July 25, 2005

hollaback 718

7/25/05

Damn, we own the New York Times, yo! First, all of you remember my article on Harry Potter and Hogwarts Headaches, right? RIGHT?!?!?

Anyway, we had my brother Steve quoted in an article two days ago, Tessa's brother-in-law's book was featured yesterday (pan down to Prince Edward, his new - and best - book) and now Sean and his company's musical "Fleet Week" was mentioned today. Never mind that Dennis' novel should have gotten a full-page review last year, and the article that mentions Sean's musical is a little dopey: at least it means we're all here on the paper of record.

SpringTreeBklyn2(bl).jpg
off Union Street in Park Slope

Speaking of New York, an old, great friend of mine is moving to Brooklyn in the fall and wanted to know where to live, as long as it was near the park. By "Park," of course she means "Prospect Park," which I would put up there with Regents and Hyde Park in London in terms of sheer awesomeness. When you are in the middle of Prospect Park, you not only forget you're in a city, you might think you've died and gone to 19th-century Leicestershire.

My Brooklyn advice is this: Brooklyn Heights downtown can be very charming, but there is no greenery. Williamsburg closest resembles Chapel Hill and other college towns, but it has out-hipped itself so badly that a shithole apartment costs 5.8 billion dollars. There are other beautiful neighborhoods (Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Fort Green) but if you jones for the park, then you have three options.

Prospect Heights - it's still mid-gentrification in some areas, but you can get reasonable rents. Just make sure you live damn close to Grand Army Plaza (gateway to the park) or else it will seem WAY too far away for a quick jaunt. Rents are still okay because the school district apparently sucks, but if you don't have kids, you won't have to worry about it. Trains: Q, 2&3, 4 (kinda)

Windsor Terrace - I know I'm late to this party, but this will be the Next Big Thing in Brooklyn. It's right on the park, not far from a great moviehouse, and with a little luck, still very affordable. You might be able to get a nice little apartment there in the $1200 range for yourself. It's too bad it's not the Big Thing now, because the stores are kind of sucky and there isn't much street life and personality. Yet. Trains: only the F, which blows.

Park Slope - I really don't think there's a comparison. Yeah, it can be prohibitively expensive, but there's always a chance you could luck into something gorgeous for cheap - we know several people who did. 5th Avenue has hip restaurants, 7th Avenue has every basic need covered (and looks like northern London) and the streets therein are so pretty it could make you bust out in tears. If you really spent a month looking, YOU WILL FIND SOMETHING AND IT IS WORTH IT. Some grandma on Garfield Place will take a shine to you and rent her attic apartment for a song. Trains: Q, 2&3, 4, F

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Tessa, me and the family eunuch, Prospect Pk. 2002

So come on down and get a place in our hood! We got cheesecake waitin'!

Posted by Ian Williams at July 25, 2005 11:42 PM
Comments
Posted by: Laurie from Manly Dorm at July 26, 2005 5:55 AM

Hey. I think that family eunuch has a name. And a dignified one at that! When our daughter was born, we started to refer to our beagle, Jack, not as "Jack" but as "the dog." As in, "Did you remember to feed the dog?" "Have you seen the dog?" "Did you leave the dog in the backyard all night???" Poor puppies.

Hey, I have a question. Park Slope sounds great. And you talked about schools. Of course, you are years away from that, but where are you planning to raise Lucy as your primary residence? In Brooklyn or in your wonderful farm house (which does not look like a mere 'weekend home' to me)? Will Lucy be a country girl or a city chick? Just curious.

Posted by: Claudia at July 26, 2005 6:36 AM

Park Slope rules!

Posted by: Joe C. at July 26, 2005 9:12 AM

True, Prospect Heights is beautiful, still a lot of beautiful parts of Brooklyn.

Although, due to recent developments over the past two years in New York City, I would be very apprehensive to advise anyone on moving there.

Between the new developments last week of these unconstitutional searches of pocketbooks and backpacks in the Subway System which is just a complete violation of privacy, Big Brother is sifting through your pocketbook now. Alos, the NYPD was using LRAD last summer right on the streets of New York City, and we have many pictures of the NYPD being caught using LRAD, look at the black object hooked up to the back of this NYPD Cushman scooter : http://img241.imageshack.us/img241/2042/lrad1pu.jpg . Do a search on Yahoo or Google and ask yourself if you want yourself or your children exposed to this dangerous LRAD when you are walking the streets of New York.

New York City was great at one point, but then the right-wingers got in power and turned Times Square into a commercialized warzone, Disney store, right-wing TV news studios, Foot Lockers, the neocons even put a ToysRUs in there... There really is no point to even visit Times Square, the right-wingers just turned it into an everyday shopping mall. Also, the security of many buildings is highly questionable, we saw who was in charge of security at the WTC, a man by the name of Marvin Bush - does that last name sound familiar ? That is correct, George's younger brother handles a lot of security in the city. Do a Yahoo or Google search and see what buildings in New York City that Marvin Bush makes profits off of by providing security to. New York City was once a great place until the new-aged right wingers infiltrated the city and made their own profits their only priority.

Posted by: chercheryl at July 26, 2005 9:54 AM

only Ian would reply to my email asking for Brookly info via his blog! Thanks so much for the advice--Windsor Heights looks very good for $. I do have time so I will definitely consider Park Slope. The park is of vital importance. Trains are good, too. Coffee...mmmmm.
I'm coming down your way in the 3rd week of August and exploring the hoods.

