Saturday, August 16, 2014

People Said Brooklyn

People told me I should live in Brooklyn. I didn't have any better ideas, so I moved to Brooklyn. And then I left in a huff...but now I'm back!

My first stint in Brooklyn was in the summer of 2012 when I had just moved to New York from Vermont and didn't know much more about The City than that in order to get to Sugar Hill in Harlem, one must take the A train. Of Brooklyn I knew even less. I was under the impression that I needn't bother trying to live in Manhattan unless I had a trust fund, and that Queens was incomprehensible and the Bronx was too far. So I moved to Brooklyn.

It didn't go very well. My airBnB room in BedStuy was lonely and sterile; my summer sublease in Midwood (for which I was fairly sure I was being profoundly overcharged) culminated in my getting yelled at (by a yoga teacher who claimed to be Buddhist) for not vacuuming the floor when I left and for leaving a single empty water bottle under the bed, and my sublease in Crown Heights ended abruptly when the actual tenant was evicted less than 4 months after I moved in. I was in what would end up being the last year of a near 6 year relationship at the time, and for reasons which are now very understandable but at the time felt like absolute horse-shit, my (now ex) boyfriend was reacting to my struggles with a level of compassion more resembling that of an exhausted school teacher than of a romantic partner.

By January of 2013 I was exhausted and upset and I blamed Brooklyn so I fled to Woodside, Queens after hearing nice things about it from a co-worker. My first apartment there was a windowless but recently renovated basement room which I outgrew in 8 months or so (also my roommate there had recently taken to burning sage on a regular basis), so I moved around the block to a much larger room with a walk-in closet and it's own half-bath. Somewhere in there my breakup occurred, I got laid off, found a new job, quit that job, found another job, and developed a taste for whiskey (not in an alcoholic way, just in a 'I can actually afford to get drunk when I go out now' kind of way). I was still exhausted, but I was far less stressed out because my general mentality was something along the lines of  "Oh? This is where my previous ideas about life have lead me? Well fuck it then. Let's try some different ideas."

By winter of 2013/spring of 2014 things were going surprisingly well, as they tend to do when one gets past the hard parts of a breakup and moves into the "Oh ok that happened and I lived and there are tons of attractive interesting people everywhere and I am allowed to kiss them if I want to!" bit. I felt comfortable in the city, I finally had some friends of my own which weren't at all tied to my former coupled life, and dating was turning out to be more hilarious than it was horrifying (as you know if you read this blog regularly). By summer I was confident, happy, and as secure in my station in life as one can be when one is 26, single, and still figuring out how emotions are supposed to work. So naturally, when a friend of mine had a room open up in his apartment in Bed Stuy, I grabbed the opportunity to tip over my perfectly comfortable nest and haul its contents to Brooklyn again in the name of cheaper rent and not living with strangers for once.

I've felt a lot of things since moving to New York, but "at home" isn't necessarily one of them. It would seem that being "comfortable" isn't particularly important to me- except for where actual physical comfort is concerned...I am the fucking president of Cozy town. I own several robes and am an except in creating blanket cocoons. I think this is a distinctly Vermont skill. The only reason I care about money is because one day I hope to own and have room for an AWESOME couch.

...anyway. I feel good. I once wrote about feeling like I had no roots but I think I was rushing the process. They will come if I can stay in one place long enough to let them dig in.  The Duane Reade in my neighborhood was once inexplicably closed at 7 PM on a Sunday but other than that I'm on board with my new digs. I'm closer to Williamsburg than anything else so you can expect some "Hipsters In Their Natural Habitat" type stories in the coming months. When people said Brooklyn I think they were wrong, but now I'm here because I found my way back and it feels like the right place for me to be.

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