Land of the Loft
A native New Yorker revisits a treasured childhood haunt, searching for a Brooklyn that no longer exists.
I accepted a long time ago that my hometown, the East Village, retains only traces of what it used to be. It’s like a woman who’s had so much plastic surgery that it’s unpleasant to look at her directly, but in whose face you can still catch occasional, fleeting moments of genuine beauty. I accept the new reality of the Village because I’m there every day. I can’t muster a tirade every time an organic salon for pets opens a pop-up shop in the lobby of a condo building. But certain corners of Brooklyn that are no longer part of my daily life remain unspoiled in my memory, still perfect in their filthy dilapidation, despite the reality that they’re following closely in over-polished footsteps of the East Village.
As I climb up the subway stairs I start to scan Metropolitan Avenue right away for things that don’t belong, squinting in the morning-after-a-storm sunlight.
I’ve heard enough stories about the time right before I was born, when my father first…
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