Five Friends Reminisce About the Old Days of Their Brooklyn Neighborhood in a Nostalgic Animation

“The Originals” by Christina Constantini and Alfie Koetter is an animated short about five friends who grew up on Union Street in the predominantly Italian Brooklyn neighborhood of Carroll Gardens in the 1970s. The same block where Constantini and Koetter lived for many years.

Five friends recount what life was like in Brooklyn in the nineteen-seventies—from the games they played in the street to the criminal elements they tried to avoid.

Constantini and Koetter recorded the friends – Matteo Ruggiero (their landlord), Carmine Ruggiero, Anthony DeMaio, Sal Alioto, and Matteo Alioto – in the studio while the animation featured a miniature version of their old neighborhood that helped the filmmakers reminisce about their own experiences on Union Street.

Sometimes you love a place so much, you wanna bring it with you everywhere you go. Three years ago, my husband, Alfie and I…moved away from our old block in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. We missed it. We missed the fire hydrant. We missed the storefronts. We even missed the dumpster. And the stink of the garbage bags baking in the summer heat. We missed the grass that grew between the cracks in the sidewalk. But most of all, we missed our landlord, Matty Square Ruggiero, and the stories that he would tell us about how the neighborhood used to be.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.