Just the Weather [Short-short Fiction]

Slightly Ignorant

“I have no emotions.”

I stared at her text and wondered whether this could possibly be true. It was an oddly soothing thought. If she had no emotions, she wouldn’t be able to feel a thing for me. She’d led me go when she left the lodge and I would be free, left to my own devices. Again. Until the next batch of tourists came, and I’d scan their faces once, twice, at mealtimes, not looking for anything in particular, but knowing that I’d recognize it if I saw it. And there would be that one, usually only one but occasionally two, with the special gleam in her eyes that said she was looking at people with extra care, just like I was, looking to see who was willing to have an adventure. Sometimes men had that same calculating expression on their face, but they were, more often than not…

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Brooklyn Is A Lie Part 3: FOMO

Welcome to part 3 in our series about Brooklyn. Since we last spoke, I’ve actually removed myself from the situation of Brooklyn. It’s been stressful to say the least, but I’m happier for it.

So let’s get into the Fear Of Missing Out, and how I see its impact on Brooklyn.

Once again. Everything written here is my humble opinion of the great Kings County. If you don’t agree with me, fine. But don’t disrespect my right to opinion.

no fucksss

Anyway…

NYC: The City Of Neurotics.

If there is one thing that characterizing modern New Yorkers, it’s the “Fear Of Missing Out.” While NYC is know as the city that sets trends, it’s also the city full of people who obsessively follow the trends. They know no other options. “Wait something is cool? Shit dude, I’ve got to get one of those…” You know what I mean.

copycat

People follow the trends, and are afraid of missing anything. Like anything at all. They never stop. People not from NYC think of New Yorkers as people who are in constant creative motion. While the reality is much like everywhere else, most people follow and only a few lead.

However in New York, that following reaches new aggressive heights.

Brooklyn: The Ultimate Expression Of FOMO.

Modern Brooklyn is the perfect example of NYC’s collective FOMO brought to its logical conclusion. It’s a borough that now lives under the tyranny of those NYers seeking to be at the head of a “cool front,” that has looooooong since ended. They move in waves from Manhattan, or New Jersey after reading New York Times or New Yorker articles about this hip, chic, place to live.

nycccc old

They want to experience the raw “art” of life in Brooklyn, but god forbid that they actually try to live like the locals. No no no. That just won’t do. I need to have my Manhattan, waterfront penthouse, but in Brooklyn. No no no. I need my Whole Foods, and my Starbucks. Pretty soon life in Brooklyn is just like life where they came from.

It’s goddamn frustrating. But the worst part?

They don’t think that what they’re doing is wrong.

oh no

This is the most frustrating thing about what’s happening in Brooklyn. That people (ie white gentrifiers) don’t think that what they’re doing is wrong. They think that it’s a good thing, a public service if you will, which makes it all the more insidious.

The Fear Of Missing Out is the other side of the tension in Brooklyn. It’s (what I see) as the invisible fuel of the gentrification happening all over Brooklyn.

So what are we supposed to do? 

Well that kind readers, will be the topic of my final blog on Brooklyn.

wahhhh

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How About Some Dark Dubstep For Your Tuesday?

I know you’re all dying for the conclusion on my series about Brooklyn. I’m working hard on the next part (or two). In the meantime though, I thought I’d quickly share some awesome music with you.

Off and on for the last year or so I’ve been listening to this amazing dubstep DJ, “Solitude.” His mixes are all very deep, dark dubstep. If you like Burial, then you’re gonna love this dude.

This is my favorite mix of his, and it makes for some amazing working music.

Stay sexy everyone!

 

Brooklyn Is A Lie Part 2: The Tension.

In my last post I talked about Brooklyn and why I’ve chosen to abandon it. I left off hinting at what I see as the thick tension in the area of Brooklyn where I live now.

Brooklyn is a tense place for a lot of reasons, but I see two things that are the main causes of it.

*WARNING ONCE AGAIN*

warning

These are my views specifically. You can call me an idiot, and critique my reasoning all you wish (in fact I encourage it). This is just how I see things in Brooklyn. Let’s be open to new points of view, and make the world a better place shall we?

Gentrification and FOMO

As I said earlier I see two things that drive the tension level in Brooklyn through the roof. They are gentrification and the fear of missing out, also known as FOMO. Let’s talk about gentrification first, because it’s much more insidious and no one likes to think about it, especially white people. Yes that’s right I said it. Things might just start to get a little racial around here.

Gentrification is a term that most white people (like myself) prefer to play off as “Whatever dude, it’s no big deal. It’s the free market yo.” Yeah sure I guess it’s no big deal, that is until it snaps back to bite you in the ass.

regret

Gentrification is a ruthless force, that’s changing the landscape of cities across the world. It’s particularly pronounced here in America because of our country’s weak welfare state. Those that are pushed out of their homes and neighborhoods because of big money flowing in, don’t have many options for getting back on their feet.

In New York City at least, gentrification seems to be fueled mostly by lusty developers looking to cash in quick on clueless, rich/middle class white people suckered in by the dream of a hip life in Brooklyn. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the front lines of gentrification like where I live now.

For example, my current apartment building.

