What more does it take than your ceiling literally raining water and finally falling down on you for you to know: it’s time to move on? It's hard for me to blog about anything else at the moment as this is a completely consuming experience. Not to overdramatize, but an earthquake and a hurricane in the same week are just about all I can handle. Thinking back, I’m so happy they happened in that order. Can you imagine? Hurricane weakens structures and earthquake brings them down. Well, maybe not all structures – but definitely our pre-war abode! Drama. For real though, the walls bleeding and brown who-knows-what’s-in-it liquid coming from overhead was enough for me.
Instead of using this blog as a cathartic vehicle from which to purge my frustration with our slum landlord and seemingly un-phased hipster neighbors, I’d rather write a love letter to my soon-to-be old neighborhood. Here goes.
I love you. You are gritty, ridiculous, inspiring, luxurious, bubbly, surprising, real, classic, supportive, and full of life. It’s been over 8 years now and we’ve grown up together. I trusted you when things weren’t so clear but full of possibility and you never failed. You were always there with another surprise around the corner, and when I went away for a few days I’d come back to something new and exciting that literally went up overnight. One morning I woke up and walked outside and you had planted a tree where there was cement the night before. Possibility: a tree in Williamsburg. We walked your park. We found your other parks. You built more parks for us to walk in.
I worked in your restaurants, your gyms and your recording studios. I got to know all your many people from the undocumented Hispanic community that makes your neighborhood run to the luxury condo yuppies that allow you to grow more and more. You taught me a long lesson about patience and compassion when we rescued our pup. You provided good food, an experience which deserves it’s own love letter entirely.
I’ll miss watching a storm roll in over the city. I’ll miss watching the seasons come and go in our shared courtyard gardens. I’ll miss the ever-circling homing pigeons and their hidden homes. I’ll miss the Southside Firehouse 104 and the feeling of safety living next to those guys. I’ll miss your rogue fireworks shows on, before and after 7/4. I’ll miss your surviving corner bodegas and your why-pay-less? grocers. I’ll miss your competing coffee shops and best lattes in the world. I’ll miss your Christmas tree corners, your Sunday church goers, and all of your art galleries even though I’ve hardly been inside a handful. I’ll miss your “whipsters”. I'll miss your movie, fashion and music video shoots on every other block. I’ll miss your style and the entertainment of people watching any hour of any day of the week. I’ll miss peeking out of my windows to see so many of your windows, all with different stories inside.
Most of all, I’ll miss your music scene. I wonder how much I’ve been a part of yours and you a part of mine? I’ll miss hearing live music coming out of so many of your bars and clubs. I’ll miss the random buskers and the vagabond folksters with their sad dogs. The fixture of the Bedford L platform and all its musical potential. The upright piano in the park and the pop-up wash-tub bass bands on the sidewalks. The bluegrass and New Orleans jazz at the
Saturday Green Market. The rooftop rock and roll concerts and the waterfront shows. I’ll miss these sounds as I walk down the street and I’ll miss the jukebox music floating up from our courtyard beer garden with the occasional group-led “happy birthday”.
I’m proud of you. Even with all of your faults I still puff up to say a little part of you belonged to me. My daughter will be proud to say she spent her first months of life with you and she’ll make a pilgrimage to you someday and think “I was so cool”. I don’t care what they all do say (and I’m sure I’ll join them soon), I still love you. Thank you for being a part of my story.