Songwriter Pays Homage To Brooklyn, Sheepshead


I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough of New York City transplants wailing the chorus to Jay-Z/Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” in Lower East Side bars. My first reaction is to think violent thoughts, and tell these morons to shove it as I down an overpriced vodka tonic.

But local singer-songwriter Annika Vitolo took a far more productive route. The Marine Park/Gerritsen Beach native composed her own homage to the city’s best borough called “Streets of Brooklyn”, and then produced a video packed with stunning photos of the neighborhoods real New Yorkers live in.

There’s no shortage of love in the video for Southern Brooklyn neighborhoods like Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Coney Island, Brighton Beach, and Bay Ridge. You’ll see some familiar establishments, including Stella Maris, Delmar Pizzeria, Joe’s of Avenue “U”, L & B Spumoni Gardens, and more. Not to mention some great shots of locals in action along the boardwalks, beaches, Emmons Avenue, Ocean Avenue footbridge, and on and on…

It’s great to see some real love for the real Brooklyn, instead of the endless mainstream gushing over hipster hoods from Williamsburg to Cobble Hill.

As for Annika, the pianist points to influences like Carly Simon, Sade, Carole King, Tori Amos, Alanis Morissette, Bonnie Raitt, and Stevie Nicks. Check out her myspace page for more songs, and help support her budding career by purchasing “Streets of Brooklyn” on iTunes or Amazon.

So next time you hear some drunk corporate frat hound droning, “Neeeewww Yooooorrrkk” on 2nd Avenue, remember that “Everything I’ll ever need I found/ on the streets of Brooklyn.” Then get the hell out of the Lower East Side.

[Thanks to our Facebook readers Bruce T. and Nora B. for bringing this to our attention]


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  2. Annika,

    Awesome video and song! You can take the boy out of Brooklyn, but you can NEVER take Brooklyn out of the boy! Thanks for the memories!

    Al DeRubbio

  3. Your excellent production was the best way to start my morning…this “Brooklyn Thing” we share is like no other. No matter where you go, you'll always meet someone who was born in Brooklyn!

  4. Your excellent production was the best way to start my morning…this “Brooklyn Thing” we share is like no other. No matter where you go, you'll always meet someone who was born in Brooklyn!

  5. oh that was soooo great. and it is so true, everything i learned, i learned on the streets of Brooklyn. I no longer live there, but I will always be a Brooklyn Girl and proud of it!!!

  6. thank you, thank you so much. i might not live in brooklyn, but brooklyn still lives in me, and always will. it is in my heart and my attitude. you can take the girl out of brooklyn but you can't take brooklyn out of the girl and i dare you to try. you did a great job.

  7. Annika Vitolo on

    Thanks to everyone for their wonderful comments! It's appreciated so much!!

  8. this was a great video with great music. i could have watched an even longer verson — thank you!!!

  9. I left Brooklyn more than 40 years ago,however as they say “my heart is still there”.What I missed in your video was the great delicatessens of old.Nathans is an institution and a major destination for visitors,however a deli is home to real Brooklynites.I also agree with other visitors that more of Flatbush should be in the video.Good job overall,and your song has merit.Best.Ed

  10. Awesome! You made this born-in-Brooklyn girl smile! As a photographer, I truly appreciate the images you have chosen.

  11. Born and raised in Brooklyn when no one new where Cobble Hill was. I paid $115/mo on Amity St.
    This brought tears to my eyes. The greatest town in the world.

  12. Absolutely loved it. Made me very homesick. You can take the girl out of Brooklyn but you can never take Brooklyn out of the girl…even if she's living in Memphis, TN

  13. i loved it! the song, and video were great. this is so cool that i actually received this from a friend in florida and she doesn't know that i know you!!! see you sunday..

  14. This sure brings back good old memories,and I did learn from the streets of Brooklyn.

  15. I believe in the fact that “I did grow up in Brooklyn”and loved every minute of it.

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  18. What an awesome tune coupled with great images!
    Brings back many memories from this transplanted Brooklynite now in SW Florida.

  19. Oh goodness. Thank you, but you didn't have to! I was really just expressing how pleased I was with myself that one of my photos made it in there. You officially have my permission to use that photo uncredited. But really, and most importantly, thanks for putting it all together and sharing with us!

  20. Annika Vitolo on

    I'm sorry Brian. I should've credited you from the get-go. Your name now appears under that pic on the video. In compiling pics for the montage, I searched the web for photos of Brooklyn, city life, landmarks, etc. Most pics didn't identify the photographer, & I often found the same photo on multiple sites. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  21. Used to live in Brooklyn, now live in CA. Just loved it!!! Made me soooo homesick…..I guess I will always be a “Brooklyn Girl”

  22. “BrooklynBus”, I actually did send the link to Borough Pres Marty Markowitz asking if he could use it for an ad campaign or documentary on our fair borough….. He replied the next day, couldn't use it for that right now but was gonna forward the link to some other organizations that may have an interest in using it. I appreciate everyone's comments. So glad you liked the song & vid!

  23. Someone should send the link to this video or this webpage to the Borough President to link on his website.

  24. The picture at 1:00 is of the Rockaway boardwalk. Not Brooklyn but more like Brooklyn annex.