Even though I may never actually see this magazine….
It’s my first. I am happy.
What it says:
I finished college a year and a half ago and moved from Boston to Brooklyn. My first apartment was in the Bedford Ave. area of Williamsburg. Seven months ago, my two roommates and I moved further along the L train, to the Lorimer stop. The initial appeal of affordable apartments within close range of Manhattan started the flow of people here, but it is only a minor part of the neighborhood’s culture. Williamsburg is intensely diverse, although not entirely mixed; the traditional Polish neighborhoods of Greenpoint and West Williamsburg butt against the Puertorican and Hasidic sections in the east, all of which are being overrun by twenty-something college grads like myself.
The gritty streets and sidewalks are not unfriendly, just dirty. There are rats and scattered garbage problems outside many apartment buildings, including ours. You can’t take off your shoes and walk on the cement, but who would really want to do that anyway? Luxury buildings have started to grow aggressively on this side of the East River and are spreading as far as my neighborhood, which is bordered on the far side by Broadway and the JMZ subway that runs above the street. Many of the luxury buildings on the cusp of the growth sit empty for months, with new facades and recently broken windows. In a year they will probably be full. In ten years, my neighborhood will not be filled with young artists, just the remnants of the original Puertorican community and successful thirty-year-old professionals.
The surge of people into this area is amazing. It seems to be mostly people coming to New York for the first time, wanting to live in Manhattan, but passing it up because of the absurd rents. Before moving here, I lived in Tribeca for a month, and then in Park Slope for 3 months. Williamsburg’s semi-industrial environment is perfectly suited to my lifestyle and the kind of art I want to make. I do miss grass and trees, but beat-up buildings and graffiti inspires me. Doves and sparrows form chirping groups on the piles of broken bricks and cinder blocks in my backyard. I love to pick up used pieces of wood and filthy old packaging on the street to use in my collages. As long as its not wet, I don’t really mind. I make a lot of works on paper, but living here has drawn me into using rusted oil pans and flattened spray paint canisters. I make line drawings of people on the subway. Last week, I finally quit my job at Merrill Lynch to pursue a career as an artist. I will start working on a masters degree in interactive media at NYU’s Tisch school this fall.