Wew! It was a mad dash getting everything pulled out of the house, and I’m sweaty and tired and cranky. But it’s DONE! I’m so excited. Nothing is ever entirely bad, of course, and there are always going to be good memories mixed in with the bad. So was the case in living in Bed Stuy.
Here are some of my favorites:
The parties. All of them! There were too many to count, and a lot that just kinda came together last minute. We rocked it out almost every month, and I got to know so many cool people who were friends of friends that later became friends of my own.
November 4, 2008, 11:00pm and the hours that followed. Never, ever, ever will I forget the air in the streets that night, hugging neighbors, slapping high fives and crying like crazy, overjoyed people. I know it was similar in other parts of Brooklyn, but I don’t think it was as vibrant, as meaningful, as in a poor black neighborhood. I don’t care what you think of Barack Obama: it was an amazing day for black people (and, really, it was an amazing day for everyone who hates racism).
Sitting in the tiny front entry way bundled in my coat with Bra the cat curled in my lap purring like crazy, happy to have somewhere warm to put his paws.
Fried chicken! Horrible, greasy, sketchy fried chicken, right down the block.
The look of sadness on my old-lady neighbor’s face when she saw us bringing our final boxes to the car. “You’re leaving us?” she said, and Rob said, “Yeah, we are.” “Awww.” she said, crestfallen, and I felt bad, which is saying a lot.
Time to move forward, though! Here we go. Park Slope. Tiny apartment. Laundromats. Vibrant neighborhood. Excellent shopping. John Hodgman as a neighbor!
*This is the fourth place Rob and I have lived together in almost as many years. WHO DOES THAT?
So, we’ve landed in Park Slope after a very self-sufficient move. In addition to going DIY with the painting, we packed everything ourselves* and then ran some of the boxes of stuff over to the new place and unpacked them in the weeks before the Big Moving Day with the Movers. These small chunks of moving were not only sanity-preservers, they made everything way cheaper: our by-the-hour rate movers had finished everything in just under three hours, including the drive over to the new place. Even they were stunned. Rob and I celebrated with a high-five.
One of the things we did early was put our bookshelves in the empty apartment and fill them. By “we” I mean Eric. The wall they are on is drywall over brick, and I said to Rob, “There is no way we are tackling this ourselves.
If you ask nicely he’ll wear his tool belt while working (you know, for the ladies who are into that sort of thing) and he gives a discount if he can bring his dog.
It doesn’t feel like home yet, and I wonder if it ever will. It’s very small here, and it’s clear that we will have to move eventually. Not just because of the space issue, either; the landlord actually told our real estate agent, “Three dogs is no problem, but NO KIDS!” It’s quite nice for now, though.
Stu! came over Saturday with champagne and cupcakes to celebrate the new place, and we spent the afternoon with me shirking unpacking responsibilities to show off the new neighborhood and slowly but surely convince her to become my cup-of-sugar neighbor.
Thank you to Effed In Park Slope for the Twitter welcome! This 4-part-series of videos they did of the local Target explains, to a level I don’t have the ability to blog about, why I feel like I’m descending into the seventh ring of Hell when I go.
*Apparently the really rich people leave their homes and go away for a few weeks and people come and pack them up and move them. Then they come back from vacation to a newly set up home somewhere else!