After ten plus years, I'm leaving Greenpoint. "They'll have to carry me out of here kicking and screaming," I thought when first confronted with the idea. It would mean giving up my rent-stabilized lease. It would also mean giving up part of an identity that I had culled for years; that certain stigma that comes with living in an up-and-coming neighborhood teeming with artists and creative types. When I moved to this section of Brooklyn back in 2000, no one (and I mean no one) wanted to live here. It was industrial, run-down, and fairly unattractive, even for New York. About six months later, the world discovered Williamsburg which is practically right next door. Since then, the spillover of Williamsburg Cool has made Greenpoint one of the hippest neighborhoods in Brooklyn but maybe a little too hip for me of late. I will miss the palpable creativity, the new wave of culinary artisans, the grit, the arms and legs (among other parts) covered in tattoos, and the old Polish couples who remind me of my own grandparents.
I'll be trading in pierogies and the rust belt of Brooklyn's waterfront niche for a complete change of pace, peeky-toe crab sandwiches, and the sailboats of a small seaside community in the Bronx. After a short weekend jaunt to City Island last year, I would have never guessed that I would be moving there exactly one year later. After counting down the days, I am looking forward to starting my new life by the bay....private beach and all. And, just in case I forget where I am for a second, the outline of the Empire State Building serves as a gentle reminder looming on the watery horizon.