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All Mixed Up

bklyn13She’s always out makin’ pictures
She’s always out makin’ scenes – Cars

A long time ago, before Google Street Maps and being able to scope out every block of a strange location, I used to have this weird brain thing. It happened when I’d travel to a place I’d imagined for a long while in advance, or when I’d visit someone who’d moved away. There was a heady, dizzy rush that occurred upon first taking in the scene – like the molecules from the real version were replacing those from the conjured one. (This is how it was explained to me by a scientist, anyway.) Brooklyn is one of the few places I visited for the first time that didn’t produce this sensation. This might not sound all that extraordinary but I believe that it is. I’m not just talking about the architecture, topography and people. When I stepped off the F train that cold, sunny November afternoon in 2001, the whole package and vibe resonated in some pre-registered part of my brain. And the closest I’d come to the borough prior was a walk halfway across the Brooklyn Bridge in ’92. I have no such affinity for Manhattan. Don’t get me wrong; I love the place and connected immediately with its steady, depression-annihilating buzz. Brooklyn wouldn’t be Brooklyn without the city across the way. But it’s a different ball of wax. Some people say that Brooklyn isn’t Brooklyn anymore. I’m not inclined to argue with them. I’m not from here and wasn’t here ‘back in the day’ when it could genuinely be considered an affordable place to live. All I know is that it was somewhere in my head and experience before I even set foot here, and I was probably intended or meant to live here for a while.

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