Monday, May 21, 2007

One small step for me...

I’ve gone where all hipsters have gone before me. And I looked upon it. And I saw it was good.

The apartment search is not just a great reason to whine (as if I needed a reason—hey-o!), it’s also a great reason to see other neighborhoods that I have judged too quickly. It’s funny that even though I’m perfectly aware of it, I still let the judgment seep in. I love my hood on the edge of the East Village and the LES. I have this burning notion that nowhere else in this entire island can be a place I may easily call home. Call it displaced assumptions. It’s ascribing good feelings to a location because of the experience which may have been great in any place, but just because one particular location was in the background fabric of said experience, it takes on responsibility for the good feeling itself. Is it just coincidence that the East Village has been my home for the last four years, being the first place I grew to know after college and by some shift of divine intervention I just accidentally chose the place—and the only place—in the city, or maybe nation, that was perfect for me? Or was it really the case that I made it perfect because it comforted me, induced familiarity and remained constant through jobs, friends, boys and even apartments themselves (all in the same ten block radius)?

It seems obvious, and yet part of my brain refuses to understand. All my friends love their neighborhoods and they live all over the grid. Many in the same areas as their first apartments. Is it then the case that all of us have magically chosen the best places for us or is it that we don’t give ourselves enough credit—that we love what we make ours? The parallel continues: we hold close our hometowns, whether they’re in Ohio or California—both places wrought with bias that may or may not be the case, but home is home and the reason they say there’s no place like it is simply because it’s true. The same can be said for our friends and significant others. How convenient that our best friends just so happen to be the ones that lived on our block in a college dorm, or were the ones who got off the same bus stop in elementary school, or our boyfriends and girlfriends are those that just happen to have worked in the cube next to ours. More likely the case that what brings us all together, connection/significance/love into our lives, is convenience and proximity. I don’t mean to negate growing to care for someone as a friend or more by meaning that romanticism and fate are less than, but it has never felt, to me, that there is just one best friend or fantastic boss or anything else for us—there are relationships that we make our most desirable because of opportunity. Same with ‘needing’ to be downtown, or on the East coast, in LA, in Poland, whatever.

So I’m trying to open my eyes, as this next year is an opportunity. Of course, everything in teensy steps. I saw an apartment in Williamsburg, and liked it. I walked around the area, and liked it. Some may say it’s just an extension of where I am right now, and some would be right. Yet, let’s stay positive because oftentimes that’s all we’ve got. As I see it, this is a step forward. I can see myself somewhere else, beyond the imaginary borders of today. Now I’ve got one year from this moment to turn that small step into the giant leap of Hawaii. One thing at a time…

What do you love about your neighborhood, wherever you are?


Laura said...

Maybe I missed this but are you going to grad school in the city or did you put grad school on hold?

K said...

Hi Laura--
Grad school is on hold for a year so I am staying in the city.

I hope to enroll in the Fall of 2008.


debo said...

I've disliked my neighborhood since Colombian hitmen shot and killed their one-legged, drug-peddling, Peruvian competition in broad daylight last November. It makes me long for the days of early morning, masturbating Peeping Toms that Chelsea had to offer.

Anonymous said...

i've lived in williamsburg, and loved it. most recently i live in greenpoint, a bit north of williamsburg, and love it even more, because i can afford actual space...and i can have dinner parties without people eating on their laps. i love love love it. (brooklyn aint so bad, you should move there!)

CM said...

Why I Love My Neighborhood on a USMC base:

- They mow the lawn for me
- I have a lawn
- I get saluted going home
- I know my neighbors
- Men with hard bodies in uniform
- And coming soon...MY man in uniform

Wait - you weren't talking just about NYC were you? Hmmm, then sory, can't relate.

k said...

i live on the upper east side, and sometimes wish i lived in the east village, but i think the UES (in some parts) has great things to offer. you will still be able to get to your old 'hood easily, by bus, subway, or cab. the rent is somewhat affordable east of 2nd avenue, and you'll be near central park and carl schulz park. the bars can be fratty but auction house and david copperfield's are both relaxed...and again, you can go back to your old stomping grounds easily.

what i love about the upper east side is uva (a cute wine bar, perfect for fun times with girlfriends), david copperfield's (beer bar, many different kinds, never packed), tin lizzie (always people dancing, even if they might be sketchy), auction house (nice lounge of a bar), among other things. the parks, the used bookstore underneath the library on york at 78th. walking at night and seeing other random people like me walking too. having the streets never be too crowded, never experiencing a midtown feel in my neighborhood. having my friends nearby.

i moved here because i work nearby and a few friends already lived here. and because it was the best apt i could get for what i could afford 2 years ago. i'm re-signing my lease for another two years, planning on sticking it out. good luck with the hunt!

Anonymous said...

Guess the Mortimer!

C-47 said...

i hate my neighborhood.

here is why.

i live in a large artist loft.

it is full of jerkoff kids.

they let their dogs crap on the roof (its your roof jerkoff!!)

they break beer bottles in their hallway (read above parentheses, replace roof with hallway)

they practice drums they cant play at 4am on a tuesday. (i promise you will never make it in a band, ever)

they whine HORRENDOUS hipster songs of the most non virile variety at said hours. (your song sucks, shut up, go to bed)

my walls are thin, I hear them whining to their parents cause they cut off the credit card.

i work. so very hard. i need sleep. i yell. i am twenty six years old (dont get me wrong i love beer and freaking out, grabbin asses and such but man... its tuesday and you have neighbors...) this building has made me a crotchety old man.

if they could carpet bomb all the skinny pant legged sections of what once used to be a nice neighborhood id be down.

i move to a brownstone in bed-stuy end of the month. how excited? pants just flew off. that excited.

emma wilkerson said...

i'm in cobble hill, and like most others, i love my neighborhood. it's more family than hipster, but i suppose that suits me. i always feel just a tad out of place in williamsburg. i'm not quite of the "too cool for school" mentality. my friends say i fit in just fine. it's hip to be unhip in williamsburg.