Jesse Wann’s moving stories From Virginia to Manhattan to Brooklyn

My first move was to New York from Virginia. I can still see the Upper West Side Saturday night street scene clearly in my mind. I stood stiff, nervous, amongst my duffel bags and suitcases, and watched well-heeled people huff along toward their evening plans. Everything moved so fast. I felt like a shrimp in a giant ocean; I felt invigorated and alive with the swirl of possibilities.

My next biggest move came from the decision to leave the East Village. I’d long cherished the neighborhood. My father had lived there for a time when I was a boy, and it had always embodied the exciting, exclusive edge of culture that I longed to belong to. And then it didn’t anymore. The allure faded somehow. And in the parting email I sent to friends and family I announced, with a certain bravado, that I was ‘moving to the country’, though Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn hardly qualified as such.

In Carroll Gardens I have remained. The old brownstones and trees please me as much now as they always have. In its own way, this latest move is as big as the others. Though it’s only a short distance – three blocks – I feel like I’ve come a long way. This new move is the culmination of a deep and lasting romance. I met my girlfriend at a party in the neighborhood, and there we will now live, together.

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