November 26, 2010

It's All in the Neighborhood

Perfect names for perfect little roads.
When I lived in New York, the best days were the ones where I didn't have to leave my neighborhood.

Time spent living in a huge city today is pretty much divided into two parts, not always in an equal measure: 
 The part where you work, make use of the hectic subway system at what feels like a gazillion miles an hour, carry your heavy load of bags onto the next destination as you're swooshing through the tunnels, diligently pressing as many to dos' into your busy hours as possible. That's hectic part, the busy big city one that makes people crave the country side and chirping birds after a while.

Then there's the other part. The one where you don't have to leave your neighborhood. Those days when you don't have a single bus or train to get on, but you're actually able to do everything that you need to do locally, in your own little assembly of blocks and high street or two. I do think those are the best days.

In New York, I lived in Brooklyn. Now, anyone who's ever made the bridge crossing over to this fantastic borough knows that this is one of the places where real life takes place in New York. The life of families with children growing up, struggling artists and people just arrived in the city. Those who are fortunate enough to be in New York but not yet able to enjoy views of Central Park from their living room. Brooklyn is charming, real, old and carries a history that would inspire anyone to write a novel or two. And it feels just like home, to anyone. Some days, I miss Brooklyn so very much.

In London, I'm experiencing the same phenomenon as in New York: The days when I'm liberated from riding the oh so claustrophobic metro system are the best days. The days that I get to spend watching the leaves turn yellow then brown in a park somewhere are the ones I keep looking forward to. I'm yet to find my Brooklyn, my hood here, but I know it's out there waiting for me, ready to embrace me and my local days. 

Things that I've taken a liking to so far about London:

Lovely brick apartment buildings. Oh to have a room of one's own in that one!

Quirky shops with quirky shop windows.

Hampstead Heath, the one and only.

Last but certainly not least, the perfect front door.

PS, take a look at this inspiring Brooklyn Brownstone, found via A Cup of Jo.


Mary said...

I wish I lived in a bigger city, so much to do or not to do :) My friend's brother lives in Brooklyn and really likes it! I would *love* to live in London and visit the English countryside from time to time. I love your photos... those apartments look so lovely to live in! & I love a good front door! xx

Hermione said...

Thanks! Oh, yes, both Brooklyn and the English countryside are beautiful! There are a lot of upsides but also downsides to living in a huge city, so I guess it's as with everything - never perfect:).

Sum said...

These pictures make me miss London a lot. Gorgeous. Those doors are my favourite. I love exploring the city, the architecture, the music and riding the Underground. I love your post and the nostalgia of it all. I couldn't agree more about all your favourite things about London.

p.s. A while ago, I thought of you and your one post about falling off a chair. Because while I sat across a table, in front of a guy who may or may not like me, I literally almost fell off a chair.

Hermione said...

Aw, thank you Sum! As always, your comments really do warm my heart.
London is a great city to explore, I agree!
I want to hear more about this boy and this chair, not necessarily in that order :) . Will you post about it? xx

Clare & Tim said...

I felt the same way about Boston. The best days were never more than four blocks from home.

As a sidenote, I love London and wish I could live there too!

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