Bensonhurst: Via 86th Street

Bensonhurst: Via 86th Street

Bensonhurst is a diverse Brooklyn neighborhood known for its predominantly Jewish and Italian immigrants and organized crime figures. Bensonhurst has had many famous natives and residents, including the Mets pitcher John Franco, singer, actress Barbra Streisand, TV host Larry King, all Three Stooges and and my favorite astrophysicist Carl Sagan.

Today, Bensonhurst is more diverse than ever, with Chinese, Ukrainian, Albanian, Mexican and Arab immigrants added to the mix. 86th Street is full of ethnic shops and restaurants, lined by the arches of the elevated BMT West End Subway Line.

Born in Bensonhurst, Carl Sagan (1934-1996) is best known for his popular science books and for his award-winning 1980's TV series Cosmos. While he was recognized by many for his role in renewed public interest in science, and as their own inspiration for taking up science careers, he was also resented and criticized by some members of the scientific community for his interest in extraterrestrial life, oversimplifying of complex subjects, materialist outlook, and his agnosticism. One of his most famous quotations has come to be known as the "Sagan Standard": "What counts is not what sounds plausible, not what we would like to believe, not what one or two witnesses claim, but only what is supported by hard evidence rigorously and skeptically examined. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

Song of the Day: Woman In Love - Barbra Streisand (1980)
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