And so, for the fourth time in seven months, I’ve packed everything I own into a van and moved across Brooklyn. Now I’m back where I started, keeping it real in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Honestly, Carroll Gardens was a little too perfect. Steph and I agreed it was the kind of neighborhood we wanted to be in five or ten years down the line, but for our lives right now it made no sense. We loved the beautiful bars and trees and the sounds of a school at the end of our street. We loved the overpriced coffee and our enormous eggshell room that faced south, so we could nap like cats in the Sunday afternoon haze. We loved Dave, of course. But we knew that’s not really what we needed.
So instead, I’ve found the classic New York loft share that I was determined to live in when we first arrived (so determined in fact that I failed to identify the warning signs of a certifiable sociopath). I now live with five diverse and funny people and I live with them in a fully furnished home. There’s three couches, a bike rack, a breakfast bar and a full set of champagne flutes. There’s ten years accumulation of random furniture and signs and ornaments. There’s a piano, and a record collection. There’s even a dog.
More importantly I live in a neighbourhood that is gentrifying, and not gentrified. There aren’t the rows of restaurants transplanted directly from Manhattan. There aren’t the impossibly well dressed children in their $300 strollers. Residents here own pitbulls, not French bulldogs. Bed-Stuy is headed that way, for sure. But for now, it feels a bit more authentic, a bit more honest. Kids like me walk the streets. And just like us, the neighbourhood is headed towards something new and exciting, and just like us it just isn’t sure what that is yet.