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Legendary “Hood” Spots

March 25, 2008


Today I am to write the first of which will be a series of postings throughout this blog.  The name of this series is Legendary “Hood” Spots. 

These spots will run the gamut from places to eat, schools, streets, former youth centers turned luxury buildings, to parties where Biggie rocked the mic and businesses that used to be in the area.  Now most of these places will not be regarded as legendary to any Brooklyn historian.  But to us ol’ regular folks in the hood some of these spots are near and dear to us.  At the same time some of these spots will be the source of pain. Like previously stated in my first post, I will be giving the good, the bad and the ugly.  Now with that being said lets get started…

We’ve ALL been there.  After a night of partying and drinking at the club or bar/lounge you find yourself in a cab or on a train headed home.  It is three maybe four in the morning.  Feeling like your ribs are touching, you’re now hungrier than a hostage!  On the verge of being in cro-magnon mode (“Me, now!) and knowing there’s nothing in the fridge that would be a quick fix, you ponder “Where can I get somethin’ to eat at this hour?”.  For a lot us longtime residents the answer is easy…The Country House!  Located on Fulton street between Vanderbilt and Clinton Avenues it has been there long as I remember.

In the eighties as a kid I can remember sneaking to Fulton St. to get glazed bowties and other donuts which they had delivered fresh each morning.

Back then we just called it “the donut shop” but now it is affectionately known as “the cunny house”.  The latter was derived from someone overhearing a young pup exclaim to his mother “mommy I wan’ some cunny house”.  What was an inside joke among friends ended up sticking and spread around the way.

Over the years since the eighties they’ve renovated and changed the place atleast seven times.  Even then they would serve from a window similar to what bodegas have after hours.  In ’98 during one of there window serve periods I remember seeing Talib Kweli at 4:11 in the morning (I remember the exact time because I thought what the hell is he doing out here? lol) ordering a turkey burger.

The owners are of Middle Eastern descent and man has there been a cast of characters over the years.  To name a few… at the top of the food chain was John, an older man who seemed like he never slept.  Always at a table, he chained smoked, drank black coffee and KEPT shades on.  When he didn’t have on shades it looked like he had permanent bags under his eyes but I have to give it to him, the cat was smooth.  He look liked he could’ve been the villain in a Die Hard movie with his push back hairstyle and habitual rocking of the finest butter soft black leather jackets.  He was definitely a cool guy, I’m sure I’m not the only one who got a free burger or two, or someone he let slide for being short a few coins.  Next is Billy, an older black man who I presume is originally from the south by the accent in his speech.  Billy’s been there as long as I can remember and remains to this day.  For the most part I’d describe him as a tight lipped man but don’t get it twisted cause boy oh boy Billy can talk shit with the best em’…much to my entertainment many late nights (and if it wasn’t for him “the cunny” wouldn’t serve grits!).  One of my favorite people to have worked in The Country House was Hakim (Hah KIM).  He was about the same age as my peers and pretty much grew up with us.  He was real and down without trying to be down.  Egmund was another one who grew up with us.  He left graduated college then came back to run Reign bar (next door to TCH, it went on to be called BKNY and is now closed) then moved on.  Currently there is crazy ass Nigel and I mean that in a affectionate way.  Although his teeth look like he’s been chain smoking cigarettes since he was three, Nigel is cleanly, courteous and takes pride in his job.

Now to be honest The Country House does not make the best burgers I’ve ever had or best anything.  I would rate it a few notches above decent at best.  But after more than 20 years of service to the hood on behalf of the hood I would like to commend them.  I’ve watched EVERY single business on this stretch of fulton change with the exception of TCH and the corner store who changed owners (my 1st job was on this block but that’s for another post).  To this day on ANY given weekend between the hours of 3-5 am the place is bustling.

Trust me when I say “The Cunny” is a Legendary “Hood” Spot… Some pictures should be up tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone who had kind words.


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