Thursday, February 9, 2012

Brooklyn Born

Not leaving Brooklyn...
I've felt at home in New York almost since the very beginning, when I moved here from Scotland in 2001, and I've loved seeing my relationship with the city evolve.

In the beginning, it was late nights on the Lower East Side and endless pavement pounding. I had a seemingly insatiable desire to experience every new restaurant, to uncover every boutique, to develop a mental map of nearly every block. If there was a 2 hour wait for something, I was there, sure that it meant that whatever I was waiting for was worthwhile. I believed that people shopped at Barneys every day, and I was determined to join them.

When I moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn for the first time, in the beginning of 2004, my tempo began to change. I liked the big skies, the village-y vibe, the fact that most people on the streets felt like locals. I liked that Williamsburg was still, to a certain extent, rough around the edges, while the East Village was increasingly packed with banks and chain drugstores. I lived across from a recycling plant, next to a chop shop, on blocks where they filmed the dicey scenes in shows like CSI: Special Victims Unit. 

In the eight years I've lived in Williamsburg, it's changed dramatically. But so have I. 

I still love it as much as I once did, just for slightly different reasons.

There are a few projects that I'm especially excited about lately. For one, the McCarren Park pool, which should re-open this summer (just when I'll need it most.) Then there's the bike share program, and the changing face of the waterfront. Con-Ed just tore down some fuel tanks along the river, and parks and bike paths seem to be popping up at every turn. Yes, there are plenty of characterless new condos. But with them came Smorgasburg, the East River ferry, and more and more desperately needed trees.

Seeing the neighborhood evolve makes me glad we've chosen to start our family here, and excited for my kids. I grew up, for the most part, in suburban pockets of Washington, D.C. I love the idea that my children will be New York natives, with the over-stimulation of Manhattan and all its magic over the the bridge, but with Brooklyn in their backyard. 

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