|The Brooklyn Bridge–-photo by James Maher|
When I dreamt of moving to New York City, I dreamt of the shimmering skyline, the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. I didn’t think too much about where I’d actually be living. I wasn’t familiar with the geography of the neighborhoods and had no idea which ones were an option for me. In reality, I thought I’d be living somewhere with gunshots and warehouses, but it was fine! I would be in New York, and it would be worth it.
It is nine months later. Every morning I step out of my apartment to overwhelming scents of slow-cooking goat stew, single-family houses, and driveways with cars. This is Kensington, Brooklyn and it’s probably the most suburban place I’ve ever lived.
|Kensington has a number of Bangladeshi restaurants–by Nick Gulotta via Flickr|
Kensington is not the Brooklyn depicted in films and TV. Located on the F train 40 minutes outside Manhattan, it is where a large population of Bangladeshi families share a border with the highly reclusive Hasidic Jewish community. Unsurprisingly, I haven’t fit in here. The presence of two major transit veins, Ocean Parkway and Coney Island Avenue, make leaving the block unappealing. Church Avenue is a bustling thoroughfare of dollar stores, crumbling liquor stores and even a C-rated restaurant. The median income at the Church Avenue F train stop is only $30,000 per household annually.
|The intersection of Church and MacDonald Streets in Kensington–by Nick Gulotta via Flickr|
Despite all that, there is always something not too far out of reach: Manhattan.
I’ll get my water-damaged, thin-walled East Village micro-closet someday. But for now, I’ll wait patiently for the end of our lease and hope for future Kensington transplants that a new pizza place or two opens shortly.
|East Village walk-up apartments–by Mike Licht via Flickr|