First off, it’s a really nice building. In fact, it’s easily the nicest building on the entire block. That’s because it’s been newly renovated. The building now boasts a heavy, keypad locked fence, and a heavy, keypad locked front door. Oh and just for the extra benefit of the gentrifiers dwelling inside, there is a tall bamboo fence attached around the front gate. Just in case those walking by on the sidewalk wanted to try and peak in.  If you ever came across this building, you know immediately what kind of people were living inside.

white people

As someone who currently lives there, it personally makes me uncomfortable to reside in such a building. It sticks out like a sore thumb, especially considering that the rest of the buildings on the block are older, a bit more run down, or vacant altogether. Then why might you ask did I choose to live here? To be honest, I’m not sure.

Insidious

Anyway, getting back to things. It’s this sort of insidious gentrification that I believe contributes to the tenseness of Brooklyn. As an outsider you can’t just go in and remake someone else’s neighborhood how you see fit without there being consequences and resentment. Which is exactly what I feel is happening in the part of Bushwick I live in now. On more than one occasion I’ve walked out in the morning to find remains of a glass bottle thrown from the sidewalk at the front door.

The sad thing is that most of the gentrifiers (at least in my experience), don’t see anything wrong. For the most part they don’t give two shits about the effect that their presence is having on the neighborhoods they live in. Of course they’re not physically kicking families out of their houses. But their willingness to pay more gives unscrupulous landlords the incentive to kick people out of their homes, renovate them, and then pack in the hip, young people by the dozen.

willie

Funny Story

To continue ranting for just a little bit longer….

These new wave gentrifiers don’t even try to co-exist with their new neighborhoods. No. They want to import the neighborhood they feel most comfortable with. Neighborhoods full of coffee shops, expensive grocery stories, and weird knick knack shops. They then have the audacity to accuse the latino bodega owner downstairs of being racist when he’s anything less than perfectly friendly to you and your drunk, rowdy white friends (this actually happened with one of my roommates).

hipsterr

While that’s part one of the tension of Brooklyn, what’s part 2? Well that would be the “Fear Of Missing Out,” which is something I’ll get into in my next post.

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Brooklyn Is A Lie Part 1: The Setup.

This may come as a shock to some people, but Brooklyn is a filthy lie. Ok well that may be a bit dramatic sounding, but the boro that defines “hip” for so many people, is really not all that it’s cracked up to be.

*DISCLAIMER*

These are my opinions. This is how I feel about the situation. I’m not sure how typical these feelings are for other Brooklyn transplants, but this is just my two cents. I feel like, perhaps, if more people thought like I did about Brooklyn, things would change. But who knows. So anyway…..

don't giva a

Let’s start with a little background on me.

I’m a product of suburban America, there’s no hiding that. I was born in the suburbs of Boston, and spent my formative years in the suburbs of New York City (Rockland County). Technically I guess you could say it’s upstate, but people in Rockland wouldn’t agree with you.

Growing up where I did, New York City was always the beacon of hope for humanity, and the promise of better things. I won’t try to hide the fact that, for the most part, I hate Rockland County. That’s a topic for another blog, but suffice it to say it’s no place for a person with dreams or ambitions.

suburbs

Not that suburban life (at least for me) was ever that hard. There is something about the suburbs (maybe just Rockland County) that grinds you down, and makes you fear for the future of the human race. Again, something I’ll get into in another post.

As a teenage, and then 20-something suburb dweller, New York City was the ultimate goal. It was the place to aspire to. So when the time came for me to finally extradite myself permanently, and turn in my passport for the great nation of Suburbia, my thoughts of course turned to Brooklyn.

No Sleep Till….

Ahh Brooklyn, Kings County, the international tastemaker. Of course that’s where I should go and put down my new roots. Which is exactly what I did, but it wasn’t easy. The first thing most people talk about these days when you say Brooklyn, is Williamsburg. Hipster Capital, USA. And it most certainly is that. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

hipster

So I started off looking there for apartments there, but goddamn is it expensive. I’m talking like reallllllllly expensive. Going back even just a few years, it wasn’t that bad. Sadly as more and more people were called to the neighborhood of hip, things got really expensive. Personally, I blame the banker bros. You know the kind of people I’m talking about.

Anyway, after Williamsburg was out it was Bushwick, where I currently reside (until November). Ahh Bushwick. The image of Bushwick I had before I arrived was of a sort of cut rate Williamsburg. Hip, but affordable. A bit more dangerous than Williamsburg, but still hip and full of life. Plus it’s also right next to Williamsburg, so I can just pretend I live there. Right? Sure that sounds great, I said to myself. Then it was time to enlist in the Bushwick army.

brooklyn

I found some roommates (ugh), put down a deposit, and I was in. The apartment is right around the corner from Broadway, and is probably more Bed-Stuy than anything else. But who cares right? I’m in Brooklyn, Life Is Sweet. Well sort of.

The thing they don’t tell you about Brooklyn is the pressure, and the constant tension. When I get off the J-Train from work I can pretty much cut it with a knife. It’s not good. Now you might be thinking, “What tension are you talking about Mike? You’re an idiot.” And to you I say stick with me here, and I’ll explain it in my next post.

Or at least stick around for the gifs, they’re hilarious.

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