From the NY Times:
For many New Yorkers, a borough is like a tribe, a singular identity, a way of being in the world. There is Brooklyn, land of the $5 slice (Di Fara Pizza) and the $12 million brownstone (Brooklyn Heights), the kind of place that has become as much a brand as a borough, where people wear Brooklyn sweatshirts as they drink Brooklyn Brewery beer. And then there is Queens, land of Archie Bunker (Corona or Glendale, depending on whom you ask) and former actual home of Run-D.M.C. (Hollis), the kind of middle-class mecca that more people seem to be from than aspire to, where half of the residents own homes and two-thirds drive cars.
Then there is the border. It is a curious, somewhat unsettling experience to stand between the two boroughs. You keep looking for some sign of Brooklyn, some sign of Queens, but there is nothing — the same parked cars, the same trees, the same power lines, the same houses. Boroughs exist in the mind as much as they exist on maps.
There is no painted line running down the middle of Menahan Street between Cypress and St. Nicholas Avenues, but there might as well be. Stand in the middle of Menahan facing St. Nicholas — your right foot is in Brooklyn, your left is in Queens. The three-story brick row houses on either side face one another as if the two counties were locked in a staring contest: Kings versus Queens. For those who live on this block, the border remains a kind of psychological and bureaucratic barrier.
On Election Day, residents on the west side of Menahan voted at an apartment complex on Bleecker Street in Brooklyn, and residents on the east side of Menahan voted at Public School 81 on Cypress Avenue in Queens. If Francisco Miranda needs assistance from the police, he has to take it up with the 83rd Precinct in Brooklyn. If Jaime Arroyo, Mr. Miranda’s neighbor and friend who lives a few houses down, has a problem, he has to call the 104th Precinct in Queens. Mr. Miranda’s ZIP code is 11237; Mr. Arroyo’s is 11385.