5.27.2015

I LOVE BROOKLYN, LET ME COUNT THE WAYS


Oh hells bells and cheeseballs brace yourself for this, this one is a gusher. 

I love our life here in Brooklyn. Caps style. I LOVE OUR LIFE HERE IN BROOKLYN. 

Okay. This is what I love about our life here in Brooklyn:

This morning I woke up and the birds were chirping out our window. Just out this window lives this beautiful, leafy tree, I have no idea what species of tree, but it has bright green leaves, spring green, and they dance in the breeze right at our window-level like a twinkling green cloud, bouncing sunlight off their surfaces. And then I have this gorgeous brick wall staring me in the face first thing in the morning when I open my eyes. And my plants, which are STILL ALIVE. And the ceiling, soaring thirteen feet above me with the exposed pipes and wiring and the vintage light fixtures that only most of the times work.

Just this morning I ordered my coffee from the corner bagel shop--from my phone, mind you!--because I was too lazy to go across the street to get it myself and anyway my kid was asleep, and then they brought it to me! To my door! And the delivery guy was all, Hey what's up? Because he knows me! And he knows what a "splash" of half and half means! When else will I have this again??

I love our apartment. I like calling it "the loft" because it is pretentious and obnoxious and makes me sound all hideously amazing, like Gwyneth Paltrow. 

I love aaaaaaall the hipsters. I doooo! I love the boys in suspenders + three-piece suits in the middle of a Wednesday. I love the girls covered in tattoos and American Apparel sleeveless denim shirts. I love the facial hair. I love the cash only coffee shops that put stupid spindly flowers in mason jars and hang boob paintings on the walls and think they're sooooo cool. They are cool! If you ask me! I love artisanal tacos, mother effers! Put some kimchi on that shit, I am so THERE right now!

I love Gowanus. I love how disgusting it smells. I love 4th Avenue. I love riding my bike down 4th Avenue and thinking I might die. I love our neighbors. I love the dudes next door who hang out on the stoop and the piano teacher three doors up, and I love the teenagers who are SO OBNOXIOUS after school every day, like, GO HOME, KIDS, and I love that couple that routinely fights in front of our building at 2AM. I love it when one of them says "I don't want to talk to you anymore!" and makes like the argument is over and then thirty seconds later starts up with a, "It's just that I . . . "  I so do that! I know that one! And the one too where you go to apologize and make peace but then something in your apology hits another point of contention, and then off you go again? That one is a classic! I love that!

I love bagels. 

God I love bagels. 

I love telling Huck not to run in the house so our downstairs neighbor won't be bothered by banging footsteps above his head. I love it when Brandon says, "walk SOFTLY, Natalie!" because I have the graceful gait of a rhinoceros. I love it when Huck accidentally drops something heavy on the floor and shouts down through the floorboards, "Sorry, Michael!"

I love that our mattress is just on the floor. Just sitting there randomly on the floor behind the sofa. Like we're a bunch of dirty hippie college kids or something, I love that. I feel like I should move the rug underneath it so it feels more purposeful or something but you know what? I also love that this place looks accidental no matter where you put anything. I love that little corner of the kitchen by the cupboards where I can sit on the floor with a jar of pickles and call my mother. I love how you cannot hang a damn thing on these walls because they are all made of brick, brick brick brick!, and I love how we've been using the drill holes put in by the previous tenants because we're too nervous to put in our own, which is how Barry ended up where Barry is living, and I love how collaborative our place feels because of it. The ghosts of tenants past. I like wondering with Brandon what the previous tenants had hung above the dining area that was special enough to have gotten them to install track lighting to highlight it. WHAT WAS IT!? 

I love the subway. I love the damn R train. Damn stupid slow R train. I love that I'm back on the R  train after a 10-year hiatus and a brief affair with the 1 / 2 / 3. I love the mirroring nature of our two lives in Brooklyn. I love wandering down Montague Street, holding Huck's hand, picturing myself at 22 walking Peter Pan and thinking I knew everything. 

I love bumping into Huck's teacher at the farmer's market and discussing kombucha with him in depth. 

I love that I was at the Union Square Greenmarket the other day and it was an effort to find a bakery stand that wasn't gluten free! (Union Square isn't in Brooklyn. Bygones.)

I LOVE MY BATH TUB.

I just love our life here in Brooklyn.

I love our life here in Brooklyn, and I know that nothing is forever. That's what this is. Nothing lasts forever, which is both good news and bad, and that makes this time all the more precious to me. The hard times pass and the good times pass, all just the same; it doesn't slow down and it doesn't speed up, it's just there, ticking cruelly, and all we can do is keep up our optimism for whatever comes next. 

I am so glad it's not last year anymore. I am so glad it's not two years ago anymore. I'd be fine going back to three years ago, those were good times, but, wow where am I going with this. 

I am glad that I'm still blogging. Sigh. Even though I very nearly shut it down, like, four times this year, finger on the button, heart pounding "I'll turn this car around!" style, with Brandon going, "Do it!!! I dare you!!!" But I'm glad that I didn't. Because hell, Natalie. Having this record of our lives is such an incredible thing. And even if I didn't blog, I'd still blog. Whatever that means. I guess that is my grand takeaway from this year, is that this blessed stupidity will go on and on, and isn't that comforting? On it goes, on, and on, no matter who is watching, no matter who is caring. 

Blog like no one is reading! Can we put that on a T shirt?

