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5.23.2012

South to Brooklyn.


Riding the A train downtown, I think, not much more of this. Today I will pull the money from the bank, today I will sign a lease, and in ten days I will move to Brooklyn. No more frustration at looking up in hopes of seeing  the 125th street  station, only to be greeted by the yellow stripes of 145th. No more inching past 135th. No more gypsy cab drivers who stand at the mouth of subway offering rides and sidelong glances that distill my womanhood to nothing more than curves and cutouts. No more nine-flight escalators stuck behind the person too lazy or too tired or too indignant to walk down. No more of the slow and silent panic that waiting for the A train in the bunker that is 181 elicits.

And no more of the crowded elevator up to the street when riding the 1 train late at night. No more listening as men speak in a langue they wrongly assume I cannot understand.

I have lived in Manhattan for eight years now. It is a number that both alarms and amazes. Eight years.

In ten days this will change. In ten days I will fill a truck with only the furniture that will fit into a small studio apartment and I will hurtle south. To Brooklyn. The southerner in me appreciates this. Victory by degrees.

It is a quiet place—quieter, at least, abundant in trees and coffee shops, and I am undoubtedly, indubitably, indefatigably in love.

With the beer garden across the street and the Catholic church around the corner and the small restaurant that upon entering my father declared like a small pub in London.

I’ve spent eight years in New York searching for a home. Not just searching for the place, but the meaning of the thing. The meaning of the thing at this in between phase in my life when home is not the people that I’m with—no parents, no husband, no children—because it’s just me. For the time being, it’s just me. And home is…

Undefined. Or unanswerable. Or undiscovered. As of yet.

I don’t know if Brooklyn will feel like home any more than any place before it: 66th Street, 104th, 80th, Washington Heights. But the word of the place—the word of the little pocket I’ve fallen in love with—the word of the neighborhood I’ll soon call my own—I’m pretty sure it’s my word.

And that’s something. 


carroll st
blue door
frankie's 457iconography

28 comments:

Melly said...

Congrats Meg! Having been born-and-raised in Brooklyn, I want to welcome you "home." I love Manhattan, but Brooklyn's my heart. The cobblestone streets, abundance of trees, small coffee shops, locally owned stores, ethnic flavor. The list goes on, and you'll love every bit of it!

Enjoy and best of luck!

stefanie hurtado said...

beautiful. congratulations on soon moving to a space of your own!

Casey Lewis said...

You're going to LOVE Brooklyn. I don't actually know you, sure, but having read your blog for years, a feel like the fit couldn't be more perfect. Can't wait to read about your adventures there! xx

Jennifer M. said...

Yeah! I've never been to New York, but from what I've read about it, I think I'd love Brooklyn the most of all the boroughs. I hope you will find home there!

Alexa said...

the southerner in ME appreciates this:

In ten days I will fill a truck with only the furniture that will fit into a small studio apartment and I will hurtle south. To Brooklyn. The southerner in me appreciates this. Victory by degrees.

Happy home-making. It's such a deeply good ritual.

aubry. said...

meg, i was in nyc last week. i kept my eyes wide all week thinking that by some small miracle i'd see you on a subway. i was looking for you and ivanka trump.

but here's a secret - i fell madly in love with brooklyn. prospect park. the quieter, wider streets with homes so reminiscent of the cosby show.

100% enchanted.

i'm excited to hear more stories of your adventure and journey!

kate said...

meg. your new little piece of home looks absolutely lovely. i can't wait to read about your journey there.

(to the place and in the place.)

colleen said...

I am so jealous!! I adore Carroll gardens. I hope to make it my home after manhattan, too. congrats on your new home - cant wait to see all the new things you discover!

Ana Magdalena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cassie said...

Wishing you well in your new space!

Luisa Rodríguez said...

congratulations, meg! you must be so thrilled!
i have been living in the same place for the past 4 years and a half. Before that, i moved 7 times in 2 years.

moving is so hard, but, sometimes, it can be such a blessing and it also refreshing, just like you've described.

this will be the beginning of a new chapter in your life because everything changes when we move. sometimes even our comforting daily routines change a little bit.. or a lot.

you're gonna love it. i'm sure you will.

have a great day!

isabug said...

hurray for brooklyn! i have to say that working in manhattan and then coming home to quieter (at least for me) brooklyn is like a dream.

welcome!

Little Tree Vintage said...

good luck i love brooklyn!

heatherhxo said...

I absolutely adore Brooklyn and almost moved there earlier this year. I hope you find what you're looking for there.

Jacob Phelps said...

so, so happy for you! I hope you'll share pics once you get settled in!

Shawnee said...

so exciting! i've never been but brooklyn's my favorite anyway. love your writing.

Meghan said...

oooh meg, congrats!! there is nothing better than living on your own. and by "own" i mean without roommates. the solitude is so peaceful and you do discover more things about yourself. the pics you posted seem divine! and if that is your periwinkle-colored door, you cannot go wrong!

mgeisert said...

As a recent Brooklyn resident (from the streets of Washington Heights in fact!) I can say that Brooklyn is wonderful! No more leaving your neighborhood all the time for brunch! Or hanging out with friends! Or movies! Or any of it. It's all in Brooklyn, all the time. Welcome to The Best Borough.

Sierra said...

Can I come live in Brooklyn with you? I dream of living there!!
xoxo,
Sierra
Oh, Just Living the Dream

Bridget said...

oh meg, so exciting. i think brooklyn will be a welcome change. best of luck.

Brittan said...

I've never felt at home anywhere like I did in Brooklyn. Such good luck to you.

♥Esmeralda♥ said...

Congratulations for your new "life"!
I'm from Spain and I love seeing your pictures of how it is your city.
I would love to someday get to know your country, in the meantime I will continue enjoying seeing your wonderful photos!
Kisses from Spain
Esmeralda

jimmylou said...

fantastic! reading your blog makes me want to come to New York so bad. I'm from little ol' New Zealand, so hopefully I'll be able to visit sometime soon!

Diana said...

Congratulations on your new space! I truly hope it is home for you. I love Brooklyn. It's my hometown and I can't wait to move back one day, hopefully soon.

katilda said...

i went to NYC for the first time last week and stayed in manhattan...after a couple days of excited frenzy, i wandered across the bridge to brooklyn...and then i think i BREATHED for the first time in days! it was definitely more the speed and spaciousness of this western girl.

Erin said...

Yay for you, Meg! "Victory by degrees..." good stuff.

Britti said...

I'm excited for you.
Congratulations on signing a lease and everything.
All the best for this new chapter!

Brady said...

Oh, my gosh, my stomach just flip-flopped when I read this. I was in Brooklyn a few weekends ago - I have a cousin who lives in Cobble Hill, and we also explored Red Hook. I love Chicago - LOVE it. But I have to admit that I'm a little bit jealous of you right now. :)