A long, long time ago, what seems like a lifetime really, a young, bright-eyed Ali went to London and found myself. She wasn’t even looking for herself. But there, hanging out in Russell Square, she was. And she felt good about it.
Then life happens. And before you know it she’d gotten a new name, a marriage under her belt, and a mortgage to unload. She had no idea how it all happened or who it even happened to. Because it could not’ve been her.
That’s when Ali came to Brooklyn.
That was three years ago. And everything I found in Russell Square, I found in Greenpoint three-fold. Simply put, Brooklyn is my home. I came to her broken and scared, and Brooklyn, with a half-smirk on her face, bent down and helped me pick up the pieces. She helped me put myself back together. She introduced me to some of the best people I have the pleasure of knowing and calling friends. Brooklyn help me fix my broken and bruised heart, and in doing so, she has left a piece of herself forever with me. I will be eternally grateful to Brooklyn for all she has done.
But then life happens.
For reasons that are too much of a pain in the ass to get into, I need to leave my apartment. When staying in Greenpoint looked like it wasn’t an option anymore, I started checking out Park Slope (North and South), Fort Greene, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, etc. etc. etc. And on a lark, I started looking in Jersey City. Which try as it might, is not the sixth borough of New York City. And it is definitely not Brooklyn.
I don’t know if you know anything about looking for an apartment in New York. But it sucks giant donkey balls, to put it delicately. So while three weeks of full-time searching was fruitless in Brooklyn; there was much to be seen in Jersey City. And I’ve got family and friends in Jersey. And it’d make it a lot easier to get to curling. And this apartment was SO GREAT and the rent package is just too good to pass up.
I feel like I’ve let Brooklyn down. That now that things are getting rough, I’m cutting town. I know that’s not the case, but it feels that way. And I am so, so sorry, Brooklyn. I am so, so sorry to all my friends in Brooklyn.
When I was a kid and we were on family vacations, someone would, as they always do with out-of-towners, would ask us, “where ya from?” My dad would always, always say, “Brooklyn” even though we lived in New Jersey—even though he’d lived in New Jersey for longer than he’d lived in Brooklyn. But I get it now. I get why he said.
I am from Brooklyn. I am of Brooklyn. And that will just have to do.