for instance, coming to CI looking for trouble. The CI bunch is athletic and tightly knit. And our brethren from across town can’t navigate the interwoven projects like the locals can. Being lost in an unfamiliar project block can be scarier than being in the wilderness with a bear breathing down your tent. Not that we would want it with Bed Stuy either. Shout out to Do or Die.
There’s less to do in little places and what there is to do, everybody does it. Coney Island is the last stop in Brooklyn. We couldn’t be in Manhattan in 15 minutes. Back then the train didn’t connect to the bus for free. And even if you tried to walk far you had to brave Bensonhurst, a tough as nail Italian Neighborhood for those keeping score at home. Basketball anyone? I think this principle can also explain the Wayan family’s dominance. A small focused group can do major things.
Another theory is that one special person excels and those around him excel by proxy. Keenan to the Wayans. Michael to the Jacksons. For Coney Island basketball the oldest Marbury brother set it off for not only that family but the whole Coney Island.
This was a case study more than a blog. I hope you enjoyed. Cheerio.
QSN: Coney means rabbit. Apparently there were a lot of Rabbits there at some point. Total number of rabbits I’ve seen jumping through the projects in my 20 years of living there?: Zero.
**Ive added nothing to the Coney Island basketball lore. I’m not much of a baller. I’m the Wiz Kid hoping to put Coney Island on the map for something else.