Last Exit to Brooklyn

Reading time: 6 – 9 minutes

Well, it’s become pretty much official and I don’t think there’s any turning back, unless Manhattan becomes revitalized in some way, but…

Cyprus and I are, I think, “officially” Brooklynites.

We used to be so happy in Manhattan, living on the Upper West Side, the East Village, the Upper East Side,… we were in love with “The City.” I’ve lived in Manhattan since 1988, with a few crazed excursions to fulfill some distant Karma, but for the most part, lived in the city for a long, long time. Over that course of time, something has changed. It’s no longer the inspiring, enthusiastic playground of truly creative people; it’s become a subsidized campus and tourist getaway. That’s not necessarily a BAD thing, but it’s just not ALIVE anymore. The city has fallen asleep and nestling onto its back are the likes of the Olsen Twins, frat boys, sorority girls, cologne-laden out-of-towners who think it’s “cool” to go the East Village, or gay boys and squealing girls traipsing the Upper West Side pretending they are on Sex and the City (which is a GROSS misrepresentation of life in New York.) Anyway, Manhattan has died and in it’s resurrection the people who gave it life have been replaced by conservatives, families, and naive twenty-somethings who have never had to pay their own rent. Like I said, I’m not describing this as if it is a BAD thing (it’s actually quite lovely to see Manhattan so accommodating, which is why I’ve ALWAYS loved it), but it’s just not ALIVE, that’s all. It has left its creative and inspired and colorful world to history and has matured into something more like a midwesterner’s idea of what “the big city” should be, based on TV. AGAIN, I don’t say that necessarily as a BAD thing.

I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Manhattan. ALWAYS. Like a boyfriend who has become a Best Friend (and I know that process quite well, thank you). There used to be a DIFFERENT kind of intimacy, but now the bond is different, even while the intimacy is still there.

On the other hand: BROOKLYN… ahhh, what can I say. It is bursting at the seams with creativity, art, music, style, and community. It’s been said that many artists moved to Brooklyn because the rent was less, and that may have been the case in the 90s, but not anymore. People are now moving to Brooklyn because it’s the new East Village, filled with the inspiring, fiery, passionate, creative, experimental energy that Manhattan used to embody. Think of Manhattan as now being the epitome of Donald Trump, while Brooklyn is now Studio 54 and Andy Warhol. It’s just a matter of preference and I have discovered that I prefer the feeling of being alive over the feeling of false status. Unfortunately, the rent is fairly matched, if not more, than Manhattan’s rent.

So, Cyprus and I are off to a new start in a new apartment beginning in August! We looked all over Manhattan, and we seriously considered a couple of places, particularly on the Lower East Side where the energy and life are still edgy and passionate, but the “something” just wasn’t there.

When I came out of the subway to the area where our new apartment is, I said. “Uh ohh… Cyprus, do you feel that? I can FEEL a strange familiarity with this place and it feels like there is a version of us already living here.” It felt as if some parallel-universe version of us already lived there. I pay attention to those metaphysical sensations as often as I can, and I’ve felt the same feeling in one area of Manhattan at the Delancey Street station for the F train. That’s why I emphasized a search in that area, but my instincts kept taking me back out to Brooklyn.

And don’t get me wrong; there are some boring-ass areas of Brooklyn, crime-ridden slum areas, and extremely conservative (and beautiful) residential areas, but those things are commonalities among all of the Boroughs. Currently, we live in one of the more beautiful, residential areas, much like the Upper West Side of Manhattan and it is gorgeous, friendly, and safe. Our new home is a DRASTIC leap away from that.

HOME SWEET HOME

Yeah, the picture above doesn’t look like much, and it might even look SCARY to those unfamiliar with the bizarre way New Yorkers make the most of space, but believe me, for the right people, this place is a dream-come-true!

We will soon live in a 1500 sq. ft warehouse loft apartment within a huge artist community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Our new apartment is MASSIVE, with a wall of windows about 20 feet high, and two of the bedrooms are DUPLEX! That means, like, two floors! I will have an office, a guest room/lounge, and the two main bedrooms. We are given complete creative freedom to build, paint, redesign, and construct in the space! Oh I am going to SO Queer-Eye the space beyond and back! LOL!

In this new apartment I will be able to have huge workshops and classes because the apartment easily accommodates about 100 people (according to the current tenant who hosted parties there). My workshops would only have 10 to 25 people, at most, so there will be PLENTY of room! An abundance of space for storage is all over the loft, along with FREE LAUNDRY! What the…? Who knew!? FREE Laundry! YAY!

The apartments are so huge that a few people who are in bands in our building and in the building across the street actually have CONCERTS from inside their own apartments! There are also rooftop concerts and festivals. Oh, and as you enter the main hall on the floor of our apartment, there is a wall that hosts the art of all of the artists in the building! I LOVE that! One of the guys on the floor arranges a theme for the floor and everyone contributes. That is so inspiring and fun!

Within the warehouse across the street, we have our own coffee lounge where the tenants gather, socialize, and network for artistic endeavors,…and down the street is a wonderful natural food store catering to our vegan needs! YAY!

See, Cyprus and I were recently thrown a terrible curveball in life, but today we both found amazing new ground as I signed a lease and Cyprus received word about something that she’s been waiting to hear and it was EXCELLENT news. I hate to be so mysterious, but until I know the details, I can’t write about it just yet.

So, in the end when you might think the WORST has happened, don’t give up, and PLEASE remember that everything can change for your benefit when you participate in the creation of your next steps, and truly trust in the process. I knew we’d land on our feet, but I was freaking out for a bit when I couldn’t think straight, but with the support of friends, synchronicity, a lot of effort, trust, and patience, we see a soft landing in a better world ahead.

I’ve heard word from my clients in London, by the way, and they are all accounted for and okay.

God… this day began quite ominously, but on even the worst of days, I am beginning to be evermore grateful for each one.

I am happy tonight (even while saddened by the bullies in the world who are ruled by religious zealousness and greed).

2 thoughts on “Last Exit to Brooklyn”

  1. I’m not a fan of “Sex & The City,” but I’ve seen a couple of episodes. Honestly, I think that it IS a fair representation of life in Manhattan — for a certain segment of women with money. I work with people like that. There are so many different lifestyles being lived in Manhattan, really. And Manhattan has always been that way since its beginnings. And it is always changing.

    In many ways, Manhattan is “better” now than it was in the 1980’s. I wish, like you, that the village wasn’t overrun with fratboys and bimbos from NJ and Long Island, but that too shall pass.

    And they’ll come to Brooklyn, I’m sure.

    -Nick

  2. So true, m’fren… so true.

    I worked for SAKS and know the kind of women of which you speak, but I think SEX and the CITY influenced them, rather than SEX and the CITY being a representation of them.

    That series had a very high school mentality about it and I suppose it brings out that level of wannabe-ness, status, and competition in some people. It seemed to really affect the expectations and behavior of the out-of-towners and transplants who clog our streets now. And yeah, they are on their way to Brooklyn, too.

    All they need now is a TV show to give them permission, LOL!

    Oh, and yes, I know I am a transplant, too, but I think 10+ years residency is sufficient time enough to consider this city my home.

    Have you ever noticed that, for the most part, wherever culture becomes inspired by gays and artists, the world follows?

    hmmm…

    troy

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