Thinking of Moving to Brooklyn?
When I first moved to Brooklyn, I had no idea I’d fall in love. It kind of took me by surprise, as love often does, sweeping me off my feet and totally derailing all plans I had for myself for the years to come. I was only supposed to be in NY for a year or 2, but Brooklyn had other plans for me.
It had watched me from afar and took notes on the failures and pitfalls of my previous geographic suitors. And to be honest, during the first few months of our relationship, I wasn’t really feeling Brooklyn like that. My Prospect Heights neighborhood was still suffering the growing pains of gentrification, and it was a brutally cold winter punctuated by heat and hot water outages in my newly renovated apartment building. But as soon as summer hit, Brooklyn wrapped me up in its organic, soulful arms holding me so close to it’s heart that I realized its rhythm was in perfect sync with my own.
This past weekend two of my close friends came to visit me from Texas, and though they have been to New York a number times, they have never properly met this new love of mine. This time I decided to show them the reasons why I could quite possibly stay wrapped up in Brooklyn’s arms forever.
The People Of Brooklyn
I’ve gotten into many a discussion (ahem, shouting match) with friends, standing firm in my opinion that Brooklyn is better than (any other borough) but in all honesty, there is a unique charm to each and every neighborhood in the city. And there are elements I love about each one – from the jazzy gentrification of West Harlem to the 150 different languages spoken in the streets of Queens.
However, there is an energy within the people of Brooklyn that makes this love affair much more electric than I could have ever expected. There is an audible heartbeat in Brooklyn and the people are its pulse. I hear it every night in the laughter of the Dominican kids playing on my block every night, punctuated by the Bachata music blaring from the corner bodega. Up the street the dollar store’s Soca mix is in competition with Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind blasting from the Escalade parked in front of the store but neither the car owner nor store owner seem to mind, because it is all a part of the same heartbeat.
Awesome Flea Markets in Brooklyn
I love a bargain. I also love randomness. Brooklyn flea markets always have an abundance of both. From those that I stumble upon in parking lots and on stoops to the more organized type that are at a specific location every week, the flea markets in Brooklyn are always great places to find one-of-a-kind fashion that will avoid you having an H&M twin at your next summer next gathering.
Since we had an absolutely gorgeous Saturday that weekend, I took my friends to the popular Brooklyn Flea market at the corner of Vanderbilt and Lafayette avenues. This market boasts both fashion and food, two of my favorite things in life, as well as artwork, collectibles and the best pork sandwich I’ve ever had.
Brooklyn’s Best Rooftops
There is nothing like a Brooklyn rooftop. Period. You can try to convince me otherwise but I have yet to see the same level of skyline splendor from anywhere else besides Brooklyn. The Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges have a regal beauty when lit at night and the backdrop of the Financial District is absolutely gorgeous at sunset.
A friend hosted a lovely, intimate Spring Fete on her rooftop in our Prospect Heights neighborhood, featuring a full service ice cream bar, vintage popcorn boxes, and a slideshow of her official wedding photos. It was a perfect combination of laughter, wine, friendship and love all overlooking the best borough in the city (yes, I’m biased. Get used to it.
Best NYC Parks to Enjoy on Sunny Days
Before you even say it, yes, there are parks everywhere in New York. Central Park has for decades been the setting of countless adventures for the likes of the Carrie Bradshaws and Miranda Priestleys of the city. However, if you’d rather wear flip flops than Manolo Blahniks and don’t mind the the old Woodstock reject playing his guitar near your blanket, a park in Brooklyn is the place to rest your weary feet after week of pounding the Manhattan pavement.
While my friends were in town, I organized a brunch picnic in Brooklyn Bridge Park, which was also my first time seeing the park since its recent renovation. The view of the Brooklyn Bridge was breathtaking and the breeze off the river made the hot summer afternoon pleasantly bearable. I’m definitely adding this to my list of Sunday getaways in Brooklyn and outside of this post, will not tell a soul about it lest it become overrun like my beloved Habana Outpost.
Whether you’ve lived in New York or not, I’m sure you’ve seen a stoop if not anywhere else but the Cosby Show (which was ironically filmed in Greenwich Village, not Brooklyn.) Stoops are magical gathering places where secrets are told, relationships are formed and Musiq Soulchild videos are recorded.
Brooklyn residents both young, old, rich, poor, red and yellow, black and white all gather outside on these concrete living rooms during the summer months to enjoy the warmth we all long for 9 months a year. It is a place of peaceful relaxation in the bustling jungle of this city, and a charming landmark of the Brooklyn community.
This community’s stoops, rooftops, parks and people have courted me past the infatuation phase, and we are comfortably coasting in that ever-elusive long haul only attainable by true love. I hope Brooklyn treats me right and keeps the fire going in this wonderful relationship because little does it know, I’m not going anywhere.