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Vintage Outlandish!

This Content From 2003 (or earlier) see index

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Greenpoint Rhapsody

Brooklyn, NY 11222

The angel in McGorlick Park

A statue of the Angel of Mercy stands in the center of McGorlick park near my house. A memorial for World War One casualties.

I currently reside in Greenpoint, a neighborhood in North Brooklyn with a bunch of miscreants. It's an amazing place to live, right on the edge of everything. It's the type of collision between different classes and cultures that New York City is faimous for, but which are getting harder and harder to find as the days go on.

Here you have many first generation immigrants from Poland, a thriving latino population, the Irish and Italian families that have been here for more than two generations, a smattering of black families and kids, plus the most recent wave on insurgents, the wave that I'm a part of: hipsters and college students who are too poor (or too wise) to afford Williamsburg.

So here's a place where you can hear an Irish family's story from the bartender who's third-generation, get war-stories from a Puerto Rican Vietnam war vetran, and rub shoulders with hipsters who commute over the river to their bookstore and cafe jobs, all while renting the top part of a relatively new rowhouse from the Polish family that lives on the ground floor.

Signs on a local Bar

As you can see, it's a tri-lingual neighborhood. These signs are at a local bar.

Sometimes I detect racism in various forms from the elders and adults, but the truely beautiful thing is that the children don't know any better and they're all in love with eachother. It's a wonderful life.

The streets are full of kids, and commerce bussles on a saturday afternoon. The nightlife is a little tame but on the rise, and due to the convienent location in chic North Brooklyn, petit bourgeois bohemian kicks are only a 15 minute walk away. The churches are beautiful and the tallest buildings around, and there are fine tree-full parks to let your spirit roam free in.

My first trip to greenpoint was as a Freshman. My friend Tina was living there at the time. I remember being taken aback at all the Polish signs and cheap produce. I went there a few times over the course of my college career, but it wasn't until moving there in June of 2001 that I fell in love with the place.

All in all, the unique mix of people, the managable rent, the hot Polish girls, the PFC... it all adds up to a pretty good space to be.

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Trips in Space and Time 8/02/03

Big Wheels in Berkeley
I scored a set of west-coast wheels today at the Ashby BART station flea market. It's a very tall schwinn road bike, black, deceptively heavy but smooth-riding. Thirty-five dollars to boot. I oiled and cleaned the works, dialed in the bakes and took it out for a shake-down cruise immediately. Nice riding on a beautiful saturday, realizing how out of shape I am as I wheezed my way though the hilly area behind the Berkeley campus.

After about an hour I started to get the swing of it. Made some minor mechanical adjustments (including a free wheel truing at the bike collective on Shattuck), drank a few liters of water and started finding my groove, cruising up and around and ending up with a beautiful view of the whole bay. The roads here are not kind to the speed inclined -- too many stop signs and crosswalks and lights -- but it was good to get out and proj for a while. This changes my summer dramatically.

...older trips...


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