Brick by Brooklyn

I am not a professional. No one is paying me to be here and no one paid me to move to Brooklyn, New York. Yet, here I am.

Get ready for a bumpy ride as I throw myself at every brick in Brooklyn.

“A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

John A. Shedd

Who isn’t the new kid on the block in New York City? Especially in Brooklyn. I can count the people I’ve met that have been here longer than a year with three fingers; my thumb, pointer and middle. I can count the months I’ve lived here with those same fingers.

There are so many people visiting the city for a day or two.

Some stay long enough to pursue a dream; aspiring actors, writers, photographers, musicians. Each dreamer has what comedian, Roy Wood Jr., brilliantly called a “side hustle,” or a job that pays the rent. I laughed so hard at Wood’s set at the Bowery Ballroom before seeing Yo La Tengo.

Wood asked the audience of the dreams they had as kids, gave examples like astronaut, president, said kids have big dreams.

I wanted to be a writer when I came to New York, figured I teach yoga as my side hustle. Some call me a dreamer, others call me a waitress serving brunch at a bar in Brooklyn. I feel more like a server than a writer or yoga instructor. I feel more like the getting a drink than running after my dreams. Problem is I can’t stop dreaming, I can’t stop thinking of all the things I would rather do. All the people I’d rather be than “your server” but, I’ll get you another cup off coffee because I want your tip. I might as well be begging for change, I can’t stop thinking about how different my life could be.

I was at another comedy show at a bar not too far from my apartment in Brooklyn called Phil’s. The comic declared he had been in Brooklyn for just under a year, and what he decided living in New York is this:

“It’s like everyone getting out of a concert, always, you don’t know where you are going, you just go, GO. Eventually you will find the exit.”

You’ve been on the subway, right? It’s still strange to me moving around the city. I try to look like I know what I am doing, act confident while keeping my head down. The city is a slew of antithesis.

Blend in with the crowd, become famous.

Make it, fake it.

Dream big, have a side hustle.

Explore, move to the right neighborhood.

I live in Brooklyn and it’s trying to break my heart, I can feel it. I moved here with a dream, a loose fantasy that I am worth something. This idea is in the eye of the beholder (me) and when I look in the mirror, I ask myself, what do I see?

I see a girl with too many passions, a head full of dreams and side-hustle that just might fall through. I see a woman, scared but not alone. I see someone who has the potential to fail but she has to try first.

I keep telling myself, “you can only fail if you never try.”

3 thoughts on “Brick by Brooklyn

  1. Danielle:
    You’re only playing the part of a server…It is the acting gig you have on the side while you find the right alignment for everything else – and remember some of the best lines are curly, crooked, broken, and threadbare.
    You are scared, but you are also fearless. I know you. You know me. And you’ve got this.


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