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Step 61 - Find Your Lifestyle
As I said in one of my recent posts – the world has changed and the way we live has changed. I honestly think it’s time to reevaluate some ideas and solutions about the life we want to l...

Do you even want to get married?
I’ve been thinking a lot about marriage recently (not about my own), because suddenly I spend a lot of time talking to married guys (just as friends). And I started to come...

What Does It Mean To Be Successful? My Five Years In NYC
It’s been five years since I decided to live in NY. These were five difficult years, and yet ones filled many amazing moments and great people I’ve met along the way. But five years i...

Step 60 - What Does It Really Mean To Leave Your Comfort Zone?
“Leaving the comfort zone” became a very common phrase these past few years. It is associated with the idea of breaking free from the life you’ve had so far – with sta...

Choose Your Own Relationship
I’m single so – naturally – I do think about guys and relationships. I’ve been thinking a lot of what type of a guy would actually make me want to be in a relationship. An...

Step 59 - How Many (Facebook) Friends Do You Need?
  I remember when Facebook first came into our lives, we were all kind of proud of the fact that our friend count was growing. The more there is social media in our lives, th...

Step 58 - Are You Able To Let Your Old Self Go?
I’m lucky enough to have a few friends whom I can share my fears, tears and happy moments with. These are friends with whom I can go through any emotional rollercoaster. It’s very...

What’s The Best Dating Advice?
  There are plenty of advisors on the dating scene – there are videos and articles about every aspect of dating, with all these great pieces of advice: “What to do on a date,&rd...

Step 57 - What You Really Need Is A Connection…With Yourself
I lead a life that I didn’t expect to be leading right now. (No, I’m not a princess living in a castle.) Six months ago, I decided not to have internet in my apartment. I have it on my p...

Step 56 - Getting You Off The Hook.
I’ve done some thinking recently and tried to figure out the basic way people come up with an excuse. It’s a broad topic, but I’ve mostly experienced one response from variety o...

Williamsburg Is Over
Summer’s almost here, so I decided to take a walk in Williamsburg, and it just reassured me that… thinks are really over for this neighborhood. I moved to Greenpoint (a sister neighb...

Where is love?
  Love has been on my mind recently (and probably has been unconsciously for a while now) and I started thinking about where to find it. I know it’s a pretty odd thing (...

Brooklyn Stories #1

added: 2017-11-13 , category: Living in NY

As I said in my previous post, I decided to move out (I lived in my apartment for the past three years) and start fresh in a new neighborhood (I chose Greenpoint, which became a desired neighborhood now; but more about that soon). You usually know when it’s time for you to change something. You can pretend that you don’t have this gut feeling, but deep down… you just know.

Even though I’m moving by the end of the month, I decided to go to the new place and check it out. It was the first really cold day this fall in NY, so I knew I would end up in a coffee shop quickly. Whenever I’m in Greenpoint, I also go to Peter Pan Donut Bakery. It’s a weird place, pretty old fashioned, and it has this familiar feeling to it. I associate it with warmth. I just wanted to sit there and read a magazine. But it happened to be quite difficult.

I got my coffee and the regulars started coming in. And by the regulars I mean people who come there at least once a day. And since this place is open from 4:30AM (!) it’s not such a big surprise. I met Bob right away, and I sensed that everyone meets Bob. Bob knows everything about everyone and knows exactly the flow of the place. He has Polish roots and is definitely older than me. He’s been living in that neighborhood his whole life. He asked me many questions, and I asked him only a few, since I didn’t quite come there for a conversation. I spent 17 hours at work the day before, so I really didn’t need talking to anyone. Bob wanted me to try a piece of his donut (it was a seasonal one, Apple Cider flavor) to which I wanted to say “No”, as usual (well, we didn’t even know each other), but I took a piece. I wanted to give him a piece of my muffin, but he said he’d already tried it (of course he had). And suddenly I immersed myself into the whole vibe of the place. That kind of vibe is something you rarely experience in NY anymore.

A couple of friends came for a coffee and a  sandwich and started doing the NYT crossword. Apparently Bob helped them the last time they were there, so they asked him to help them again. Two other ladies, also regulars, who just walked in, started helping out as well. The gentleman (with a hole in his t-shirt), who was sitting by himself and just finished his bagel with eggs and was just listening and looking around until now, suddenly also spoke up. He helped them out with one word so they handed him the newspaper. Suddenly six people were involved in that crossword. And I was just sitting and smiling (I wasn’t even paying attention to the words they were looking for, because I enjoyed the whole experience in itself). Another regular came in and told me he enjoys reading books. He said: “I don’t read as fast as I used to, but I’m happy I still can see”. Bob said everyone loves books at that place. I spent two hours there, most of the time chatting with Bob. I put my phone deep into my bag.

I constantly meet new people in NY and my friends ask me how I do that. First of all – I go out excited for a new day and for people I can encounter. I’m just open and I just stopped judging people. I said it a few times already – you never know who you’d meet in NY, who are you talking to, and – the most important one – what this person is going through in their life. Maybe they need a few minutes of conversation with you? And maybe you are the one who actually needs this conversation? People also talk to me, because I see them (literally); I am not glued to my phone all the time. When I go to a coffee shop, I just put it down. I focus on experiencing the moment. Life is happening outside of your phone and it’s way more fascinating than you think. Try it yourself.

[With this post, I start my new series “Brooklyn Stories”. I want to share with you the stories and the people I would meet in my new neighborhood. And I believe I will have many golden nuggets for you, so stay tuned.]

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