If you read about life in Brooklyn these days it often seems like a carnival of excitement because of all the small craft businesses, restaurants, music and art. That’s pretty much true and it’s great. But to me, a boy who grew up in the suburbs, another reason Brooklyn is magical is how different it makes everyday life. I grew up thinking urban density made life hell. But it can make life easy, too. Take today.
I left the house at 3pm. I got passport photos made, dropped off a UPS box, had my luggage zipper fixed (no charge, thanks Michael—you’re the best!), got a chip from the paint shop, found and bought a pair of jeans and got an iced tea. I never used a car or anything besides my feet. I was home a little after 4.
This brief escapade would have been mundane in American towns just fifty years ago. It’s a shame that today it’s considered exotic.
Note that all this happens in spite of a thriving trade in online shopping. UPS and FedEx drivers are crawling all over Brooklyn. They usually deliver things that are hard to find in the neighborhood— books, electronics, shoes, furniture. It makes me wonder if those businesses didn’t die because of mail order but are thriving in part because of it.