Wanna come to my hood?
I think you do. It’s a little paradise on earth. So, let me show you around.
I sweep my legs over the edge of the bed and find myself in the middle of a princesses room. Some vintage furniture wishes me good morning, as I roll up the curtain and glance outside. Three deep breaths. It is another day, waking up in Brooklyn! As most days, the sky is clear and I already picture myself jumping on my bike. Off to school. A daily ride that makes me feel too happy to be alive. Too thankful for being a local Brooklyn girl, as only for four months. Too greedy to miss the moment.
But first it’s breakfast time. The smell of coffee already finds its way into my room. I take a rush downstairs, into the kitchen. A bit of a cottage feeling welcomes me. The little toaster oven does its job on some sesame bagels. “Good morning Barbara!”, says Eric, my American daddy. He is reading the New York Times at the kitchen table. Then I hear a pair of heels stumbling down the stairway. Geri, my American mom, comes in. Nicely dressed as always. She throws her lunch into a small canvas bag, covered with images of Obama. “I got it when he was first elected in 2008. It’s the best”, she smiles with a glimpse of sadness.
I step out of the big brownstone house, into the fresh air. Eric and Geri have lived here, on this block, for 22 years. Everyone around knows each other. The area around has turned into a vivid, wealthy and lovable townish hood. It’s called Park Slope. The name refers to Brooklyn’s biggest park: Prospect Park. It is Brooklyn’s own garden, designed by the same architects as Central Park. And it’s only one block away!
I go for a run in the park three times a week. Sometimes together with Geri. At 6:30 am we get out in the dark. While we run the 5k circle, the sun rises. We aren’t the only ones. Runners, bikers and walkers everywhere. Sucking up their daily amount of oxygen. And same here. If I would live Manhattan, I would likely die. A dead caused by excitement though, but still, no Barrie left. One day when I’m old and wise I’ll magic myself into a tree. Like the one in Pocahontas. Grounded in the middle of Prospect Park, right at the lake. See ya’ll there.
But first I have to meet a Brooklyn boy like Dan from GG. Live in a hipster loft. Write three books, become a famous journalist, documentary maker, poet, singer-songwriter and overall social influencer. And finish this blog.
So, hold on.
I’m on my bike now, heading to Law School. Taking a right on 7th Avenue, I soon bump into my local coffee shop. Which is of course an actual coffee shop (however I feel New Yorkers smoke more than we do). It is called the Connecticut Muffin. The classic local meeting spot. Some proud looking old ladies in the corner, having their weekly coffee & cake. Chit chatting. Mom and dads with pushchairs. Lots of kids. The same two grey haired philosophers who always seem to be there. Discussing the newspaper and life in general. The fat and tired looking woman behind the muffin stuffed counter looks at me: “Same?”, she mumbles. Yup. One medium almond milk cappuccino and a cinnamon-raisin bagel with jelly. There you go. Have a good one.
As I hit the road again, almost leaving the Park Slope area, I cross the local Coop. The Coop is a community grocery store: You can only shop if you’re a member. Being a member means you have to work as a volunteer for about three hours a month. As a result, the prices can be kept relatively low. I joined Geri once, as an exited yellow-labeled visitor. Of course everything here is extremely organic and healthy. Hippy paradise. I wanna live in the Coop! Very hard to stay grounded.
“This is a Brooklyn bound, F local train…”
Is what I hear every time when I’m on my way home on the subway. Brooklyn bound, Brooklyn Barrie, Brookly Bee. Anyway. Feeling free!