At last, the shoe is on the other foot…
…and I wanna ram it up someone’s ass!
I initially had no intention of writing today. I had a number of errands to run and preparations to make for an upcoming house guest. I have been very busy. I am now very tired. But not too tired to read this article from the New York Observer and offer up a thought or two…
I distinctly remember an unpleasant incident that happened to me seven years ago. I was chatting with a co-worker and the subject of neighborhoods came up. He asked me where I lived, so I told him: “Greenpoint”. His reply was “Man, you live out in the middle of nowhere!”
After learning that this person lived off of the Morgan Avenue stop of the L (and saw fit call it “Williamsburg”) I realized that I had an asshole on my hands. A phony asshole. Not being the kind of person to waste her breath on an idiot, the subject was never brought up again. It was just as well; I was vindicated on 9/11 when this dude (and two other co-workers) made a pit-stop at my apartment on Clay Street, AKA ‘the middle of nowhere’, before dragging his ass home to ‘Williamsburg’. Or whatever the fuck that neighborhood is— I honestly don’t care.
Before I continue I want to make one thing very clear: the purpose of this post is not to ‘B-Burg bash. Hypocrisy, one up-manship and conformity are the subjects of this rant. And the person mentioned in the above paragraph was guilty of all three. He was also a flaming dick, but I digress…
I am neither an old-timer nor a newbie here. When I moved to Greenpoint in 2000 it was because my first two neighborhoods of choice were prohibitively expensive. Greenpoint, choice #3, not only provided fast access to Manhattan, but it is safe and has all the basics an apartment dweller needs: grocery stores, laundromats, etc. My moving here was based on very practical considerations.
I did (and still do) not want to live in or near a dangerous neighborhood to earn street cred with people I could care less about. ‘Coolness’ was NOT a deciding factor. I am not now— nor will I ever be “cool”. I have accepted this.
After living in Greenpoint my first year I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I feel at home here, and consequently, I have been able to laugh off the years of snide remarks and mean-spirited ignorance that living here seems to invite. If someone in ‘Williamsburg’, ‘East Williamsburg’, ‘West Bushwick’, etc., doesn’t like my ‘nabe, FINE. Don’t move here. I don’t want you as my neighbor anyway.
The previous having been said, dear readers, you can imagine the look on my face when I read about ‘Jessica’:
…who refused to give her last name but admitted that she moved to the neighborhood (Williamsburg), off the Bedford Avenue stop, from Virginia two years ago.
â€œI canâ€™t tell people Iâ€™m from Williamsburg,â€ she told The Observer. â€œIt gets people so uptight; all â€˜Oooooo, youâ€™re from Williamsburg, and whereâ€™s your Brooklyn Industries bag and your trust fund and your newsboy cap, hmmm?â€™ So I just lie and say Iâ€™m from Greenpoint.â€
I think ‘Jessica’ needs to learn something I (finally) grasped back in 2000: this city is filled with assholes who are not worth the time trying to ‘convert’. It really saddens me that this woman feels the need to buckle under peer pressure. I mean, fuck, if you can’t be yourself who are you? Really?
If given the money would I live in her ‘hood? No. But I do like to pop down there on occasion? You betcha! Do I make fun of Williamsburg? Yes, a lot. I also make fun of Greenpoint, Long Island City, the Upper East Side, Park Slope, Prospect Heights or any other ‘nabe that tickles my funny bone (or piques my ire) on any particular day.
Several months ago my mouth got me into a pickle with a resident of Long Island City. This woman emphatically disagreed with my (admittedly) vitriolic take on her ‘nabe. Did she go around saying that she lived in ‘Greenpoint North’ or ‘Astoria South’ after reading what I wrote? Nope. She ripped me a new asshole on her blog instead.
Believe it or not (after we had some serious ‘dialoguing’) I gained a serious measure of respect for this woman’s willingness to stand up. Perhaps this is the person who should have a nice, long talk with ‘Jessica’? Or maybe I will start calling my ‘nabe ‘Long Island City South’ instead…?
Photo Credit: Rebecca1122. Those ain’t turds, kiddos. They be some kielbasa! Welcome to Greenpoint, BAYBEE!