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Bensonhurst is a large, ill-defined neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn in New York City, In the early 20th century it was about equally Jewish and Italian, but in the 1950s the Jewish population began to decline. In the 1930s the neighborhood was celebrated in the Thomas Wolfe short story, "Only the Dead Know Brooklyn," written entirely in "brooklynese." Here's a brief passage:So den, dis big guy steps up to a little guy dat’s standin’ deh, an’ says, “How d’yuh get t’ Eighteent’ Avenoo an’ Sixty-sevent’ Street?” he says.“Jesus! Yuh got me, chief,” duh little guy says to him. “I ain’t been heah long myself. Where is duh place?” he says. “Out in duh Flatbush section somewhere?”“Nah,” duh big guy says. “it’s out in Bensonhoist. But I was neveh deh befoeh. How d’yuh get deh?”“Jesus,” duh little guy says, scratchin’ his head, y’know - yuh could see duh little guy didn’t know his way about - “yuh got me, chief, I neveh hoid of it. Do any of youse guys know where it is?” he says to me.“Sure,” I says. “It’s out in Bensonhoist. Yuh take duh Fourt’ Avenoo express, get off at Fifty-nint’ Street, change to a Sea Beach local deh, get off at Eighteent’ Avenoo an’ Sixty-toid, and walk down foeh blocks. Dat’s all yuh got to do,” I says.
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