Author Archives: ASeuling

Brooklyn’s “Auld Irishtown” Reflection

Although there was not and is not any Brooklyn neighborhood that was officially named “Irishtown”, we know that in articles like the Whiskey Wars that we previously read that areas like Vinegar Hill, DUMBO and the Brooklyn Navy Yard were referred to Irishtown because of the Irish immigrants that came here in the 19th century.  Eamon Loingsigh was informed about “Irishtown” through his elderly relatives who had family who had lived in those areas and experienced life in these Brooklyn neighborhoods.  I think with word of mouth information given to Eamon Loingsigh based on his family history, this was the base for the research he needed for his book on Irishtown, and he used these historical stories to branch out and dig deeper with secondary sources to find more.

WikiGalaxy: A Visualization of Wikipedia Rabbit Holes

As a person who gets so easily distracted by the weirdest things, I know exactly what the “rabbit hole” is, even without knowing that term until now. I think sites like Wikipedia that give links in blue to certain topics within the primary topic that we originally went to the site to research, it allows us to gather more information about whatever we came to find from a different perspective or source. But before we know it, we find ourselves completely far away from why we needed to be there in the first place. For instance, I may have went to Wikipedia to find out something about Ancient Greece for a college project. 20 minutes later, I’m reading about something completely different and I don’t know how or why I got there.  I do not think this is something we do intentionally as people living in a world now with so much technology, media, and search engines where we can type in ANYTHING, and that’s what will be found in a matter of seconds.

Whiskey Wars

I had heard of Vinegar Hill about a year ago but knew nothing about the neighborhood. Coming from living 25 years in eastern Long Island, I know making a life in the Brooklyn/Queens areas, I’d take whatever opportunities I could about the histories of what I now call home. The Whiskey Wars article immediately made me think of the backwards actions of todays government with surge taxing on the necessities that we as people require most, or products with the most demand. Tax breaks on the richest, but spiked taxing on the lower and middle class and only making them higher. “Mom and pop” shops and small businesses being overshadowed and turned out of business because they cannot afford it. To me, the Whiskey Wars and the attacks on Brooklyn distilleries in the 1860s, with liquor being dumped out and wasted when all of that product could have been huge profit for the distillers.