Brooklyn ethnic enclaves
New York outer boroughs host people from all over the world who try to make a living and allow their children live the American dream - whatever it could mean to them. However, the strange thing (at least to me), is that they strongly resist living together, and there are thus Russian neighborhoods, Indian neighborhoods, Mexican neighborhoods, Italian neighborhoods, etc. I think it would be more interesting and fun if all those neighborhoods were more ethnically mixed, but the locals seem to like it just the way they are.
Railroad Apartments in Brooklyn
My friends Lucy and Trey live in a "railroad apartment" in a partially rehabbed building not far off Bedford Ave. They are called "railroads" not because they are close to subway lines - although they may be, but because they are long and narrow and compact like Pullman Cars on RR trains. Typically, there are no hallways nor closets, and in order to get to the bath or toilet you have to go through one or two bedrooms. It's a way of life that many New Yorkers put up with. Lucy and Trey have done a lot to their place to make it nice - fresh paints, polished floors, new appliances in the kitchen - but it is still a tight space.
Even if you live in a highrise in Brooklyn, there's a good chance you could have your own garden. There are a few sites around the city that are set aside for people to keep a garden. It's a very popular urban concept and I think it's a great one. The way the plots work at Gateway National Recreation Area is through a lottery system. The community is pretty tight knit and the gardens are respected (not vandalized). People go out even on the coldest days in the early spring and fall to maintain their plots and the area is beautiful and well managed. I've lived in cities and definitely miss having a yard--it's nice there's an alternative:)
Ailanthus altissima (Tree of Heaven)
This invasive species from China has quickly taken over the urban environment. Some people consider it a threat to the native species of the area. But this famous tree, is also the famous tree immortalized in the book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Another tree species that some consider a threat is the Norway maple which is a fast growing maple compared to the slow Sugar maple which is the state tree for New York.
That guy who looks like he...
That guy who looks like he might take your money will. And that chick with the knife, she'll use it. No, I'm just kidding. Most people in Brooklyn are tremendously nice but like with all places use your best judgement. And don't go to East New York after dark.
Any cruise ship conducts a Muster Drill before leaving port. They review all safety and evacuation rules and procedures. Yes, it's a pain but very necessary.
Yuppies moving in
Brooklyn is the new Upper West Side. Condos are rising, the strollers are coming! Old-time Brooklynites may have negative feelings about the newcomers, but change is inexorable!!!
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