Last week, I was invited for beers in the comfy backyard of a gorgeous brownstone in the Slope and we got to talking about what life is like in Brooklyn’s utopian paradise.
With the opening of Ikea Brooklyn on June 18, no longer is a trip to Elizabeth, N.J., a staple of New York residential life; instead, it’s a ferry or bus ride to the faded industrial port of Red Hook.
I finally got a bike. It’s a vintage Fuji, and it belonged to my dad. I took it out for a spin through Prospect Park over Memorial Day weekend. I zoomed around the park, stopping to enjoy the lake for a bit, and again to listen to a drum circle where a large group of people were dancing. I sat on my bike, one foot on the curb, and took in the scene.
“I was born in the South Slope on 11th Street off Sixth Avenue,” said Matthew Roff, 33, owner of the new Crown Heights beer garden Franklin Park. “Bar Toto was my bodega.”
Apparently it’s quite controversial to discuss the experience of living in Brooklyn when it comes to the topic of race. A few weeks back, I dared to talk about it and received a lot of flack. But in my hood, Prospect Heights, and anywhere really, race, class and gentrification are heavy topics, and I’m not going to shy away from them.
On a recent chilly night, I was bundled up and on my way to Boerum Hill to have dinner at a friend’s apartment. As I walked down Washington Avenue the B45 bus pulled up next to me, and I hesitated. “Which would be faster, the train or the bus?” I thought. Before I could make a decision, the bus doors had shuttered. Luckily, the light at Atlantic and Washington was still red and I approached the bus and knocked on the door. The driver, a middle-aged African-American man, refused to open the door, gesturing to the next stop, three street crossings away, even though his bus was still idling perfectly in front of a designated stop. It was 15 degrees outside and I’ll admit it, I felt like the driver was sticking it to me for being white.