Changes Along the Avenue

I have a word document entitled “maybe blog post” that’s just a collection of possible blog posts that never made it. In an attempt to get myself excited about writing, I’ll be publishing some of these posts, along with some new ones, in next month.

A few years ago, I wrote about a neighbor of mine who do not what Urban Outfitters was.

Since then, a lot has changed. Not for Urban Outfitters, but for Prospect Heights. The other day, I went to get milk, and I saw two gay couples run into each other. To my delight, there are cheap eats, coffee shops and bars everywhere. In short, and everything I wanted in a neighborhood when I moved to Prospect Heights for a cheap apartment and with a patient heart.

Last October, I relocated a block. It was one of those silly New York moves, but in moving, I crossed Washington Avenue, the defacto border between Crown Heights and Prospect Heights. My new block is mostly brownstones, whereas my old street had big, elevator-less apartment buildings, a vacant parking lot and a fire station. My building is mostly filled with people in my demographic—that is over educated and underpaid. My old place was mostly families who had settled in before there were any whispers of gentrification in this neighborhood.

While I haven’t made any apartment friends here, in my old building, I was friends with a teenage girl who lived on the third floor. Mostly, we joked about her brother, who was using the stairwell to the roof for intimate time with his girlfriend. I remember her saying how she was a little jealous of him. He and his girlfriend were clearly sweet on each other; they were condom wrappers in the stairwell all the time.

But since I crossed the avenue, I haven’t really seen anyone from my old building much. The lights on Washington Avenue are uninviting for crossing, and there aren’t as many reasons to venture into Crown Heights. But the other day I saw my old friend with a newborn strapped to her body. Her younger brother also had a kid in the time I’ve been living across Washington.