For the past four years, I have lived in Brooklyn. I am not talking about the cool, hipster Brooklyn. I am talking about the “last stop on the R train, everyone knows everyone, still has an accent, best black and white cookies, actually affordable, fights break out, but everything can be solved at the neighborhood bar” Brooklyn. There’s absolutely nothing cool, hip or trendy about Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. You come here to live, relax and take long subway rides.
In these past four years, I have had 12 roommates including a large, fluffy Chow Chow that went to the bathroom all over my bed. Yes, a large Chow Chow pooped all over my bed. I have also lived in an apartment that had bedbugs, so living in New York City is not what Carrie Bradshaw promised me it would be.
As you may have guessed, living with roomies in small spaces is challenging. All of my roommates have been Craigslist “randoms”, and while some of these matches worked out, some really didn’t. Suddenly, after years of solving roommate issues as a college dormitory Resident Assistant, I was in the center of roommate conflicts. I have lived with people from very different cultures than my own, people who make more and less money than me, people who are neat freaks and people who literally leave half-eaten sandwiches on the kitchen counter. When you live with random roommates and have a lease, you make it work. I have learned that the way people are brought up really influences how they maintain their space, approach conflict and live their lives.
My past four years here been just as wild, unexpected and beautiful as this borough. When I first moved to Brooklyn, I had graduated college a few months prior and had accepted a part-time job in public relations. Most of my time was spent hustling, dreaming and exploring everything from career changes, intimate relationships and New York City. Similar to my roommates, some experiences really worked out and some really didn’t.
As I am leaving a neighborhood I have called home, I am moving to a new place that already feels even more like home. For the first time in my adult life, I am finally going to have a space that I am creating with someone I love. I bless that Halloween night at the club when I met Dave. You know how they say that one day you will meet someone and realize why it never worked with anyone else? After many, many, many duds, that day finally arrived for me. Four years ago, I didn’t even think it was possible for me to be moving to the Upper West Side with a boyfriend, I just wanted to spot a celebrity on the subway.
Thank you Bay Ridge, for serving as my safe New York City haven. I could always count on you to be a breath of fresh air (literally) from Manhattan, offer the cheapest manis, the best beet burgers and to never judge me for wearing the same sweatsuit all weekend. Although I am not going to miss the commute, the roommates, the R train or the lack of anything cool to do, I will always remember my times here as a Brooklyn Babe. #BKinBK #ByeByeBrooklyn