Just last night I found myself really missing living in Manhattan. I will have been an official Brooklyn resident for two years this June, but I admit, I still have pangs of longing for the island I was born on and called home once upon a time. Last night I was specifically missing the fact that I could take really long walks in Manhattan. I would walk for hours on end when I really needed to clear my head. I could get truly lost in my own thoughts or totally zone out because the vast majority of Manhattan is a grid. I could look up at the street signs after aimlessly walking for an hour and know exactly where I was and how to get back home. If I were to walk aimlessly through Brooklyn without really paying attention to where I was going I would wind up really lost. I hope to one day know my way around Brooklyn well enough to not get lost, but for now, I’m pretty directionally challenged once I leave my neighborhood. I often find myself missing how convenient it felt to live in Manhattan. I felt like everything was at my fingertips and if it wasn’t I could easily get there. Everything just felt closer, well, except for some of my friends in Brooklyn and Queens. The bottom line, it was different.
When I woke up this morning I was still feeling a little homesick for Manhattan. I started reminding myself of the reasons I moved in the first place. I wanted more space. I wanted to feel like I lived in a neighborhood. I wanted to be closer to friends. I have all of these things in my Brooklyn neighborhood. I have a much larger apartment. I even have that often elusive room of my own to write in that Virginia Woolf deemed so necessary. I know my neighbors and they know me. It is rare that I walk anywhere in my neighborhood without an exchanged, “hello” or smile. I work in this neighborhood as well so I often run into students. The people who work at the places I frequent know me. After teaching this morning I went to the specialty grocery store below the yoga studio to get a fresh baguette and found myself chatting with the man who works at the cash register and a fellow customer I see often. And yes, I live closer to friends. I think there will be a part of me that always misses living in Manhattan, but I must admit, I have it pretty good in my little neck of the woods in Brooklyn.