Saturday, April 26, 2008

Brooklyn Mayberry

Our neck of the woods, as I've mentioned before, is really a small town. It may be in Brooklyn, but it's not what you think: although NYC is synonymous with big, bustling, anonymous, those of us who live here know that its neighborhoods can be awfully Mayberryish.

In Mayberry Brooklyn, you can't walk 8 blocks (that's the distance between home and Hedgehog's school) without passing someone you know, at least enough to warrant a smile and wave, more often a passing conversation ("hey!" "Nice weather!" "The nicest!"), and sometimes even a quick stop to chat. Hedghog commented the other day: "Mama, sometimes I just want to walk along and think thoughts." Well, Hedgehog, that's just not the way of Mayberry.

Next characteristic of Mayberry Brooklyn: all news hits the pavement running. Everyone knows everyone's business before the sun is halfway in the sky. A typical conversation on my block which I'll call Elm Street: "Pssst! c'mere..." "hi, what's up?" "did you hear the news?..."

Take your pick:
a. "we think Vinton Calloway killed his wife, although she appeared at first to have died of a heart attack"

b. "Sally's roof fell in and she just boarded up the room rather than have it repaired"

c. "Darcy McAllen fell in love with that homeless guy who sleeps under the BQE overpass, and now she gives him part of her trust fund money every month in the form of booze and tube socks"

d. "Leah passed by here with her third Venti Iced Americano of the day...she must be hopped up as hell, I don't know how she thinks straight enough to raise that kid of hers..."

You get the picture.

Anonymous it ain't.

All that's missing is Aunt Bee--and just give me another five years...


bindhiya said...

Dear Leah,
I think d is absolutely correct :))...but don't worry here is another mom like you...
Please check my place....
I have something for you :))
♥ & ((hugs))

kylie said...

hi leah,
i dont actually know what mayberry is but i like to feel part of the community i live in and i do, when i walk (which isnt too often) there is always someone who will say g'day or at least smile and nod. we dont do the gossip thing, or maybe i talk to the wrong people :) anyway, it's all good.
hope you're having fun

Suzanne said...

I'd like to move there and open a shop. It's a rather simple shop with home grown roses, gardening items, love and laughter. The sort of place everyone wants to come, sit down a spell on the English benches and enjoy life. I know it would be a hit. We'd also eat lots of cupcakes just for fun. Oh, of course we'd also have a coffe machine. And kids could sit and wait on the English benches, surrounded by lavender and butterflies if mom or dad were late pickin' them up at school. And yup, they could have a coffee too! Simple, simple, simple. And yes, beautiful.
My own Mayberry.

faycat said...

I'm with Hedgehog, I just want to walk along and think thoughts. That's why I have giant headphones.

Leah said...

Thanks Bindi!

Hi Kylie, I was pretty negative...actually, when weighed in the balance, I'd rather have the cozy feeling of being known even though it means less privacy. But it can be weird--especially since I grew up here too--people have known me, in some cases, since I was a little girl, and some even knew my skeletons in our family closet, they're all dancing in the streets!

Suzanne, you are so funny. Actually, your shop would do really well! Except better not let the kids lollygag too long on the benches, or every nanny in town will drop their kids off for a looooong playdate with Auntie Suze!!!!

HI FAYCAT!!! yup, I'd better get E. some headphones...if she was still in a stroller, I bet she'd pretend to be asleep...

(Not-So) Cynical Gal said...

I'll tell you right now Chicago has neighborhoods like this too...hope you enjoyed your hopped up feelings on those venti bevvies.

Lisa said...

I know what living in the big city conjures up as well. Our neighborhood is small and we know most of the folks that jog and walk. It is quite fun sometimes to notice hair style changes and weight changes. Enjoy the closeness in the midst of the hectic ways just outside your streets.....