Brooklyn Roots is the story of Estelle Breines' experience growing up in Borough Park, but it will resonate with anyone who grew up there, or for that matter, in any other urban, ethnic neighborhood. She paints word pictures that take you back in time, evoking the scenes, scents and sensibilities of the old neighborhood.
-Leslie Werstein Hann, writer/editor, HannWriting Inc.
Once stirred, those memories rolled out in bursts, demanding recording. A description of the neighborhood of her youth emerged: her father's pharmacy, shops along the avenue, and the house with its magnificent purple irises peeking above a stone wall as tall as a four year old. A small garment is remembered in detail: a doll's dress made from an old pillowcase, using a needle encrusted by baked on grease from the stuffed chicken necks her grandmother prepared; this the woman who braided the author's hair so tightly as surrogate parent while her parents worked to provide for them all in an era emerging from the Great Depression. There was the school she attended when the war began, and the celebrations at its end, and the places she and her friends explored as they grew. Her recollections of the neighborhood's artifacts appear as she envisions pickles and egg creams. Each shop along the 13th Avenue of her memory is sustained in its original character, even the corsetiere and milliner of the past, stuck there in time.