Saturday, April 12, 2014

Brooklyn Bridge -- "Worst That Could Happen" (1968)

Girl, I heard you're getting married . . .
Maybe it's the best thing for you
But it's the worst that could happen to me

Young (and not-so-young) men all over Brooklyn, the greater New York City metropolitan area, and the entire civilized world are singing this song right now.  That's because Brienne Walsh got married today.

Brienne Walsh
Regular readers of 2 or 3 lines know that Brienne -- the creator of the wildly entertaining A Brie Grows in Brooklyn blog -- is a blogger's blogger.  (If you're not a regular reader of 2 or 3 lines, I suggest a daily glass of Metamucil!)

Brienne and her fiancé Caleb
picking up their marriage license
It's not for nothing that I often refer to Brienne as "The Next Big Thing."  Her writing is funny and provocative -- or, to quote her father, "lewd and disturbing." 

I can't wait to read Brienne's account of her big day.  While we're waiting for her to post about the wedding, click here to read what she wrote about her engagement.

I met Brienne and her fiancĂ©, Caleb, for the first time last month.  We had lunch at a laid-back little eatery called Superfine, which is located in the hip Brooklyn neighborhood that is known as "Dumbo."

"Dumbo" stands for "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass."  (I kid you not.)

Here's a picture of Brienne and yours truly after that lunch.  (She's the fabulous babe on the left.  I'm not.)

Beauty and the beast
Brienne recently wrote a wry yet touching little essay about her fear that she won't look absolutely perfect in her wedding dress.  Here's a brief excerpt from that piece: 

I called my sister. "I AM NOT WEARING MY WEDDING DRESS!!!  I AM FAT!!!" I screamed when she picked up.

(Click here to read that entire piece.)

Brienne didn't look so fat to me the day we met for lunch.  Of course, she may have been swaddled in multiple layers of Spanx, or duct tape, or whatever.

Here's another of Brienne's wedding posts.  (Caleb's a lucky guy.)

I had never heard of Dumbo until my recent visit, but the neighborhood's residents coined the acronym around 1978.  They hoped such an unattractive name would deter greedy developers from moving in -- HA!!!

Dumbo used to be an industrial area.  Brillo soap pads were once manufactured there, and the cardboard box was invented in a building on Washington Street that is now the home of Etsy.  But the neighborhood has become quite gentrified over the past few decades, and is emerging as one of New York City's premier arts districts.

Here's a picture of the place where I stopped for a beer later that afternoon.  It's called reBar, except the "r" is backwards -- soooo hip!

The bar at reBar
Although Dumbo gets it name from the Manhattan Bridge, it is also very close to the Brooklyn Bridge:

Dumbo residents are whimsical folks.  Someone has dumped a couple of wheelbarrows of sand in a small public park near the riverfront and named the area "Dumbo Beach."

Dumbo Beach
The neighborhood is full of art galleries and performance spaces and trendy bars and restaurants with postindustrial decor.  There are a number of little shops selling cute and useless items, like these notecards:

You could have knocked me over with a feather when I learned that "Worst That Could Happen" was written by the very talented Jimmy Webb -- who also penned "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Up, Up and Away," "Wichita Lineman," "Galveston," and the truly fabulous "MacArthur Park."

"Worst That Could Happen," which was originally recorded by the Fifth Dimension, became a big hit in 1968 for The Brooklyn Bridge.  The group's lead singer, Johnny Maestro (who died of cancer in 2010), had been the lead singer of the Crests, a doo-wop group whose "16 Candles" had reached #2 on the Billboard charts almost ten years earlier.

By the way, you may have thought the title of our featured song was "The Worst That Could Happen," but BMI says it's "Worst That Could Happen."

Jimmy Webb: everyone agrees
that he's one of the all-time greats
"Worst That Could Happen" is one of the several songs by Webb that were inspired by his love affair with Linda Ronstadt's cousin, Susan Ronstadt.  Just like the girl in "Worst That Could Happen," Susan decided to break Webb's heart and marry some other guy.

How many guys are feeling the same way about Brienne Walsh's nuptials?  Plenty, I'm sure.  But we're just going to have to get used to it, fellas . . .

Here's "Worst That Could Happen":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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