Thursday, January 9, 2014

Five Things I Will Miss About Brooklyn

Wait, wait. Go back to that title again? Things I "will" miss about Brooklyn? Not things I "would" miss about Brooklyn if I were hypothetically leaving?

That's right. The Moo Cow family is abandoning BK for greener pastures, quite literally.

If you have been following along in the last year and a half or if you know me at all in real life, the answer to your inevitable question is:

Yes, I have a half million complex, interrelated thoughts swimming around my bovine noggin. 

So, let us take this whole thing in pieces. Part 1: Things I will miss about Brooklyn.

Five Things I Will Miss About Brooklyn

1. The organic grocery store in my building. Yes, that's right. I have an organic, upscale (yet local... it is Brooklyn, after all) grocery store in my building. It is open from eight in the morning until midnight every day. The convenience is unparalleled. I barely have to go outside.

2. Nicole & Her Daughter. I have already waxed poetic about Nicole in a recent post about friendship. Summary: I would not have any friends in the neighborhood if it weren't for her, and neither would Henry. The truth is, I always take a friend of two with me to each new stage of life (high school, college, each job, each location), and I know Nicole will be that person for the Brooklyn phase. But it won't be the same as having her in the 'hood, and Henry will have to find a new best friend, too.

3. Maria. My loving and talented Italian Sicilian nanny (Grandpa would have been proud), who doubles as a babysitter while pursuing her career as a multi-media artist, is the main reason I have seen my improbable dream -- that Henry learn to speak Italian -- come true.

4. Citibike. The New York City bike-share program has changed my relationship with my neighborhood and my city. We live a good 12-minute walk from the only subway in the whole of the system that does not go into Manhattan. There is another train a 25-minute walk away, and it's a local. A third train requires a bus ride. Citibike, which has a station in front of my building, made it possible for me to get to the subway in no time at all while also getting a brief moment of exercise. Some hipsters and old fogies people complain that Citibike is too commercial, too ugly, too big, too expansive, too expensive, too greedy, too fill-in-the-blank for our pristine (ha!) "historic district." To them I say, shut the F up. Citibike is awesome, and I will miss it.

5. History and connectedness. My whole extended family is from Brooklyn, and I was born here, in a hospital walking distance from where I now live. Last April, Rayne and I drove around with a list of addresses and took photos of all the houses my family lived in: my Mom in Bushwick, my Dad in Marine Park, my Grandmother in Williamsburg, my Great-Grandmother in Lefferts Gardens, the apartment where I was born in East Flatbush. I planned but never wrote a post on it. Maybe now I will. In any case, I feel connected to Brooklyn in a way that no other place will ever live up to.

If I Had A Five Million Dollars

The prompt for this week's Finish the Sentence Friday post is "If I had a million dollars, I...". But as far as Brooklyn real estate goes, a million dollars wouldn't get me to my dream. Sad but true.

If I had five million dollars, I... would buy that amazing, gut-renovated, four-story brownstone with a parking space and a little back yard, smack-dab in the middle of a great elementary school district. It would be on a quiet, tree-lined block, close to stores but far from the noise and pollution of the rancid Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the horrifying hipsters and the broken glass that lines the sidewalks of my just-barely post-industrial neighborhood.

It would have a little foyer for strollers and shoes; enough rooms for three bedrooms, an office, a guest room and a playroom; and a sunny kitchen overlooking the landscaped garden, where my poor, put-upon dog could rummage around.

But I don't have five million dollars. So we're leaving. Not on a jet plane. But leaving nonetheless. I feel conflicted, to say the least.

Finish the Sentence Friday

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Next up: Things I will NOT miss about Brooklyn (it will be snarktastic), why we are leaving and where we are going. Stay tuned.