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There are plenty of beautiful women across the East River, but Miss Manhattan isn’t one of them.
That’s because this year’s reigning Miss Manhattan, Inga Schlingmann, lives and works in Brooklyn.
“I’ve lived in Brooklyn since September 2008, but was able to compete in the Miss Manhattan pageant because I lived there for four years while I went to NYU (New York University),” said Schlingmann, who was recently the first runner-up in the 2009 Miss New York contest.
Schlingmann, 23, lives in Sunset Park and works full-time as an AmeriCorps member with the Lutheran Family Health Centers.
“After watching the Miss America pageant in January, I was really inspired to make a difference regarding pregnant women and their babies so I signed up for the Miss Manhattan pageant. My platform is: ‘Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies’ and focuses on infant mortality and pre-term labor,” she said.
“My plans after AmeriCorps are to gain more experience before applying for my masters and medical school. I really want to be the best doctor I can be and it’s funny how my life has been so rich in experiences up to this point,” Schlingmann added.
Schlingmann, who grew up in upstate Rockland County, said she loves her new home in Brooklyn because it’s ethnically diverse and multicultural.
“When I work at the Lutheran Medical Center it allows me to speak Spanish and then a few seconds later I speak Chinese,” said the multi-talented woman who speaks three languages, and wooed the judges at both the Miss Manhattan and Miss New York contests with her tap dancing.
“Here, I predominantly work with under-served women as a birth doula and lactation aide. I assist them through their labor as well as help them learn how to breastfeed,” she added,
News that Schlingmann lives in Brooklyn comes after a controversy two years ago, when Miss Brooklyn was actually from Virginia by way of Manhattan.
Eligible bachelors should be advised that Schlingmann already has a boyfriend.
“I’m totally taken,” she said of her boyfriend. “We’ve actually named him Dr. Manhattan, but he also lives in Brooklyn but he’s at Harvard for the summer.”
Schlingmann counts this year’s Miss Brooklyn, Keelie Sheridan, who is from Manhattan Beach as one of her best friends.
With plans to compete in the Miss New York contest again next year, Schlingmann likes her chances as this year’s Miss New York was the first runner-up in the 2008 Miss New York contest.
The only rub is she will have to give up her Miss Manhattan crown, which opens the door for her to become the belle of Kings County next year.
“Keelie wants to give up her crown to me so hopefully I can be Miss Brooklyn,” she said.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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