Last night I trekked to Brooklyn to meet JP and the gang who made the short film "HEY GiRL" last Saturday. (See YouTube link below.) All of the entries for the Film Racing event were being screened.
First things first, the Film Racing guys really got it right to include free popcorn and soda with the $8 ticket. Brooklyn scores a point for being frugal.
Second, JP's roommates and friends are pretty fun. I enjoyed hanging out with them while they were making the movie and that feeling continued last night. The movies ranged from very good to very bad, and all very hetero. HEY GiRL was shown as the very last of a couple dozen, and I just don't think the straight people got the humor. But that's okay, we had fun.
Third, Brooklyn is all right. Of course, I always have a good time when I go there, other than the one near-death experience with the vampire--but that can count as an exception to the rule. It's generally low, so I can actually see the sky, if not the stars. It has some very fine parks, restaurants, bars, and all the good things that come with urban living. I could definitely live there.
I am proficient at Manhattan snobbery. I learned it early in my career as a New Yorker. When you live in Manhattan below Central Park, it's almost too easy to be superior to everyone from anywhere else. I live at the center of the Universe. Some would try to throw out London, Paris, Berlin, etc., and to be sure those cities all have some areas in which they can beat NYC. But this city is far more than the sum of its many, many parts. Manhattan is magic and anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is being dishonest.
With all that said, I really and truly feel no need to gloat over my superior location. I mean, so a guy lives in Jersey City, so what? I'm sure it's a nice place and he has good reasons to be there. The fact that I have a different answer to the question of where in the NYC area I want to live than any other guy merely means we have different priorities. No further judgment can be made.
I throw out my Manhattan snobbery as a verbal game, with a wink. It's fun. It makes non-Manhattanites all jittery and defensive. That's all.
The real reasons I visit Brooklyn so rarely are all practical. It's a long subway ride away. I'm generally going in the evenings, when the trains are few and far between, especially for the return ride. It really is a completely different city and I don't know my way around. Look at the map and you'll see a dozen different street grids, each tilted a different way and overlapping the others. It's like navigating the West Village, which I'm only now figuring out after three years, only 20 times the size. I can't tell which direction is North! I have to print a map and look at it on the street!
I've adapted very well to this crazy city. And in time I'm sure I'll learn plenty about its boroughs and suburbs. But for now, dear friends, I'm going to mostly stay in Manhattan. Because I'm still just a boy from Kansas, after all, and though my back yard may be paved, it's my turf now and I like being here.