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I done gone and moved all up out of Brooklyn. Here’s a miniature retrospective in list form:

Five things I’ll miss:
1. Street Cred. I can’t count how many times I used to say “I live in Brooklyn” and then watch eyebrows raise. If people knew Brooklyn, the “Crown Heights” specification would engender a “Holy shit, really?” Not only will I miss that but I’ll also miss affordable rent.
2. Bodegas. I haven’t seen any around my new apartment in Manhattan and I get the impression I won’t see any for a while, either. I particularly miss how some of them were open 24 hours. There’s something nice about feeling like you’ve contributed to a family’s livelihood.
3. Local Eateries. Kingston Pizza–an Italian Pizza restaurant run by a bunch of Mexicans. Surprisingly delicious culture mismatch but then again, one of my favorite Italian Restaurants in Manhattan is run by a bunch of Japanese dudes. Mendy’s–the best place to get some kosher food as well as to get cut in line for being a gentile. Seriously–I can’t count how many times I’d go in, get treated as “less than” and then enjoy some unbelievably good falafel. Oddly enough, all the people who cooked were Mexican, too. That Chinese Food Place–whatever it was called. They made some cheap and delicious chinese-style food goods that was, for some reason, not made by Mexicans.
4. How Brooklyn is close to Manhattan. I love the subway. Really, I’m that guy who takes the subway over a cab. I’ll also take the subway over the bus, but that’s just normal, right?
5. Brooklyn Public Library. This behemoth of a public library was like three stops away on the subway and was awesome. The local branch was immeasurably terrible but the central branch was plain old awesome.

Five things I won’t miss about Brooklyn:
1. Shitty Grocery Stores. The store was like three blocks away, the chicken constantly smelled funny and there were like four aisles. Now there are two grocery stores that aren’t even a block away. Both even sell beer. Eff Fine Fare, I’m going to Gristedes or Western Beef now.
2. How Brooklyn isn’t really that close to Manhattan. I mean, compared to living in Texas, Brooklyn is close to Manhattan. Try to get your friends from Manhattan to come visit you. Free food and liqour can only entice them once or maybe twice if they really like you. Apparently, not everyone else likes the subway as much as I do.
3. My inflatable bed. I used it when visitors came over but the downstairs neighbors moved in a month ago and asked to borrow it three weeks ago. I made just about no effort to get to know them and moved out without bothering to ask for it back. I have a chair-bed for visitors now. Kind of more adult-like, right?
4. How just about everything is far away. You name it, it’s far away. Trader Joe’s. The (good branch of the) library. Museums (The ones people want to see. The Brooklyn Museum, apparently, is not one of those). Concerts. My friends. Bars. Work. Only exceptions: the park, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the local elementary school. All were across the street, but guess how much I went to any of them.
5. How Street Cred is directly linked with survival. I made it out and now my street cred is nil. I mean, I’m still the white guy at work and people I work with still say things like, “I keep forgetting you’re white,” but now I no longer worry about stupid things like break-ins or stepping on shoes. In the old apartment, something like 4/8 apartments were hit. I don’t know, I think someone got robbed, too, but I know for sure one apartment lost all their laptops. My list of things I can’t survive without (beyond food, I guess) follows thusly: 1. a computer w/internet access 2. some means of playing and listening to music 3. access to books. How am I supposed to survive if all the most important things I own are either stolen or if I have borderline anxiety that it will be stolen? I miss my street cred but I’m not sure I miss the street.

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  1. […] B. But I am glad to no longer live in Crown Heights. […]

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