I’ve been shuttled around like a latchkey kid this past week in New York, arriving in Brooklyn to crash with a friend then later moving to stay with other friends in Manhattan.
I’d always been skeptical of Brooklyn the district, wary of the brigades of hipsters and the warnings of higher crime rates. But I fell in infatuation last week — with the neighborhood of Fort Greene/Clinton Hill, this charming, stunningly gorgeous area with grand historic brownstones and row houses that line tree-crowded streets. The avenues are wide and shaded and eventually lead to a lush, flowering park. The background noise is never too loud, except when there’s construction, and kids and bikes are everywhere.
My friend E’s apartment is in a four-floor building, one apartment to each floor, the homes large and roomy with hardwood floors and fire escape terraces. Little jars of jam with ingredients like apple and sage dot E’s place, her roommate is a jam maker. Outside, gentrification is slowly leaving its mark, trendy coffee shops and clothing boutiques mingling with an old school White Castle fast food restaurant. White guys in nerdy glasses and skinny jeans on snazzy bikes ride alongside low-slung cars blaring rap music driven by young black men. I say hello to the older black women (Fort Greene is a traditionally black neighborhood) who limp by me on their walkers up to the doors of apartments that have been in their families for years and joke with the construction workers at White Castle before heading into the subway station with other 20-something artsy, creative kids. I ask for directions from a hip shaggy haired couple, who kindly direct me on my way.
Photo via Neighborhoodr