ARCHIVE FOR June, 2012

The End of the Year – A Time to Reflect6

Posted by Deirdre // 06-18-2012


This does fit into the “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” theme I’m going with this week, because it’s about some good things in our life here. By the way I’m using the term ‘week’ but not really meaning the seven days from the first post to the last necessarily, so don’t hold me to it. You’ll see time is a little variable for me, especially these days.

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions – never have been. So for me, especially now that our lives are again synchronized with the school calendar instead of the Gregorian (apparently that’s what the old Jan-Dec one is called), it’s more fitting to think back on the year in June than December. Plus when we say “next year” about the next school year, the kids always correct us and say “this year!”.

My little one’s last day of preschool was last week and I didn’t think I was going to make it through pickup without weeping (I did, surprisingly). It’s been such an amazing year for him – so much growth and confidence and sweetness – that I am bursting with pride. I’m so thankful that he has been able to have this experience and feel like it’s done such great things for him – not only because every day he literally ran into school eager to learn and ready to play, but that now he is absolutely ready for Kindergarten. I don’t even mean academically, but with an open mind and solid sense of himself, ready to face the challenge. Kind of exactly what you want from a preschool.

Building their house at preschool. He is making some important engineering decisions!

My older one has also had an incredible year in 1st grade. As a baby Zach smiled constantly, from about 6 weeks on. He became an intense toddler, who was still silly and smily but also wore a bit of the world on his shoulders. A serious artist and writer, we never worried about him academically, only the pressure he put on himself. He’s a different kind of kid – one who would rather eat raw oysters than Peanut Butter & Jelly, or rather draw than play Batman. In fact when he was 4, I told him that super heroes were actually good guys not bad, and at that moment I could see him begin to consider them in a way he never had before. A rule breaker, he is not (like his mama). He had plenty of friends in Kindergarten but not great ones and he wan’t likely to stick up for himself when some of the kids targeted him with their finger guns and harsh words. He just pretended to think it was funny, which kind of broke my heart (and made me want to kick those kids’ asses). Read More…


Goin’ back to…Brooklyn0

Posted by Deirdre // 06-12-2012


Two anecdotes for you to start. One is about my friend Peggy, who never was a huge hip-hop fan but tolerated it because it was almost all I listened to in the early 90s. Peggy was dating some guy who lived in Brooklyn, which was then still a bit fringy, as in not EVERYONE from Manhattan had moved here yet. She was telling me about her night, as we did in our single years and recounted singing “Goin’ back to Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Brooklyn…” on the way to his house and mentioning something about the Beastie Boys. “Um, Peg,” I said, “It’s ‘No Sleep ’til Brooklyn’. You were singing LL Cool J ‘Goin back to Cali’.” Needless to say, it didn’t work out with Brooklyn guy for her – I think he wore fingerless gloves anyway. But I always think about this story when I hear of people leaving Brooklyn – and coming back, which some do.

The other anecdote is about my husband’s grandfather, Malcom or “Malchy” as they called him. My husband grew up in a small town outside Syracuse, Malchy lived in the “city.” As my husband and his sisters went off to college and began considering lives outside of the area, he would often pound on the table and chant, “Stay in Syracuse! Stay in Syracuse!” This is now family lore that’s brought up anytime someone talks about moving, and what I would feel like saying – replacing Syracuse with Brooklyn, of course – if any of our friends wanted to leave Brooklyn (which we might end up doing).

I’ve interviewed two friends in the past week who are each here and staying put. One went to Maplewood and came back three years later with no regrets. The other went from Manhattan to L.A. to Brooklyn, and would advise people to leave to shake things up and get it out of their systems, but with end goal being to come back. The thought of leaving and coming back, like that couple who run Reclaimed Home did, or like all those people in this article from a few years ago in the NY Times about city people running back home from the burbs, used to make me shiver. I always imagined it as you’re those people who decide emphatically to finally pack up and leave town for a brand new life and come crawling back with your tails between your legs, like you somehow had to feel sorry about it. But now the idea of leaving and thinking that we may not be gone forever, is kind of appealing in some odd and exciting way. I will perhaps never have the shelves up or the kids’ art hung the way I want it, but maybe that’s ok.

Posts coming soon about Maplewood and L.A. stories, as well as an alt-Brooklyn hood that’s been on the brain, Windsor Terrace.

No...Sleep...Till Brooklyn!


The Pricing Out Continues…1

Posted by Deirdre // 06-02-2012


Check out this cover story from the NY Times Real Estate Section – echoes of another article like it from a month or so ago. Now it’s only going to get worse! Sigh.

Garfield Place for a cool $4 mill