To a large set of our country’s undergraduates (of whom we know a few), Brooklyn these days is seen as the holy grail of post-graduation locales—a sort of hipster paradise of bloggers, vegans, flannel shirts and facial hair. Misguided and idealistic? Maybe. But surely these future Brooklynites can’t be entirely naive. On some level, they must know that all’s not perfect in their dreamland of outdoor concerts and roving gourmet. And if they don’t, well, then it’s our job to educate them—not to turn our future readers away (never), but to keep it real—to prepare them for the worthwhile hardships they might just face on the way to enjoying all of Brooklyn’s splendor. And we need your help.
We’re looking for your best (or worst) Brooklyn war stories. Tell us your housing hurdles from hell and weeks of supreme broke-ness. Tell us about the time you thought would be the last straw, the job you’re embarrassed to tell your mother about.
We’ve sure got our fair share. Here are a couple of our own, to get you shy ones started:
From contributor Rocky Mills:
The only room I could *barely* afford when I got here was the front room in a railroad apartment. I had my own entrance, and my roommate blocked off the third room that was the kitchen and bathroom and the second entrance. Without my roommate letting me pass through his dungeon inside, I became a constant creeper in the hallway, either wrapped in a towel or carrying a plate of food.
And from our contributing editor, Tim Donnelly:
I can stand a financial hit associated with moving when it’s expected: security deposit, travel expenses, even clothes for a new job interview. The big karmic skull-fracks that really get me down are the ones when New York is saying to you: “Think you’ve made it so far? Suck on this, jerk.” I had an ill-fated idea of bringing my car into the city when I first moved up in fall 2008. Then one night around midnight it got towed. For a brief moment, I fantasized that it had been stolen instead of towed. But then I came to reality and braced for the ignoble and dehumanizing process of reclaiming my car from the Brooklyn Navy Yard. That weekend, and $200 later, I unloaded the car and drove it back to my mom’s house in New Jersey, where it has sat to this day, through snow, rain, cold and heat, its tow yard numbers still visible on the window. I vowed to never drive in Brooklyn again.
Time for yours. In comments, tell us the moments/days/weeks when the borough almost did you in… but of course, made you stronger (you’re still here, right?).