By Daniel Buckley
Today is Brooklyn-Queens Day, a holiday known mainly for the fact that school is closed today throughout Kings and Queens counties. The holiday is so obscure that few remember what it’s for. “I’ve always felt superior because I grew up in Brooklyn and Queens,” says Jennifer Byrd, CookShop Classroom Manager. “It’s Kings and Queens county. I guess we’re just royal.”
Originating in “Rally Day” parades held by Brooklyn Sunday schools as far back as 1838, Brooklyn-Queens day was declared to be “celebrated in commemoration of the organization of Sunday schools” by a 1925 state law. Hearing this, our Community Outreach Manager, Roxanne Henry, who grew up between Jamaica (the island, not Long Island) and Brooklyn, replied “We’ll take it!”
Given the mainly forgotten origins of the holiday, we would like to take today as an opportunity to take a look at, and celebrate, Brooklyn and Queens.
Queens is the most diverse county in the US, with the biggest Peruvian, Chinese and Filipino communities in the city (to name just a few); the highest concentration of Indian- and Pakistani-Americans in the country; and a US Sikh population second only to California — and, in my opinion, NYC’s best food.
Brooklyn, the biggest and most populous of the boroughs, would be the fourth largest city in the US if it was still independent. Brooklyn has hosted the biggest battle of the American Revolution, Coney Island, Spike Lee and the irrepressible Marty Markowitz.
The Food Bank also sees a high degree of need in the two boroughs. Brooklyn has the largest number of food assistance programs. Queens has the biggest number of residents who are concerned they may need to turn to food assistance for the first time.
So whether you’re enjoying a day off, or just another excuse to praise your borough, we also hope you’ll take a moment to think of your neighbors in need.
p.s. Follow us today on Twitter to learn more about Brooklyn and Queens!