new neighborhood

Please note: Andrew’s freckles. Not near the thousands that Isaac has…nevertheless, he’s quite freckled.

As the moving van was getting loaded, our then-neighbors stopped us in the hallway and asked where we were moving. When we told them the neighborhood they were surprised. “Oh. You need to watch out there. There are a LOT of Mexican gangs around. Just be careful.”

Not really what you want to hear as you are getting in the car to drive over to your new home. And it shook me up.

Our new neighborhood is culturally very different from our old neighborhood. Our old neighborhood had large communities from Ireland, Italy and more recently, from the Middle East. Our new neighborhood has large Hispanic and Asian communities. But gangs? I wasn’t sure what to think about that.

We wondered if the “Mexican gangs” we needed to watch out for was similar to the “Italian Mafia” we needed to watch out for in the neighborhood we were leaving. And by similar I mean: was probably a problem at one time; if it’s a problem now, it’s pretty minor unless you are directly involved with mafia/gang members; and really won’t be something we need to worry too much about. We NEVER had a run in with the Italian Mafia.

When the super came by on our first day to see if we needed anything (apartment buildings in New York all have “supers”…short for “superintendent”…they are in charge of maintaining the building) and we asked what he thought about the neighborhood. He has four kids, says that neighborhood is safe and when we asked about the gangs, he said “oh. that was in the 90’s! it’s much different now!”

and so far, I think he’s right. This neighborhood is pretty quiet and tidy, with tree lined streets and lovely brownstones and lots of hardworking people.

but…it IS an adjustment. I’m not going to lie about that. :) I have a lot to learn about where to go to pick up deodorant, veggie bratwurst, and fla-vor-ice. What playgrounds to take the boys to that are not too crowded and have good shade. And where our new favorite take-out places will be! :)

And as far as gangs…I’m going to take my same precautions I’ve taken in every neighborhood I’ve ever lived in in this town. Avoid dark, sparsely populated areas at night (the more people around, the better!) and keep your stuff and kids close. And from what I’ve seen so far, those precautions are plenty.

As far as learning about take-out. Trail and error is working out deliciously!

Today’s photos are of one evening at the little amusement park on the boardwalk…featuring Isaac giving my mom the snuggles of a lifetime. ;)

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About robyn

I stopped teaching Kindergarten in 2005 to become the mom of two crazy boys here in Brooklyn. At first I thought being a stay at home mom meant that I needed to pour all my time and energy directly into my sons, but I realized somewhere along the way that being a rockstar mom meant not only taking good care of my boys, but also taking good care of myself. And taking good care of myself means pursuing something creative...just about everyday. I started Made In Brooklyn to motivate myself in my creative goals as well as share my work with others and perhaps inspire them in their own creative journeys.
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5 Responses to new neighborhood

  1. Plume says:

    Ah, I think this is the neighborhood I’ve been trying to convince my husband to move to for years, but he won’t budge. Says it’s too far a travel for him to get to work (not that we’re any closer where we currently live, anyway). I’m sure you’ll be fine. And I take the same precautions, not only at night, but daytime too. Have had some funky encounters during the day, no bueno. Enjoy your new place, it looks really nice!

  2. Miss Vicki says:

    Love the beach pix. I assume that everyone saw the reflection of the photographer in Andrew’s eyes in the “freckle” pix. And was Isaac dancing to “YMCA”?–I can’t remember. In your new neighborhood, do you have trouble finding a parking place? Yo Mama wants y’all safe!!

  3. janel says:

    Kudos to you! Honestly, being in a diverse neighborhood…gaining trust and forming friendships are absolutely the best lessons that you could give to your kids…helping to make them open minded…loving…and inclusive. I applaud you. What a great adventure. Fear is such a crippling and controlling emotion…and you are a shining example of love, trust and strength. I am cheering you on. And…those freckles… them….fairy kisses on your adorable boys. You have a great family.

  4. MamaV says:

    oh gosh, people are so silly. i still hear comments about how dangerous the subway system is from people who are stuck in the ’80’s. do they live in a cave?

    but the most important question is: have you tried a pupusa yet? a banh mi sandwich? a dim sum meal? anytime we want to find the best central american and/or east asian fare, we head to your ‘hood! i predict this move is going to be a delicious adventure for you guys.

    you’re also so lucky to live close to Greenwood Cemetery and Sunset Park (the actual park)! you’re going to have a blast over there! (just don’t forget us down in Bay Ridge, okay?)

  5. MamaV says:

    i love janel’s comment above, btw! yes, yes, yes!

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