Knish party! Filmmaker hosts bash for New York accent documentary

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Here’s suttin’ Brooklyn can tawk about!

Heather Quinlan is unleashing knishes, egg creams and some good old-fashioned chutzpah at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema next week at a party fundraiser for “If These Knishes Could Talk” — her unfinished documentary all about the New York accent.

“People go into the film thinking one thing and leave thinking another,” she said. “The accent can be seen as really gruff and angry, but there’s a certain charm and sweetness to it, too.”

Quinlan will screen a 25-minute version of the film at the Henry Street twin cinema, followed by a Q&A with “Knish” celebrities and mystery guests.

The talkie was released in August and quickly earned acclaim as a light-hearted probe into the Brooklyn-heavy timbre.

Now Quinlan hopes to raise more funds to finish an 80-minute version, where she’d travel to New Orleans to find Yats — Southern folk whose cadence is dripping with the Borough’s famous dialect.

The flick already features a ragtag crew with a Pesci and DeNiro patois, including a Korean sanitation worker who grew up on Staten Island, and a retired Brooklyn maintenance worker who’s fed up with being mistaken for a mobster.

The garbage man, Ben Lee, will be one “Knish” celeb ready to answer audience questions.

“People marvel at you when you’re from New York, like you’re half a celebrity or something,” said Lee, now a Bay Ridge resident. “Certainly for us natives, it instills a little bit of hometown pride.”

“If These Knishes Could Talk” at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema [70 Henry St. at Orange Street in Brooklyn Heights, (718) 596-5095], Feb. 9 at 6:45 pm. Tickets $15; $25 for a reserved seat and DVD of the film. For info, visit

Reach Kate Briquelet at or by calling her at (718) 260-2511.

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Reader Feedback

LOLcat from Park Slope says:
I have the opposite problem. People never believe I'm from Brooklyn (born & raised) because I have no discernible accent. Odd.
Feb. 2, 2012, 9:56 am
jay from Kanarsey says:
I sure hope that somewhere in this film there is the true legend Canarsie Brooklyns Ruby the knish man, heres a legend who taught a generation or two how to speak Brooklynese!
Feb. 2, 2012, 8:55 pm
sha from from cony island says:
hell yea i do every where i go they be like where you from you not from here you sound like you from ny born an raise lol you dig ...
Feb. 15, 2012, 5:32 pm

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