Well, it has officially been a week since I’ve moved to Brooklyn. Though I still have yet to have my first official “weekend” in Brooklyn, and probably won’t for a while with all the traveling back & forth to Connecticut. My feet hurt yet I want to keep exploring, I’ve already tired of the 40 minute journey to my friend’s apartment, and I’ve been “that person” in a café that hogs the wifi for 5 hours (I promise I did buy something every so often though.) Here’s a few key points I’ve learned in my first week in living this wild Brooklyn life:
I’ve already spent way too much money.
Though I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me. A night out and a basic essentials grocery shop can do that to you. I bought 2 lbs of rice for $6 which a scoop took forever to cook because..
Our stove doesn’t work.
Picture this: Settling in to prepare a home-cooked dinner, aka keeping it simple with some chicken and rice. You Google things you think you can make with 3-5 ingredients that were mainly spices because you somehow forgot to bring things like flour and a temperature thermometer, but remembered an entire box of spices. You preheat the oven, turning the knob on an ancient gas stove where you hear a click and assume you’ll be good to go in about 20-30 minutes because surprise, it’s too old to indicate when it’s up to temp. So you prep the chicken, call your mom, and waited around for that 30-minute mark. All just to open the oven and find out it was ice-cold inside.
Turns out, it was “as simple as” a pilot light underneath being out, but the gas company and property manager got involved because someone in the hallway smelled gas. “Next time, you can just go and light it yourself, you won’t blow up or anything.” Yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to that one..
A very exhausted dad with all his snacks piled on top of him after moving everything in.
Okay so our stove DOES work, but the fridge is about to die.
This little guy tried as hard as he could, but sadly, he’s on his last leg and lets everyone know by making THE LOUDEST humming and creaking for 10-20 minutes straight every hour. I can’t decide if it’s going to jet-propel itself into the ceiling or just explode. Nelson, our property manager, and savior already has one coming for us on Wednesday. What a great guy.
Speaking of great guys, this neighborhood is unreal.
I knew my first few nights alone would be rough, my roommates wouldn’t move in until the weekend and I had to try to fall asleep in an unfamiliar place. I became hyper-aware of each and every sound being on the bottom floor right next to the street, listening to each passerby. As I finally drifted into sleep, I was jolted awake by a raspy voice speaking to someone through our intercom for the building, which is conveniently located outside my window. The voice on the other end buzzed back, it was not happy to be responding to this guy outside at this hour.
“Hello.. Hello, is this John?”
“Yes. What? Hello?”
“Is this John H–? I think I found your wallet, it was on the ground a block over. I just wanted to return it to you.”
I ended up falling asleep shortly after that, there’s always something comforting about learning there are still a few good people who exist out there.
Finally, I think I’ve already found my bar.
Granted, I’ve only been to two so far, but you know when you just know your spot? Drinking With Men by Rosie Schaap can better explain it, her words can describe her penchant for the divey-ist of places, with the strangest of people. Even Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) has a short in Never Can Say Goodbye by Sari Botton where she recants her stint as a bartender in a place in LES where standing on the bar top and sweeping patron’s glasses off with a broom was completely acceptable.
My place, American Cheez (I promise it’s better than the name sounds,) is a sort of haven. I walked in with my parents and figured it would be obviously slow on a Monday, yet the bar stools were lined with a group of friends who truly wanted to have a conversation with us, welcoming me to the neighborhood. Everywhere you look, the walls are covered in old memories, from googly eyes on a picture of Michael Bolton to a disco ball adorned with two naked Barbies. How they got up there, I don’t really want to know. What I did want to know all about though, was the pizza. “Free pizza with every drink!” someone on Yelp wrote, immediately catching my eye. I’m already looking forward to coming back here.