Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Importance of Being Bushwick

the major line that takes me into New York City proper (Manhattan, that is) is the L train. it's not a bad commute, the 15 minutes to Union Square go by quickly when reading or listening to the iPod. these two passtimes, by the way, seem to be requisite duties of any New Yorker using public transportation.

i asked someone, once, at what point did she feel like a true New Yorker [as you may know this city is made of natives and transplants, this person being a transplant] and she noted that when one can sleep on the train and wake up at their desired stop unprompted, this is the moment of achieving New Yorkdom.

i believe i am only weeks away from this. i take the L train many, many times a week, usually to explore the lower east side and the east village, union square and so on. what i have learned about the subway system is which stops or transfers i prefer compared to others, which platforms contain which performers and food vendors, which stations smell like feet and which stations smell like urine.

i won't lie, there are many gross things about this city, but many great things too. the thirft stores, for instance, are great (though evidently thrift in New York means the exact opposite of what it means in the dictionary) and the flea markets, i am just discovering, are prime venues in which to anger grizzled old men by offering obviously naive and offensive pittances for otherwise expensive, if used, camera lenses.

but i love this life i lead with Heather and find a certain solace in living here in Bushwick. it's a nice little place, even if it is disengaged from what people normally think of when they think of New York. i am among puerto ricans and ecuadoreans, families and singles, and an obvious influx of young, white, would-be artists and poseurs. we leave the windows open so the sounds of our neighborhood (and flies) can compete with NPR when we make dinner. those sounds frequently include:
  • the rumbling of the elevated M train up the block
  • children playing in the street
  • honking horns from cars and busses
  • squealing police cars and ambulances, either going to an emergency or trying to mimic a hiphop track on their siren
  • construction crews here and there
  • the wind, the wind, the wind
walking down the street, everyday, we watch as a funnel cloud of pigeons circulates above one house, prodded by a man waving a large pole to command them. they are multicolored and when the sun hits them just right, they look like falling ticker tape, and heather and i are the only ones in our own parade.


Anonymous said...


Mic said...

great, juuuuust great