Tue 29 May
If you live in Manhattan and you work in media, new or old, then chances are decent that at some point you’ll move across the East River and take up a nicer, more spacious residence in Brooklyn. The environs are cleaner, the life less hectic, the population friendlier and the real estate generally more affordable. I’ve watched lots of my friends do that over the years. More power to them, I thought. But at the same time I quietly told myself that I liked it so much in Manhattan’s East Village that I’d never be one of those folks. Not me.
Except, sooner or later if you live in the East Village, chances are decent that you’ll get tired of the East Village, too. After eight-plus years, I’ve grown intensely weary of that neighborhood’s overripe scenester vibe, its unkempt landscape, and mostly its Friday and Saturday night massacres: crowded sidewalks full of drunken fraternity boys, desperate sorority girls and tragic hipsters, raucously enjoying their youth — as is their right, I admit — late into the night. Pesky kids!
This dissatisfaction of mine has been festering well enough on its own, but what really threw me over the top was the fact that even my dog got tired of the East Village. Once Mister President got a taste of the fenceless territory of Fort Greene Park or, better yet, the wide and wild vista of Prospect Park (during designated off-leash hours, of course), his enthusiasm for the penned-in, pint-sized lot at the Tompkins Square dog run faded quickly.
After those free-range romps, it became impossible to get him any sort of workout in the East Village. If you’ve had experience with a dog of any notable level of energy, then you know that part of one’s responsibility as an owner is to simply keep your canine companion entertained through physical exercise. An under-exercised dog is almost as much of a nuisance as a best friend, and that’s what the East Village was giving me.
So sometime in late April I got it into my head on a Wednesday that it was time to give in to Brooklyn, and by some miracle, I had a signed lease by Sunday afternoon for a quite respectable one-bedroom in the Boerum Hill neighborhood. As is often the case with Brooklyn, this new apartment is nicer, bigger and considerably cheaper than the one I had in the East Village. But I count myself really, really lucky to have found it, by virtue of the fact that it was remarkably affordable in an overheated rental market and, more importantly, it has a dishwasher. It’s true; I didn’t know they existed in New York City apartments, but one does in fact discover all sorts of wonders after crossing the East River.
All of which is to say that this is the reason I haven’t been blogging consistently this month. Moving requires a nontrivial physical and mental effort; all that sorting and organizing and boxing, to say nothing of actually un-boxing and re-sorting and re-organizing once you’re in your new location. It leaves little time left over to blog, especially when, like me, you have a kind of defeatist, it’ll-never-get-done attitude towards the physical act of somehow collecting all of your worldly possessions together to relocate your place of residence. But, somehow I did it! As of midday Saturday, I’m now a Brooklyn resident, and I’ve even managed — through some manic, Herculean effort — to unpack all but four remaining boxes in my new place. So I’m officially settled in. Hooray. If you’re one of my new neighbors, let’s go get a beer.