Photo by myself at Bryant Park, at 42nd Street and 6th Avenue.
Despite looking bleak in the winter and early spring, this park is extremely popular in the warmer months. Business people from surrounding office buildings take lunch on the lawn. Free movies, mostly classics, play in the summer on a large screen. Get there early to claim a spot!
New York felt like Spring today. Mark and I have been driving between Greenpoint and Park Slope, schlepping more of his stuff to my place, since he's moving in. We've been going through closets, tossing old belongings and relocating artwork on the wall.
While in Greenpoint today, we saw a lot of young people walking about enjoying the weather. The neighborhood has dramatically changed since the time Mark first moved there, three years ago. Nary a soul was on the sidewalk before, whereas now, there are groups of hipster-ish twenty-somethings roaming around in search of brunch.
It's an urban cycle that is continually happening in New York, despite fears of the real estate bubble - Manhattan becomes a more expensive place to live, and the ripple effect pushes outwards into the outer boroughs. The younger people and artists relocate to sleepy neighborhoods. Restaurants adopt new canopies, 99 cent stores shut down, families are displaced, condo buildings are going up.
Several years ago, Fort Greene and Park Slope, Brooklyn were undergoing major change. Real estate prices in Park Slope have nearly tripled over a few years. Now it's Greenpoint, Long Island City and the entire Brooklyn waterfront. In a few years, the Brooklyn cityscape will look very different.
So between the schlepping and the hipsters and the new job and Spring, it's been a time of change. Change is good, Mark reminds me. But change isn't easy for everyone.
I often watched people leave for new jobs with a bit of envy, but now that I'm on the other end, I realize what it's like: a period of 'what if', that moment before the light changes from day to dusk, the hush of the audience just before the movie begins.
For more on the gentrification of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, click here.