-- --

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spring is in the Air

Bryant Park in Early Spring
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.


Fredrik said...

I know the feeling. About change I mean. I left a steady job as editor of a tourist magazine last summer. And I didn't have another job waiting, just my own agenda as a freelance. It was quite hard in the beginning, many "what if" thoughts. But I realize you have to close one door to be able to see what's behind the next. Mark is right. Change is good. Without change we don't evolve.
The feeling of Spring is here too. ;o

Kitty said...

Hello Fredrik!
I have a few friends who are full time photographers. Mark is a freelancer, too, though not in that profession.
It's a gutsy lifestyle. Bravo to you for jumping in and surviving!

I think life would be easier if we humans didn't have brains!

Nikon said...

I love the Greenpoint shots, I'd be happy there in that neighborhood. I loved Louie, too. Good for you. I have a rescued stray, I just call her Kitty ( how 'bout that)?

Kitty said...

Hi Nikon!
Thanks so much. You're kind!

Greenpoint is pretty interesting. Many of the Brooklyn neighborhoods lose their character quickly. Not so, GP. I hope it hangs on.

Sally said...

I adore bryant park. Spent part of a warm Memorial Day weekend in 2005there. So much great people watching to be had there. In that way, better than Central Park - closer spaces, more concentrated. My friend and I spent hours there making up back stories for quite a few people. And out of all the wonderful buildings in NYC, to think you can just walk around the corner to the marvellous public library! Heaven.

Kitty said...

how nice, Sally?
The smaller parks don't get as much hype as CP, but each has its own personality.

I agree, the public library is a wonderful building!

Noah said...

The more and more I see your photos of the city, the more and more I want/need to be there. These photos are so much better than others because they seem to portray a 'real' New York, and that's what I love about the city! x

Kitty said...

Thank you, Noah!!
I have to say that you can't go wrong in NY. There's so much going on all over the place!