This is Kensington. Or Windsor Terrace. Or Something.

ocean parkway and caton avenue

Our corner, as it was in the 1940s. Thanks, Brooklyn Collection!

Well! So! We did it! We moved! It went kind of like this:

March, 2011: “Hey, we’re having another baby! But wait, we live in a 1.5 bedroom. Okay, a 1 bedroom. Oh, who cares.”

August, 2011: “HOLY SHIT WE HAVE TO MOVE.”

November, 2011: “Wait, what? After some months of getting super depressed about how super depressing Brooklyn real estate is, we found a non-depressing apartment? Weird! Let’s buy it!”

February, 2012: “Wait, what? We bought an apartment? HOLY SHIT NOW WE HAVE TO MOVE.”

From thence followed very shoddy packing, some chaotic days of moving, including panic attacks about whether or not our voluminous books-n-records collections were going to make our movers commit seppuku, some very shoddy unpacking, still not finished. Oh, I forgot the spirit-crushing anxieties over retiling the kitchen and bathroom and repainting and changing light fixtures and doorknobs and whatnot, which caused me to guiltily remember every time I’d mentally answered someone’s “Man, my renovations are killing me” with a resounding (albeit silent) “SHUT YOUR PRIVILEGED LITTLE TALK-HOLE!” (Turns out that stuff actually really is stressful. Who knew!)

So anyway, we made it, we’re here, in our new little corner of Brooklyn. If you’re from Brooklyn, we are on the border between Kensington and Windsor Terrace. If you’re not, we are still kinda near Park Slope, on a different corner of the park. Or, as our Manhattan-bound real estate lawyer put it, “Kinda near the ocean?” Exactly. Actually, you know, all of New York City is an…oh, never mind.

In EB White’s great essay Here is New York, he writes:”A woman friend of mine moved recently from one apartment to another, a distance of three blocks. When she turned up, the day after the move, at the same grocer’s that she had patronized for years, the proprietor was in ecstasy–almost in tears–at seeing her. “I was afraid,” he said, “now that you’ve moved away I wouldn’t be seeing you anymore.” To him away was three blocks, or about seven hundred and fifty feet.”

This is precisely so. We’ve been moaning about how weird it would be to leave the place we lived for 7 years, our beloved best-ever neighborhood, and then sniffling and saying things like, “Well, I guess if we really miss the bakery/bodega/block we could always…walk over one day. It would take like 15 minutes though.”

But I have to say, so far we really love it. First of all, the space. We have our own bedroom! Adam and I, that is. The kids have their own bedroom! Shared, that is. (If you’re from Brooklyn: I know, isn’t that exciting? A bedroom! With a window and a closet and a door! If you’re from anywhere else in the country excepting possibly San Francisco: Yes, the kids share a room, get over it.) We have  multiple closets and multiple doors! The kitchen has these storagey things called “cabinuts” or something! It’s all quite thrilling. And the building is full of friendly kids and neighbors and dogs and such. Harper’s favorite thing ever is pushing the elevator buttons. My favorite thing ever is pushing my SUV of a double stroller into the elevator. People, this is the life.

I’m already feeling protective of Kensington, though. I was just about to write about how I love my new coffee shop/office, our new playground, our new library branch, our new playspace, and then I was about to write something about how none of these places are as ridiculously crowded all the time as their shinier Park Slope counterparts (we’ve never waited in line for a swing at the playground here, if you can believe it), but then I thought, Waaaaiiiit- If I tell everyone how great it is here than everyone else will move here and then where will I be? In line for a goddamned swing is where.

Then I remembered that, thank goodness, I hardly have that kind of influence. Or readership. And also, we’ve only been here a few weeks. There’s plenty of time to realize we’ve made a TERRIBLE MISTAKE AND RUINED OUR LIVES AND THE LIVES OF OUR INNOCENT CHILDREN.

Nah. Come on, Steeplechase Coffee has red velvet twinkies! What could go wrong?

6 responses to “This is Kensington. Or Windsor Terrace. Or Something.

  1. What are the odds? How far is the Ocean from there?

  2. So Cool, Congratulations Amy! So funny about the renovation. I catch myself complaining about the renovation and then quickly shut my piehole. It is stressfull but not something you can complain about in NY. EVER. I know you are far now for a playdate, but maybe when you are in this hood or I would not mind checking out yours, and all those empty swings. Congratulations on buying a place!!!

    • Oh thanks! Yes, it IS amazingly stressful! Yeesh. Hope yours is going well…let’s play sometime! We drive everywhere now. So suburban. But there’s so much parking around here. It’s AMAZING.

  3. Amy, I’d love to hear your ideas for integrating your kids’ room. I am in the process of doing the same (once Mario is out of our room, he’s moving in with Sabine) and it’s both fun and tricky to conjure up ideas about how to create a shared space for the two– right now it’s crazy imbalanced, with mostly pink puffy things like tutus spewing out of everything…

    We have space for both kids to have their own room (we are so spoiled, I know…) but until they are older, we actually like the idea of them sharing a space. I think it might encourage comradery? Wishful thinking, maybe.

  4. Not to give the wrong impression! Maybe Mario will love tutus as much as his sister…in which case, the more power to him! ; )

    • You are so sexist! Anyway, I too like the idea of them sharing a room — and Harper’s really into it. It’s cute! I will post some photos of their room when I get my shit together…someday…

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