A Walk Around The Block
There are very few things as beautiful as walking around New York as the sun begins to set for the evening. Where I am in Brooklyn could I almost be called a calm, wafting through the city at this golden hour, where you can take a moment and really take in the look and feel of your surroundings.
Getting on the main street off my own block, I pass by a couple corner stores and bodegas, a laundromat that has seen better days, and a “Caribbean” restaurant that’s more miss than hits. On trees and construction blockades you’ll find posters for a hip band’s new album, a lost dog, or the promise of cash if you sell your home to be gutted and resold to the wealthy at 400% markup. Keep walking and you see an American chicken joint, across from that is the Chinese spot which sells way better chicken than them.
The density and compression that New York has, that makes everyone feel packed in like sardines, is also what makes it the best character. Every step feels interesting and adventurous; you walk around in other cities, you gotta cross a highway, a freeway, and scale a mountain just to get to a White Castle. Walking on this street, it’s only been three blocks and I’ve seen 6 nail salons, 4 tattoo parlors, 7 pharmacies, 2 banks, and they will all sell you a pretty good chopped cheese.
New York is so photogenic that it’s actually annoying. Everything looks classic and screams character, even when the buildings are actually brand new with no history beyond a constructed one. Buildings made from red bricks and large peach or silver-colored stones alike, feigning some long history but probably only a couple decades old. There are rows of duplex townhomes glued together, with windows stretched out between the homes as though a map is unfolding. Each house has a different color scheme, there’s chocolate, mocha, cream, ivory, and a lavender colored place. Not quite the rainbow but certainly makes for a decent cup of coffee.
Brooklyn is peaceful for a place that’s always busy. There’s not as much action as there used to be, but that’s true of everywhere in this city. The people outside are proof of how vibrant this place is. The couples, the old players in leather coats and grey beards, the orthodox Jews, black, white, Asian, men and women. Babies in strollers getting acclimated to the collage of sounds, colors, and patterns. To imagine a world coming alive through their eyes, there’s probably nothing better in the world.
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