NEW YORK — Andy Rosen is only 43 years old, so he wasn’t around back then. But he imagines this is what it used to be like at Junior’s when his grandfather ran the popular Brooklyn eatery: a bustling morning crowd, some there for breakfast, some for a drink to start the day, many others for cheesecake. His grandfather would watch them pay their check and catch the trolley car to Ebbets Field to watch the Dodgers.
Six decades later, Rosen sees it, too, customers streaming out the front door and heading a few blocks south to take in a game. “It’s like everything repeats itself,” Rosen said the other day. “Granted, the history isn’t there yet with this team, but you can see it starting.”
After a 55-year hiatus, professional sport is back in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Nets moved from Newark and began play at the new Barclays Center. The NHL’s New York Islanders announced they’ll be relocating soon, too. The teams are riding a wave of communal change, as gentrification and revitalization have redefined whole sections of the gritty borough. Brooklyn has become a brand as much as a community, and many of its neighborhoods are as fashionable as anything in Manhattan.