Love,
Cheryl

Posted by: KTS at July 26, 2005 11:04 AM

Joe C.

This is coming from someone who agrees with a lot of what you’re saying, including some of the xxx analogies. But dude, I think you’re preaching in the wrong forum, or at least at the wrong time. You may be right, but there is, shall I say, a tone, a rhythm, to Ian’s blog. Even when it gets contentious. And you’re wrecking it.

I’m a occasional poster, and more radical in a weird way – Psychedelian – than you. I think my observations are recognized, sometimes appreciated, and at least tolerated. If not, and I were asked to leave, I would. This is a cool blog, and I don’t want to fuck it up.

“But without discourse, where would be the drama? Clashes of ideas are where it’s at!”

So is politeness, and appreciating that you don’t own the turf.

To pollute even the idea of moving to and living in NYC because “new-aged right wingers” infiltrated its confines is paranoid. When someone genuinely asks for advice on where to live, because she’s moving to NYC - whether you like it or not - and Ian kindly responds, being a resident himself, your antagonistic reaction is out of form.

I say this because I enjoy reading Ian’s blog, and you’re bumming me out.

Res ipse loquitur.

Posted by: chercheryl at July 26, 2005 11:27 AM

thanks, kts. you'll notice that I didn't respond to that negativity. I didn't even read most of what was said. It may have been the mispelling of "advice" that threw me off.

Posted by: chercheryl at July 26, 2005 11:32 AM

Okay, sorry. I read too fast. Advise is correct. Ugh.

Posted by: Joe Q. at July 26, 2005 12:03 PM

Does anyone else recognize the Joe C. surveilance device hooked up to the NYPD Cushman?

Posted by: cullen at July 26, 2005 5:09 PM

Joe C. is probably actually a real pussycat, why else would they have had that cool comic book band?

Anyway, New York (which isn't just the city BTW) hasn't been infiltrated that I know of, unless you count the small contingent of southerners like me who've gone against the flows of traffic in moving northward to live here.

I don't know from where Cherly is relocating, but good luck in NY.

Posted by: Mom at July 26, 2005 9:39 PM

Y'all are giving Joe C too much attention. I'm sure Ian will block him if he gets too offensive. I see his name and just skip over his comments, and I suggest evryone else tgnore hi as well.. He obviously has no life or he wouldn't take the time to write volumes or off-the-subject ranting on someone else blog. Such people crave nothing more than attention, so responding at all will simply egg him on

Just my never-humble opinion.

Posted by: Matt at July 26, 2005 10:53 PM

Joe C. does go a long way in convincing those of us on the right that you lefties are all nuts.

"This is coming from someone who agrees with a lot of what you’re saying..." -- KTS

And KTS isn't the only one on this blog who's said as much!

Posted by: CP at July 26, 2005 11:28 PM

wow do I miss brooklyn.

cheryl, we don't know each other, but I left my home city after living there (manhattan and brooklyn -- so more like two cities, in a way...) the entirety of my now 28 years. anyway, ian's right: you can't really go wrong in brooklyn. my personal suggestions would be to check out DUMBO, cobble hill/carroll gardens (anywhere near clinton/court/smith streets between atlantic avenue and the "place" blocks), park slope, fort greene, and windsor terrace -- though it is a little far out if you work in manhattan. as far as manhattan goes, the only places I would look are west chelsea (23rd to 14th streets near 9th avenue), anywhere around columbia university, and washington heights, which was really rough when I was a kid, but now my little sister lives there and loves it. everywhere else in manhattan is nowhere near worth the inflated rents, I think. queens is good for mets games and the best authentic ethnic food in the the five boroughs (astoria, jackson heights, etc.), but personally I've never had the urge to live there, be it when my cousins did (still do), or as an adult, my friends. the bronx not so much, perhaps because I went to high school there, and staten island I've never once stepped foot on, nor so much as taken the ferry. it's the bastard step-child of NYC, but people apparently live there.

I live off of vine street now, 3000 miles southwest, and much to my surprise I love it. I don't know that I'll ever live in NY again, but have the fondest of memories (a lifetime of memories), and hope you find the city as good to you as it's been to me.

best of luck.

Posted by: Ian at July 27, 2005 2:40 AM

Laurie - Park Slope has one of the best school districts in the country, mostly because the parents are apparently hyper-involved and a total pain in the ass. If we stick in the NYC area, Lucy will definitely go to school there - I don't see her getting an education up in Columbia County that's worth it. It's pretty rural, and I'm a total frickin' snob.

Posted by: Laurie from Manly Dorm at July 27, 2005 4:42 AM

Ian, thanks for your response. You gotta love those pain in the ass elementary school parents! Park Slope sounds great. I am ready to move there!

Posted by: chercheryl at July 27, 2005 5:28 AM

Thank you everyone for your kind advice about the move. I am itching to get down there and walk around the Brooklyn neighborhoods (CP: I'm living in Somerville, MA now).
I just found a deal for a $1200 studio in the upper east side of Manhattan. A woman wants to have someone take over her lease because she got a job. I would never do it. If I'm going to move to NYC, I'm going to do it right and move to Brooklyn!

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