"This quarter is no good, madame," continued the Uber driver in Pakistani accent, "now gettin' better, cause bunch of whites moved in here." And so we arrived to Bushwick (Brooklyn) - with a supressed laughter.
Our appartment consisted of one spacious room and a small bathroom. In the cellar. The airbnb listing description did not mention its position and the sunlight in the pictures must have been created in Photoshop. Deep hum of AC and a subway rattling with the house kept us pretty vigilant whole night through. "Just a place to crash in for first two nights," we said. But with Antonina who got feverish on the plane, the place suddenly felt a little disheartening.
In the morning, the metal staircase leading to the depths of our storey, was all covered with snow.
With a massive help of our friends and family, we were trying to find a place to stay for nine following days. A place which would not cost us our monthly budget. This was quite a task in NYC. Unfortunately, we had not found anyone soon enough so we decided to book the cheapest hotel in Long Island City. We needed to pull ourselves together: get rid of jet lag, Antonina's illness and overall fatigue. As of now, it seems we are starting to like it here.
After four days in the new world, here I come with a handful of rather self-evident and superficial findings about this place and ourselves in it:
- It is exorbitantly expensive. And all the people who said so before are not lying.
- The busking here is something of its own kind. So captivating and professional! They really must have practised, practised, practised.
- Two police officers whose chatter we overheared by chance, wondered why we'd been outside with two small kids in such an adverse weather (it was around -2).
- You get NOWHERE on foot. One might hope for a walkable distance between A-B, because both are in the same neighborhood. However, it is all just a matter of spreading the fingers on the screen a bit further until you realize you would walk forever.
→ And this is probably the most determinative trait of our NYC stay: everything is too lungo, distances are at least doppio of what we can imagine, in short, Americano.
- The accessibility of the subway is surely a theme at the city council. There is a lot work to do. For us it was just a workout with the bags, kids and a stroller. For some others, it must be pretty hard to move around here.
- If accessibility seems to be a neglected field here, then usage of single-use plastics even more. All the shops, groceries and drug stores we have visited used lots of pastic bags.
- People give nods to greet complete strangers and look at each other smiling.
- The New Yorkers seem to love kids. Here, children are credited for their mere existence. Good for us.