I moved to Brooklyn yesterday!
It was a little surreal, arriving at a house I’d only seen in pictures, and unpacking the few belongings I brought with me into closets and onto shelves that don’t feel even remotely like mine. I was grateful to find a few amenities, tho – clean sheets on the bed, hangers in the closet, wine glasses in the cupboard, and a corkscrew in the (yes, the) kitchen drawer. It’s a very small furnished apartment, likely the most European apartment any Victorian house could possibly boast, with mis-matched furniture and the weirdest area rug I’ve ever seen. In retrospect, I am glad I opted to fly in with a couple of suitcases instead of renting a car so I could bring more of my things; not many more of them will fit!
Like every new home, this apartment has idiosyncrasies that will take some getting used to: the IKEA closet asymmetrically framed by Victorian wainscoting (which looks like it ought to be framing a double-wide doorway, but isn’t), the tiny refrigerator that hums almost incessantly (I’m really hoping I will learn to tune it out!), a microwave so ancient that it has a dial, and old wooden floors that squeak when you walk across them. But it also comes with a big front porch and flowering bushes on a quiet, tree-lined street, and I couldn’t have asked for a nicer neighborhood. It’s pretty – the kind of neighborhood that almost makes me wish I was a runner, because it would be such a nice place in which to run.
After a very long week of packing and goodbyes, and a long day of travel, I was tempted to just stay home last night, but I ventured out anyway, in search of dinner. Unfortunately, I ventured in the wrong direction – while there were a number of restaurants open, most of the places I found were hole-in-the-wall Asian or Caribbean, and I just wasn’t feeling that brave. So I ended up at an over-priced market and came home with salami and cheese and the worst bottle of wine I have ever had in my life. (The amount of dust on it really should have been a clue… Ah, well. Live and learn.)
Today’s adventures have been much more successful. My first real Brooklyn adventure (because last night does not count!) was a trip to the Prospect Park Zoo in Prospect Park this afternoon. The closest boundary of the park is just a 5-minute walk from my apartment, and the zoo is located quite far into the park, so I had a nice little hike to get there. Fortunately, I’d picked up a large cup of coffee from a little coffee shop called Lark on the way, and between that and absolutely beautiful weather, it was a fun outing. I’m pretty sure I heard at least seven distinct languages, and both the park and the streets were full of people from all walks of life. Definitely not a boring experience! Church Avenue (one of the major nearby cross-streets) can be a little overwhelming at times, but I think some of the fruit markets I passed along the way will make it worth at least a few more visits.
This evening I ventured in the other direction and scored way better in the food & wine department. Cortelyou Road felt a lot more like home; cleaner and quieter than Church Avenue, it’s home to a number of little shops and restaurants, and also (I think) the subway station I will need to get to work. I had dinner in a charming little restaurant called The Castello Plan, and stopped on the way home at King County Wines to pick up some wine for dinner tomorrow. I’m tired – I don’t remember the last time I did this much walking in two days! – but taking the time to explore the neighborhood and find a few new “favorite” places to go was totally worth it. Having a place I love to go – be it a park bench or a favorite café – is part of what makes any town or city “home” for me – so putting forth the effort to find some of those places this weekend (especially after last night’s strike-out!) was a valuable first step towards settling in to a new (and very different!) life.
More to come!
Image Credit: unsplash.com / “So Tall” by Brendan Church
Simple Felicity is, at its heart, a blog based on the unshakeable belief that happiness really isn't all that complicated. Sometimes finding it can be - but happiness itself is pretty simple, and it's often found in the simplest of things: good food, good books, and good company. So those are the things I write about, along with a few other things that really matter to me, including faith and feminism.
A bit about me: My name is Happy. I have an amazing talent for misplacing my keys, a deep appreciation for whomever looked at the coffee bean and thought, "Hey, I wonder what would happen if I roasted this?", and road trips to Michigan are pretty much my favorite.
Contact me anytime at simplefelicity7 (at) gmail (dot) com! I'd love to hear from you.
"If you focus on what you left behind, then how can you see what lies ahead?" —Chef Gusteau, "Ratatouille" via @momentumdash
"Your dreams don't work unless you do." —@JohnCMaxwell So get to work! ;) Happy Tuesday!
"Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don't belong." —@MissMandyHale
"It's not about where your starting point is, but your end goal and the journey that will get you there." —Unknown via @momentumdash
Brooklyn is nothing like the Midwest. Sometimes it feels like a foreign country. ow.ly/ZJyp30dfHXw