Since I can't afford to live in the neighborhood near Graffiti, I figure it is important to get to know my neighbors where I live and work most of the time. It's not easy to do in New York, but if you try hard enough, you can make even a big city feel like a small town by frequenting the same places.
I've always loved the old movie theatre up the street. I go there every Thursday. This week's choice is Shutter Island. I'm pretty pumped about that. Leonardo DiCaprio + Martin Scorcese + a story written by Dennis Lehane + Boston accents = my kinda show. I hope not to be disappointed.
I have been trying to eat out in the area more. Not that I need to spend the money, but when I do, I'd like for it to be in common places.
I got a library card and have frequented that building often.
I'm starting to see my customers out and about. This is my first sign that I'm getting somewhere with this "small town" concept.
Monday night, I went to "Theology on Tap," which was a lecture/discussion lead by a Priest on Smith Street at an Irish Pub. Since I grew up in South Louisiana, and have always WANTED to learn more about the Catholic culture I was so immersed in but never a part of, I decided to check it out. With Chelsea backing out at the last minute because she had to pack, I almost ended up at Starbucks for the night instead. I'm glad I didn't.
I met wonderful people from the start, one of whom turned out to be from Louisiana AND works for a non-profit who may or may not be hiring....
Then, after the very entertaining Priest, Father Joel, gave a thirty minute talk on church structure and function of basic Catholic traditions, we had an intense group-wide discussion on a variety of topics. One man brought up the idea that Christians were so much more joyful in the midst of persecution in Roman times than they are today. Someone then pointed out that the Christians who are still being persecuted today are much more joyful than those of us who take it for granted. THEN, another man added that he has an ultimate joy from having his own personal relationship with the Lord, and he wants to share that with everyone he comes into contact with.
I was glad he said that.
Then, I met a priest who does ministry near Graffiti with families in the neighborhood. That in itself made it worth going to. I love meeting people who work with my same people.
And there was free food.
All that to say, I plan on going more consistently to things like that in the Carroll Gardens/Boerum Hill/Cobble Hill area. The more I get to know the people and places, the more at home I can feel. I've just realized I have to be deliberate about it. I love my 'hood, and I want to stay there for as long as I'm in New York- Lord Willing, which says a lot coming from someone as stir-crazy as myself.
Perhaps I've come a long way...