March 15, 2018
If you know anything about Brooklyn, you know that it’s full of tonssssss of neighborhoods, each with its own personality and quirks. I live in Bed-Stuy, short for Bedford-Stuyvesant. It’s not necessarily the most sought after portion of NY (it’s not like people come to Bed-Stuy for a night out), but it’s home.
We have a handful of “creatives” (read: people who work in a field that does not allow them to live in Williamsburg), some young families, and a good chunk of original Brooklynites whose families have been in the area for generations. It’s a great mix of humans, and I’m a fan.
Walking around my neighborhood, you’ll see all kinds of people, it really just depends on the day. Biggie and Jay-Z both grew up in Bed-Stuy, but the neighborhood, while I wouldn't suggest taking long strolls after dark, has become much safer since their days here.
There’s a Planet Fitness about a half mile from my house. Being that I’m not about to pay big bucks for some bougie gym I have to travel to, it’s my workout place of choice.
Tonight, I was walking to PF to get in my Thursday, pre-weekend workout in, picking up my pace due to the cold that we’re still experiencing. When I pick up my pace, it’s considerably quicker than the average Joe's strolling, so I’m passing people as I head to my destination. Tonight was no different. I walked past the Dunkin‘ Donuts and the Liberty Tax guy dressed in his green Statue of Liberty gown. I walked past the remains of the laundromat that had burned from the inside out a few months back. I walked past our token bar.
As I was passing the Salvation Army thrift store, I walked past a little boy and his mom. The boy was dragging his feet, in no hurry to go anywhere. His mother, on the other hand, was growing impatient.
As I began to walk past them, the boy glanced back, noticing my pace. He began studying my feet, letting go of his mom's hand and working so that his pace matched mine.
Soon he was grinning ear to ear, as we raced down the sidewalk. His mom started laughing, and in a matter of seconds, all three of us were having a fantastic night. Hitting an intersection, my new friend had to retreat back to his mom's hand, and I had to continue onto the workout that would not be nearly as fun as my fast walk competition with a five-year-old.
Tonight wasn't a crazy NY story, or an "OMG can you believe?" moment, but it was a sweet representation of where I live. Bed-Stuy is unique. And it's full of real people. It's turning one corner full of old men bargaining for shoes out of the trunk of a car to another sidewalk where a giddy, sweet little kid wants to be your pal.