I moved to Brooklyn in 1999 and fell in love with it. I came here for grad school and I can’t imagine what would tear me away. But, trust me, it hasn’t been easy. I was here to witness the gentrification of Williamsburg and Bed-Stuy; I witnessed September 11th first hand; I watched the slow, polarizing destruction of Coney Island and await it’s revival; I was here before there was an Ikea or a Trader Joe’s. I’m no veteran, but I’ve seen a lot in my ten+ years here.
The most strenuous thing for me has been the number of times I’ve moved. This will be my 12th move in ten years. So more than a story, I wanted to write my Brooklyn Provenance, as it were, since 1999 that has landed me to this move into a home I now own.
In 1999, I moved here to go to school and lived in the dorms (that’s 1). In 2000, I moved from the 16th floor of the dorm building to the 17th and got a new roommate who I hoped was less sketchy than the first one I had (that’s 2). In 2001 I moved to an apartment on Willoughby and Kent (that’s 3). I loved that apartment. Small, but cheap; those never last. I then moved in with a boyfriend (who soon became an ex) on Bedford Ave (that’s 4) in Bed-Stuy and stayed there for a few months. The economic uncertainty after 9/11 made finding a job after grad school a bit of a challenge. I made it through the break up and the job freezes, but not without moving all my stuff out of that apartment and into a storage unit over on Park under the BQE (that’s 5). I then surfed couches for a few months. I finally got a job later that same year and moved my stuff out of storage and into a place in Windsor Terrace (that’s 6) and lived with a roommate who loved too much booze and too many candles. I left willingly before an accidental fire drove me out. I had a couple of friends in Kensington and in 2002 moved into the cheapest room I’ve ever lived in in NYC – $300 a month (that’s 7). Like I said, those never last. My roommate’s family decided to move to NYC and needed a place to live. I got the boot since she happened to be the nanny for the landlords and her family moved in and took over. That was 2004 and I moved into an apartment not far from there – my first studio with a giant kitchen and lots of space (that’s 8). I lived there for 2 years until my landlords had another baby and decided to expand their space on the first floor to include mine in the basement. In 2006, I moved to Bed-Stuy to a place I found on Craig’s List (that’s 9). Needless to say that only lasted a few months until I moved into another place way out in Bed-Stuy near where Malcom X blvd. turns into Utica Ave (that’s 10). I lived there for 1 year and was harassed every day for being the only white girl on the block. In 2007, I moved to where I live now – Flatbush near East 18th and Church (that’s 11). A West Indian neighborhood that turned me on to Roti and Doubles. I’ve lived here nearly 3 years and in this time, a death in the family made it possible for me to have a down payment on an apartment.
That leads me to my move tomorrow (thanks in advance, Rabbit). I bought a Condo in Bed-Stuy (That’s 12). It’s a small duplex that my dog, Millie, and I will make a home in. I’ll have space to have a studio (I’m an artist), live in a neighborhood I love, and have a dishwasher in my kitchen. Most of my friends are jealous of that last one the most. What it will really mean is that I can freely paint the walls a color I want, I can really get to know my neighbors, and most importantly, I can start to buy books again without worrying about my next move!