Thursday, November 17, 2011
over two and a half years living in new york city, more specifically brooklyn and it's finally starting to become home. i'm not sure when this happened but all of a sudden i wake up and realize how much brooklyn feels like home. i can't begin to describe all the scary exciting fantastical events that have happened since i moved to new york on july 17, 2007 (yes, i remember the exact date!). it's been a roller-coaster ride that could have ended tragically but luckily took a turn for the better and here i am to write about all of it. maybe, eventually, i can say it's the start of a book. maybe, more realistically, just the start of a blog to add to the gadzillions of blogs already floating around in cyberspace.
this past friday, february 19th was our health inspection with the nyc department of health and mental hygiene. sounds very official doesn't it? well, it was and finally we get the official stamp of approval to open our doors to real live (hopefully paying) customers. little skips, the physical location, has been a long time in the making. blood, sweat and tears are just a little of what went into getting this place ready to open. it's like a huge boulder has been lifted off my shoulders. friday was surreal. i massed texted everyone after the inspectors left, shook my hand and said in reply to my 'when can i open?", "you can open right now." henry jumps for joy and half jokingly runs in circles to find something to sell. maria-diana ends up being the almost first customer by buying a nasty cup of maxwell house home styled brewed coffee. she said she wanted to be officially the first paying customer. that she gets the title. those maxwell house coffee from family dollar days are gone now. our shiny La Marzocco espresso machine gets installed monday by the technically talented tommy gallagher at counter culture coffee who so happens to live in the neighborhood. i talked to the guy from launch stalker today and we are posted on his blog site.
friday ended up as a nice celebration day. it started by being taken to lunch. i ate at life cafe with maria-diana, chris and josh mccutchen. i treated myself to the life burger, medium with lots of katsup. mitch and mollie stoped by after and brought me flowers and frambois. ohhow they sound perfectly matched like you should always have flowers with frambois. dalton was next to stop by to help with designing our logo. i got faith in this one. the logo feels close. now we just sit tight and wait for the first binary encrypted draft of our logo. i guess my doodling and hand drawn creatures weren't making the cut according to henry. he's right. this is not my forte.
later, henry's friends came by, both named adrian, which i dont' know if i'm spelling it right because i think it's one of those names that can have at least 8 or 9 spellings. one adrian is going to do an art piece on a couple walls in little skips. we discussed. adrain got on a ladder and commenced doodling with a mechanical pencil he just got from family dollar after he refused henry's more official fancy drawing pencils he probably got from the craftsupply store.
finally, the little skips family showed up for the grande finale. i had a lot of fun just 'staying in' on a friday night at little skips.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
tonight i attended the one year anniversary of our beloved neighbor new business, lone wolf. it's a bar. it's cozy and dim like a bar in the middle of nowhere should be. the best part of the decor is an old from-who-knows-when heavy metal refrigerator that i wish was mine. i was very happy for them.
sitting at the bar, i looked around and felt a warmth in my heart as i scanned the busy bar and thought about our own one year anniversary and how that was only 9 months ago and yet it feels like ages. getting to the one year mark was an uphill battle. in my personal census of the bar, i noticed so many faces i've never seen, it really hit me how much and how fast the neighborhood is changing. i guess gentrifying is the word people are using. the word gets a bad rap but it's a word that fits perfectly in a socio-economic phenomenon that's been occurring for decades in all major developing cities. and now here, it's happening right before my eyes. i feel like i'm watching a movie sometimes. i am now a historian of bushwick, or can be if i put in more time living here. what will it be like when the hood is no longer hood? what will bushwick be like a year from now, 5 years from now?
to me it's a little bitter sweet. before it was like a small town in a big city with quirky characters intersperced with rough hood folks and old local inhabitants that are the real historians of this small town i have grown to love. now, very rapidly, the influx of the gentrifying population pour in and we realize that this is only the beginning.
for business it is good. for all things, except for the people who have lived here before and who will be displaced due to raising rents. everyday at little skips, i notice more and more new faces. the new building across the street from the cafe seemed to go up in the blink of an eye. now i hear just yesterday that there are only two units left. there is another building a few doors down on willoughby that i hear use to be a mental hospital or nursing home (probably a little bit of both) that got shut down by the city for malpractice and abuse. it's big and scary and i feel bad vibes from it but i know this place, once it's converted in to apartments for the gentrifiers will fill up quickly as well. megan, one of our original customers who i believe also does real estate for the area says, "then you will be busy all day, everyday." oh boy....