This summer marks five years that we've lived in New York City this second time around. That is the longest I have lived in any one place in my entire life. Oh geez. I remember looking at apartments at this time five years ago, enormously pregnant and uncomfortable, in the height of the city summer humidity, trekking up and down flight after flight of stairs, looking at places no bigger than a thimble, one of which that had an actual shower in the kitchen--and seriously considering it!--and it's just crazy to think about. Can you believe what a different time that was? Everything felt different and new and strange. But New York is, by now, really and truly and certifiably home. I live here. Natalie Belongs Here. Maybe. Stamp it on your forehead. I'll put the formal request in the mail, on official stationery, signed by a notary: I'd like to live here forever!! Or until a cute country home opens up somewhere with room for chickens out back. Oooh! And goats! 

I was standing in my kitchen this morning thinking about the smell of the subway and our five year anniversary here and looking at the Brooklyn rooftops and feeling so grounded and good. And I thought to myself, "this is one for the blog!" That happens sometimes, what can I say. But this, this is good. This is a good place to call home. I'll take it.

I mean, unless we live somewhere else someday for six years straight. Whatever.  :)

32 comments :

  1. I love your Brooklyn too! Also that you are still blogging. Also Huck apologizing through the floor to Michael.

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  2. I so love everything about this post. I live in Manhattan and have been a NYC resident for less then a year. My love affair with this city is so strong, and it's strong in a way that only other NYers can understand. Those bagels? The Union Square greenmarket? That fighting couple? I love them too. I get it. Thank you for putting it into words!

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  3. I love you described you neighborhood! I could picture the scenes of your day and it made me think of all of the reasons why I love my own neighborhood. Thank you for this moment of joy on a busy day :)

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  4. This is so wonderful. I love your optimism. It's totally contagious. Thanks for putting it in the blog :)

    xx- onballence.com

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  5. awesome. blog like no one is reading. After all, that's what I want to read. :)

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  6. I love this post! I love your love for Brooklyn and your love for the hipsters and not being afraid you love the hipsters, because hell, I love the hipsters too! The character! The characters! I dream of loving a place this much some day.

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  7. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I think it's super important to savor the "little things." To be appreciative and grateful for those seemingly small things, because they often turn out to be the most important things, in the grand scheme of things. Like who knew a really good bagel could change your life? But it can, it totally can, you feel me? ��

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  8. Please do keep blogging like no one is reading! I love thus post, and I'm going to go write my own of all the things I love right now :)

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  9. I am with you sister - Brooklyn is my soul-mate.

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  10. let me count the ways I love you :)

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  11. I'm really glad you are still blogging. I'm also really glad it's not last year or the year before for you because dang girl sounds like some silliness!

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  12. This is my favorite thing you have ever wrote.
    (And I totally want a blog like no one's reading t shirt. ..because no one reads my blog. But I love it)

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    1. I concur! ;-) Don't have many followers, but I love blogging too! ;-)

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  13. Posts like these make me wish that I followed my better judgement (or perhaps my more irrational gut feeling) about visiting BK this summer. But until the time comes when I am brave enough, words like yours allow me to live vicariously as if I am an inhabitant of the area kinda like you lol thank you Nat :)

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  14. Good to hear you sounding so happy, after all, what else is life about? Your Brooklyn life sounds so good, lucky you!

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  15. Fun post! I love Brooklyn too, and I love that you love it. I love that you've found your niche in life, and are happy where you are with your sweet little family. Keep loving, and blog on girl!!

    xo

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  16. "I love that little corner of the kitchen by the cupboards where I can sit on the floor with a jar of pickles and call my mother."... I love this line! And the feeling you communicate. I met you on the street a few weeks back and that is the thing I forgot to say in my weird random babbling -- you are a really beautiful writer. So I am very glad you keep writing and sharing it with the world. Thank you!

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  17. Eeeeee I want to move here. I am not feeling very inspired by the place I live lately. Thank you for the quick escape :)

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  18. I love that I read your blog and can relate to quite a lot of it, I love that you did not push the button on closing the blog:) xxx

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  19. Beautiful post! I am so glad that you will continue to blog, Any chance that you'll blog about French girl fashion? I am anxiously awaiting since I'll be going to Paris next month!

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  20. This post almost persuaded me to move to Brooklyn. Sounds wonderful.

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  21. i love this, i love how happy you are (or, appear to be), and i love the "blog like no one is reading!" blogging for yourself is where it's at. you owe your readers nothing. never stop doing your thing, natalie.

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  22. this was freaking beautiful

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  23. I wish I had your love for the crazy this city has to offer. But the simple fact is, I hate living in NYC. I hate it so much. :/ I want to love this time in my life, but the things I love are in spite of living here. I want to take the smell of the subway in stride or the fact that I'm walking so many stairs at 37 weeks pregnant, but my heart is constantly being called home to Ohio (or at least to the country). My husband and I actually count down the months til we move out. I have wonderful memories of Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge and our favorite places to eat, but I just want to be away from 8 million people. I do love this post, it makes me want your optimism and love for this place. I want to make the best of this year we have left.

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  24. This was just great. Such a beautiful post.. Makes me want to leave California and head east. Thank you for continuing to blog. You're my favorite.

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  25. This is such a sweet post! -Hanna Lei

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  26. This made me smile and feel nostalgic, and I've never even lived in New York. I just can't sleep because I rearranged my furniture and now my bed is facing a new way and I feel like I moved into a new apartment. Eh.

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  27. Now I want to move to Brooklyn! :-)

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