Sunday, January 30, 2011

Life in Brooklyn

I guess we’re not doing a very good job of convincing the Brooklynphobes that we didn’t go off the grid when we moved to Brooklyn Heights. We were back home recently when a family member asked, “So does that mean you live with the Puerto Ricans now?” Not exactly.

Our landlords in Brooklyn live in the apartment above us. Ed is a shuffling, nebbish ex–lawyer in his early eighties with coke-bottle glasses and an endless supply of slow-to-develop stories. Anne is a scrappy, 70-something, sharp-faced woman who writes instructions and emergency phone numbers with perfect penmanship. They are very nice people who, once we declined multiple invitations to Sunday mass, decided to stop letting us use their over-sized washing machine.

Ed told us his family has owned the building since it was built in 1902, and informed us that he was born in the very room that we’re planning on turning into the nursery. I tried not to think of Ed in diapers, and failed. Crissy responded politely.

As for the neighborhood, it’s a lot like Sesame Street, if Sesame Street were gentrified by young urban professionals and old Jewish retirees, and invaded by a nation of baby strollers and dogs. For some reason, our street turns into the Bourbon St of trick-or-treating on Halloween, with considerably less boobs.

I think I mentioned that our place is far bigger than the shoebox we left behind in Tribeca. Which meant that we had to buy new furniture to fill up the extra space. Thankfully, Crissy and I don’t argue very often. Apparently, we like to save it all up for IKEA.

So to avoid clawing each other’s eyes out over particleboard dressers and rice paper lamps, I dragged Crissy into a series of filthy, asthma-inspiring furniture stores all over Brooklyn to look for “deals” on old furniture. We flirted with hepatitis at least ten times before settling on a couple chairs from Urban Outfitters and calling it a day.

So here we are, just a few months away from the must-have Brooklyn Heights accessory: Baby #1. Our place is really coming along and starting to feel like home. The nursery is beginning to fill up with boxes of baby furniture that I’ll have to get off my ass and put together one of these days. Which is fine. It’s the thought of future trips to IKEA that’s making my back sweat.