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.
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