“Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a partner, Sometimes I feel like my only friend, is the city I live in, is beautiful Brooklyn, Long as I live here believe I’m on fire. Hey cuz it’s the B-the-R-the-O-the-O-K L-Y-N is the place where I stay The B-the-R-the-O-the-O-K. Best in the world and all USA.” -Wise words of Mos Def (click for your listening pleasure)
I couldn’t do this place justice, so I’ve enlisted the help of critically acclaimed rapper Mos Def (second, in my book, only to reigning lyrical genius/cash money millionaire/unadulterated eye candy Lil Wayne). Oh yeah, and this, too:
“Brooklyn’s hotter than candle wax, hustlin you can’t relax. The crack babies tryin to find where they mama’s at.”
I couldn’t have said (rapped) it better myself.
I’ve included a sampling of our night out roaming the streets of the real Brooklyn—the Brooklyn where Jay-Z goes hard, as referenced in his hit single, “Brooklyn, We Go Hard.” (Reading this blog requires a prerequisite of essential hip-hop fundamentals, if you haven’t already realized. But I’ll be here to help you decipher along the way, at least in the beginning until you build up your dirty rap repertoire.)
“I’m 23 now but will I live to see 24? The way things is goin’ I dunno”-Coolio
Two weeks down, and it’s official: I love it here. Shockingly, I am still eerily and uncharacteristically calm about this whole thing. I chalked it up to just a fluke when I first began experiencing this newfound, foreign mellowness on the plane ride here … but now I’m beginning to worry it’s more of a permanent attribute. While I’m sure this is good news for my forthcoming future ulcers (they can rest easy for now), it’s not such good news for my now languid mind and penchant for chaotic, uncensored stress/worry. What am I to do now with all this free time?
The only aspect of Big City life I have yet to adjust to is easily and unwaveringly the menacing subway system. The other day I audibly referred to myself as an “Official, Bona-fide New Yorker,” and I immediately regretted my choice of words, as I was pretty positive I had just highly offended every New Yorker in one foul swoop by lumping them and myself together. In reality, I’m the farthest thing from a real New Yorker, starting with my propensity for getting utterly and helplessly lost 97% of the times I step foot out onto the streets.
The most recent example of this comes in the form of my journey to work Tuesday—the same journey I had made four times, consecutively, the week before. Just keep that in mind. I’m still not sure what went wrong, but all I know is that instead of Manhattan, I found myself deep in the heart of Brooklyn, which I decided could have easily also been called, “Say Your Prayers.” But I then quickly changed the name again, this time to, “Forget Prayer- Just Kiss Your Life Goodbye.”
Completely lost and at my wits end, I enlisted the aid of a sad, strange little man in an orange jumpsuit sweeping the curb (yeah, awesome recruitment of reliable, sane help, I know), who proceeded to flag down a “taxi,” which was actually a black, unmarked Impala with unnecessarily dark tinted windows. Even though I much rather preferred the destiny waiting for me inside this death-mobile compared to what would become of me on the mean streets of Brooklyn, the “cab driver” wouldn’t even let me in the car—I was too far away from my destination for a taxi ride, even for a blood-thirsty pseudo-cabdriver. There was no hope for me today.
Needless to say, I had entered into full-blown meltdown-mode, and I resorted to wandering the streets aimlessly until two guardian angels in the form of New Jersey teenyboppers kindly walked me back to the subway stop, taking wise care to stay a good four to five feet away from me in all my hysterical, frantic glory.
I don’t know what I did in a previous life to result in a mind void of any and all directional sense … but it must’ve been bad.
Yet, despite such traumatizing occurrences, I can’t imagine being anywhere else but here right now. Exploring a snowy Central Park, shopping on 5th Avenue, finding cool bars filled with hipsters, causing a scene on the subway, eating heavenly cheesecake at Junior’s Diner–Oh, and when you go, make sure to get this:
Life here is pretty good- I kinda can’t get enough of it. I’ll leave you with a few other memories I’ve made so far: