This is DUMBO, down by the river. Home that I love. I never thought I would write those words. When I moved here in 1998 from Manhattan, I hated it. I still have visceral memories of crossing the BK Bridge at night, in a cab, thinking: Where am I going? I belong in Manhattan. Getting off the bridge and exiting onto Henry Street felt like entering a foreign country, another planet. What alien nation did I now call home? Why did everything go dark at ten or eleven at night? Where were the all night drug stores and restaurants, and where in God's name are all the people?
Eleven years later and I cannot imagine living anywhere else. I know everyone. Frankie and Mario and George at the corner deli. Nikki, the junkie, who lives on Atlantic. Deirdre who lives down the lane, "chatty" Mary and her three dogs, Joe and Mary and Tomaz the German Shepherd who live on the corner. Hortense, my next door neighbor, whose husband dropped dead in downtown Manhattan while they were having dinner. My buddies at the parking garage--- who for sure got my back especially when I come home late at night.
When I was younger, I was ready and willing and able and eager to pull up stakes and start over. Now not so much. When I was 7, my family moved to 2616 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. I lived there until I was 20. That's 13 years. I've lived in Brooklyn for 11. I'm coming up on a record. I don't want to move. I love my neighbors, I love my gym, I love my delis, my dog run, my bagel shop on Court Street--- I love Smith Street, the Promenade and walking down the hill to DUMBO.
But I cannot afford the rent. Even if my landlord doesn't raise the rent (which is unlikely), I still can't afford to stay. I could ask him to lower it, but that seems unlikely as well. I know this is supposed to be feminist blog, and that maybe I should be writing about feminist issues--- but the main thing on my mind these days is money, the economy.
My landlord isn't charging me market value. He's actually giving me a "deal." I still can't afford it. I sometimes find myself wishing that I would accidentally fall in love with a rich man. I know, I know, this is heresy. I know. How can I write the words? They are antithetical to a feminist. Who fucking cares. I want, I need new sheets, new shoes, new socks. I want to go on vacation. I want to go to nice restaurants. I want to wear Tory Burch! Kenneth Cole! I don't want to be a feminist anymore, not in this economy. I want Prince Charming to pay my rent so I can stay in Brooklyn.
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