Craigslist and the 'Hood

Craigslist and the 'Hood

After I posted the video on Tuesday, Micah found a free desk on Craigslist. All we had to do was pick it up from the curb a few blocks away, provided it was still there, of course. Craigslist in New York is crazy. We’ve called on things half an hour after they were posted and they are already gone, so imagine our delight when this never-been-used desk, still in the (kind of beat up) box, was where the poster said it would be a whole hour after it was posted. Micah carried it part way home, with the help of two neighbors–both named Israel–and I came and helped carry it the rest of the way. We put it together and a few hours later we had a beautiful new office. The old desk has been put to good use in the kitchen where it has quadrupled our counter space. It’s heavenly.

And for those of you who are curious about our neighborhood, let me tell you a bit about it. I think I’ve mentioned that the majority race is black, although mostly Caribbean, not African-American. So we have lots of Jamaicans, Haitians, Guyanese, Dominicans, etc. And not all of them speak English very well. It seems like every time I go to the laundromat somebody asks me how old Simon is, but they have to repeat the question three or four times before I understand it. The West Indian/Caribbean association has a huge parade (like, 2 million people go to this thing) on Labor Day. We were going to post about it, but it was SO loud (Simon hated it more than anything) and there wasn’t anything really worth posting on a family blog. The only reason we even went out was, actually, because we were getting free stuff from Craigslist and had to fight the crowds to get back home. Most of the white people we see are Hasidic Jews. The headquarters for the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic Jewish community is right down the street from us. I think they mostly speak Yiddish (at least at home), but I can’t say that I’ve had a lot of interaction with them. Sometimes we will see another white person dressed in modern clothes, but rarely.

Our part of town is mostly residential, although there are corner stores and grocery stores and so many beauty salons (all specializing in African hair) on every block. There is a small park a few blocks away, and Prospect Park (the biggest park in Brooklyn) is three subway stops away, as is the main Brooklyn library (there is a local branch a few blocks from us). It is a decent place to live. I have heard rumors of gentrification, but it seems as though every neighborhood is rumored to be gentrifying. If our neighborhood is, we haven’t seen it yet.

And yes, we have heard gunshots nearby. Just once. Hopefully never again. So although we like our apartment and our branch, we probably won’t look back when we move. Of course by the time our lease is up, we’ll probably want another bedroom for Simon anyway. Provided we can afford such a thing.

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