So long, D.C. Hello, Brooklyn

I’m not going to lie. I am missing the greenscape that the D.C. metro area has to offer. But so far, Brooklyn hasn’t been too bad. It just needs more greenscape.

The move has happened, and in a few weeks I’ll be starting my first semester of grad school at The New School.

The jitters haven’t come just yet, but I seem to be at the beginnings of what one can only assume is a caffeine addiction. There are many coffee shops around here, but I won’t go so far as to say there are too many. There are never too many coffee shops.

My awesome co-workers and friends.
My awesome co-workers and friends.

So long, DC
In true Ed Week web team fashion, we had a farewell happy hour at American Ice Co. If you’re not familiar with this establishment, all you need to know is that they serve their beverages in mason jars. Of all sizes.

That’s right. Baby Gerber-sized jars for your fancy shots.

While I’m still working for EdWeek on a telecommuting basis, I will miss working alongside the fine folks of the web team (honorary members included, Kevin and Ross). I’ve never worked with a finer bunch of people.

The next morning, on Aug. 1, Matt and I hauled ass to get a U-haul in Rockville, drove it back to Silver Spring, (awkwardly) packed the truck with my belongings, and at around 1 p.m., began what ended up being almost a 7-hour drive to good ol’ Brooklyn.

Traffic in New Jersey was stop-and-go terrible. It also smelled like a massive fart, and no, that smell didn’t come from the truck cabin.

The traffic, and weird things I saw in driving up to NYC
The traffic, and weird things I saw in driving up to NYC

Once arriving to what is now my new abode for at least the next two years, we unpacked the U-Haul in what I believe was record time. It definitely took us less time to unpack then it did to pack that stupid box truck. By the time the truck was unpacked and ready to be returned, it was about 9:30 p.m. There was no way we were going to keep the truck until the next morning.

Not to mention, we were already double parking next to another U-haul.

It’ll be the only time I drive in the city (well, Matt drove through Manhattan to the apartment. I drove through Brooklyn to drop off the U-haul). I’ll stick with my future adventures of biking around the city as my transportation mode. Someone else can drive me around.

The Neighborhood
According to the agent who showed us this apartment, and the landlord of the building, my roommates and I are living on the boundaries of the “up and coming” Bushwick.

I hear that a lot here: “up and coming.”

Needless to say, there’s a very distinct “color line” when you walk down our street, towards Williamsburg. It gets noticeably whiter the further in towards Williamsburg you go, which should tell you something about where we live.

It’s not bad though. Sandwiched between three train stations, and a few blocks from the Brooklyn-Queens line, the neighborhood is very lively.

Just the other night, someone had MJ’s “Thriller” blasting out on the street.

In another situation I probably would’ve found the whole thing annoying, but as I started the beginnings of this post, I found it rather entertaining and enjoyable.

This neighborhood, from what I’ve seen in the last seven days that I’ve been here, has been nothing but lively, jovial, and alive.

Unlike the parts of DC that I’ve frequented, there are people here.

brooklyn1 Not people scurrying along from one establishment to the next. Just people. Being who they are, enjoying the moment out on their stoops. Chatting with friends and family. Drinking a tall boy out of a small brown paper bag (you ain’t foolin’ anyone ol’ man). Watching their kids kick a ball around on the street, or bobsled on the skateboard into a parking sign.

Everyone just seems happy.

Every night, in front of the corner shop next to our apartment, the owner and his friends just sit outside and chat it up, blasting music from their cars.

That’s something I haven’t come across in DC: cars being used as mega boomboxes to bring music to the neighborhood.

And it’s alright.

In fact, of all the sounds that occur around here, the most annoying is the stampede-like stomping on the floor from my upstairs neighbor. (And I thought I was a bit heavy-footed.)

Places Visited and Feeding the Beast
Friends. There’s no such thing as too many coffee shops. Because there are a lot of coffee shops, not just in Williamsburg, but within walking distance of our apartment into Park Slope.

I’ve only ventured the immediate area so far, but as I get settled in more, I’m sure to take Rocinanté out for a few joy rides around town. I still have to figure out how to get across the bridge into Manhattan after all…

But within the first four days of being here, I feel like I may have developed what could only be the beginnings of a caffeine addiction.

But it’s pricey, so I’ve resorted to buying instant espresso from the grocery store. For the time being. It’s not the same.

I’ll have a separate write-up for you of each of the locations I’ve visited, and will visit… let’s call it “eating my through NYC.” Or some equally unoriginal name like that. I’ll also be trying my hand at more photography, especially once the semester starts and I’ll actually be moving around more instead of being hunched over my laptop screen all day long. The camera’s been neglected for far too long now.

Let’s explore Brooklyn together (and Manhattan, and Queens, and wherever else I end up going).

Cheers!

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