My Columbia Street place will be my third address in New York since I moved here in 2008. Some of you may remember when I lived at 187 Franklin, but most people only knew me as I was on Madison Street. I have a few parting thoughts to share about Bedstuy, in which I have lived for over a year and will soon leave behind, as one leaves an AM New York behind on the subway platform after doing the crossword.
Bedstuy never charges you more than $4 for a beer, but all of the liquor stores have bullet-proof glass and only accept cash. You're never far from a grocery store, but the produce is always half-wilted and the fancier bread products have mold on them. There are no bookstores and the only place to get a cup of coffee is a bodega. No sitdown restaurants, but plenty of community gardens. There are women in headscarves wheeling around baby strollers and you can hear the call to prayer from the mosque on Bedford and Franklin five times a day. Sometimes the laundry soap has Chinese writing on the package and you can get fifteen different kinds of spice for jerked meat, but no fish sauce or Sriracha to save your life.
And one time, I walked home drunk from a party at 187 and woke up the next morning with a brick on the floor. I think I may have pried it out of the sidewalk to use as a weapon in case someone attacked me.