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Monday, June 16, 2008

Home, Sweet New York

Brooklyn Promenade
Photo by myself of the Manhattan skyline from the Brooklyn Promenade, in Brooklyn Heights. I took this earlier in the year, when it was cooler outside.

Believe it or not, the Brooklyn Promenade cantilevers over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE). There are a few lanes of speeding traffic below.

It's a nice urban planning gesture. Busy traffic is located efficiently along the waterfront, while preserving the view and real estate above.


We're back home in New York after several days in California. I wish I'd had more time to write there, but our schedule was hectic.

This was my first time in LA with Mark. He's been there many times for work, filming car commercials on the twisty mountain roads, and knows the neighborhoods better than I do. He showed me his favorite hotel, his favorite cafe hangout, his favorite drive through the Hollywood Hills.

Friday, we toured Melrose. I was so swept away with the area that I didn't take photos of the eclectic, rock and roll vibe. There were tons of clothing stores, skateboard shops and tattoo parlors. I was reminded of New York's East Village, only spread out along one long street.

At one point, Mark was admiring everything - the weather, the lush surroundings, the houses. Out of nowhere he said, 'This place is unbelievable. Don't you want to move here someday?'

'What?! I'm not mentally prepared to talk about moving.'

'No, I mean when we're 60 and we don't feel like fighting for a spot on the subway.'

He was referring to the lushness and abundance in California. Life seems easier there. We ventured into one supermarket that was the size of two Fairway Markets put together. Only a handful of people were milling around. There were no crowds, no glut of carts, no harried little old ladies inspecting produce.

A day later, Mark had second thoughts. We'd driven through many beautiful neighborhoods. We hadn't encountered any trash, any crowds, any problems finding a parking space, or any hardship greater than highway traffic.

'Life is easy here,' Mark said. 'I'm not sure I like it.'

'See, that's what I'm afraid of. Your brain turns to mush.'

He and I agreed to keep the West Coast a distant possibility. I'm sure there'll be a time when we no longer want to live the sometimes workaholic, semi-anxious existence that New Yorkers are known for.

No offense to Californians. I'm sure 99.9% of the population would move out there in an instant.

Related posts: East Coast, West Coast, Tell Me About the Rabbits and From the Left Coast.


Eva said...

Hey, what about taking Mark for a trip over here?
I'll help him find 100 reasons to move here :-D

I love the Brooklyn Promenade. I have taken a ton of pictures there because it's so beautiful there.

Spandrel Studios said...

Every time we go to California, we get caught up in the notion of moving there... the sun, the weather, the easy-ness of it. But in the end, my husband and I are East Coast types. Whether you're in Northern or Southern California, that laid-back vibe makes it a very relaxing place for a vacation.

Susu said...

When we take a trip to Southern France, I sort of have the same kind of feeling "boy, life's so quaint and cozy here". And then a few days later, I realize that as for now, I'm definitely a city girl. On the top of that, being an expat is easier in a big city. You mix into the crowd, or you can eat American (real, no Mickey Dees 'mush') when so inclined.

Dana said...

WOW! Are you talking about the California i live in? No crowds, trash or problems with parking? I need to move to L.A :) Be assured we have our own set of problems but I am glad you got a chance to appreciate some of the beauty here..glad you made it home safely.. did you see any jacaranda trees?

Olivier said...

j'aime bien cette photo, cet homme solitaire qui remonte Brooklyn Heights. La solitude dans la grande ville.

I like this picture, this lonely man who goes back Brooklyn Heights. The loneliness in the big city.

Adam said...

I went to San Fransisco a few years back and fell in love with California my self.

Knoxville Girl said...

I love this photo - the tranquilitiy belies the traffic beneath.
I went to LA once, and it wore me out with all the driving. Nice to visit, though.

Tammy said...

I'm glad you had a good time and are back safe and sound. I really like that picture!

Nikon said...

Hi,I love the Promenade, but not as much as the "sidewalk" on the Brooklyn Bridge. Did you catch the 125th anniversery?

Fredrik said...

Mark is absolutely right. Your brain turns to mush when life is too easy. That's exactly what I experience, living in a small town with no traffic, no lines and hardly any people. You need the pulse now and then to keep you sharp, no doubt.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm the same - part of me longs for sun and easy-living but I'm someone who likes a bit of edge to life and whilst it would be OK for a while I don't think I could remain me if I lived in such a place. But a holiday home would be nice!!

Glad you are back!

Palm Axis said...

Next time you visit the west coast, you might want to try putting the celebrity infested left coast in your rear view mirror. Heres an idea, why not head inland where George Ellery Hale, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Cal Tech and Julia Child have their roots..and Einstein was a guest! Let my blog be your guide.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful scene!!

ken mac said...

Beautiful perspective!

Kitty said...

Hey Eva
lol, we'd love to visit.
The promenade is so lovely. I wish there were more hours in the day, to saunter by the water.

Hi Spandrel
Totally. I guess it's tough when you've been raised in the NE. I'd miss the seasons, too.

Hi Susu
Being an expat seems like a lot of work. Good for you for being able to pull it off. I'm much too lazy!

Hi Dana
I'll have to look up the trees you mention. We saw tons of ficus trees, which are gorgeous when mature.
I guess we were lucky during our Left Coast stay?

Hi Olivier
City Living can be lonely for sure. I think that's why so many people own pets.

Hi Adam
I'd love to visit SF again (though I found it too clean, lol). People seem so healthy there, and the buildings are beautiful!

Hi Knoxville girl
Yes! That was what Mark said, that it seemed that all we did was drive. It's another lifestyle.

Hi Tammy
Thanks dear!

Hi Nikon
I missed the anniversary. I haven't walked across the bridge in a while and should. It's a very neat walk, wonderful to do around dusk.

Hi Fredrik
I wish I could live the quiet, simple life. I used to. Then I moved here and my brain chemistry changed. I wonder whether the average lifespan is longer for country or city dwellers?

I can't see you living in the country, though it'd be better for the kids. I see you more in a smaller city for whatever reason.

Welcome Palm Axis
I'll have to check out your blog! And here I thought the Left Coast had all the celebs?

Thanks and welcome Omami!

Welcome Ken Mac
Always good to meet another Daily Photo person and New Yorker. I look forward to checking out your blog.

Ming the Merciless said...

I'm not a fan of CA myself. My family lives there and I've been visiting LA almost every year since I left home for college.

Going anywhere and getting anything done there is like a chore. And there is almost no character to the city.

The only thing I love about LA is the weather in winter. I remember leaving NYC one year with 6" of snow on the ground and arriving in LA to 65 degree temperature. My sister-in-law picked me up at the airport beause my brother and father were out playing golf. Grrrr!!!

• Eliane • said...

Yes, it is funny that you'd have to enjoy this gorgeous view, whith traffic under your feet or above your head. Same thing in Riverside Park.

houses for sale philippines said...

Love to have a property in New York.

Deirdre G

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