Brooklyn vs. Manhattan

Could anything be good about Brooklyn? It is at least 30 minutes of unreliable subway ride away from the Navel of Universe (which is Manhattan, of course). There are no Whole Foods stores in Brooklyn so getting quality olive oil might cost a trip to Manhattan. To get from my new Brooklyn place to another place in Brooklyn like Williamsburg I’d have to take a trip through Manhattan. The cobweb has been woven Manhattancentric. Brooklyn is an afterthought.

Is it really?

Life comes in different forms and shapes and it occurs in all kinds of places that have a little bit of air, dirt and H2O. That includes Brooklyn, too. Once a place has life, it becomes a center for that life and not always cares to know about Manhattan and it’s olive oil.

Look, a Brooklyn fire hydrant has a garden around it!

A Manhattan fire hydrant can’t possibly be surrounded by such lushness. About 27 dogs every hour piss on Manhattan fire hydrant, and while nitrogen in urine has some fertilizing qualities, quantity of urine of 648 dogs a day kills anything that attempts to come to life. Besides the dogs, Manhattan fire hydrants actually get used by Fire Department. Density of population means also density of fire hazards. Smoke comes out of a building, someone places a call, a team of handsome firemen rush to the scene and connect their hoses to the hydrant, stomping on gentle flowers that survived streams of dog piss. The flowers die, someone on 6th floor lives. That’s how it works in Manhattan.

Only in Brooklyn can the nature thrive and embrace the hydrants. It had found it’s secret but stable source of H2O.

The streets in Brooklyn have many more different types of usage. On Manhattan street one gets an exercise crossing it by running and dodging upcoming cars. In Brooklyn one gets an additional, unexpected mile of exercise on street, volleyball:

If you think the volleyball net on the street is for leasure and relaxation, I have to warn you not to fall asleep on a street in Brooklyn, as some of them streets have cargo rains running through:

One thing in Brooklyn that is not possible in Manhattan is the treatment of trees. The few trees in Brooklyn are fully incorporated in human life, for human need:

This is a seat made by humans for humans waiting in the line outside a barber shop. One can sit in comfort under a shade, gossiping and comparing the length of stubble about to be shaven off.

Manhattan Society for Human Treatment of Trees, Treehuggers, would not allow this in Manhattan. A seat nailed to a tree is considered a crime and someone would go to jail or at least pay penalty after penalty till he/she gets a message – get the nails out and humans away from the tree.

Besides, Manhattanites are too busy to sit under a tree anyway. All the gossip they do is on Facebook. Shaving the stubble is a private business, done in the secrecy of one’s bathroom.

One thing I noticed about Brooklyn – it has a variety of smells. It smells like leaking gas in one place, oddly fresh cookies in the other, and  really well cooked chicken somewhere else. My nose was working overtime on each trip to Brooklyn and was confused about everything (- Why gas?! Why cookies?!). Then  I saw the sign:

– Don’t be confused, – I told my nose. – Sniff is OK.

The smell of carpenter’s glue that enters your nostrils and scratches your throat till you caugh – it is, apparently, OK in Brooklyn. In Manhattan it wouldn’t pass so well. Someone with money and power would have complained and the smell, along with the carpenters, eliminated from Manhattan. Exiled to Brooklyn.

I didn’t feel at home in Brooklyn till Brooklyn sent me it’s Welcome Committee.

First, a really nice sunset. An offering of beauty:

Then, a completely white pigeon, although when a pigeon is completely white you are tempted to call it ‘dove’. An offering of peace:

Then, miraculously, a dragonfly.

“The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.” (from

I touched the dragonfly and it felt like touching an alien, scratchy and  charged with nervous electricity. I screamed, the dragonfly screamed and it flew away. The night fell and I was at home. In Brooklyn.




About rocksinmypocketsthemovie

I was born in Latvia, educated in Moscow, live in New York. I have made about 14 animated shorts so far.
This entry was posted in Depression. Personal Stories, Hazards of being an artist, The Work in Progress, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Brooklyn vs. Manhattan

  1. Lance says:

    i’d like ta play in your animated shorts!

  2. paolo says:

    Brooklyn looks like Berlin, where you can see grass on every sidewalk

    • Maybe Berlin. Today I couldnt find wifi anywhere in the neighborhood (majority of people I asked didnt even know what wifi is) and had to go to evil McDonalds to get it. I feel a little out of place here right now. The storm was tough, too. I am sure I’ll get over it.

  3. Any hurricane damage other than inconvenience?

    • Michael, I was thinking of you since Irene started on Saturday. I was thinking that we are probably doing the same thing – emptying buckets and wringing rags. I didn’t sleep a wink that night, too busy. And the next night I didn’t sleep because I got depressed.
      How did your studio hold up? Did you have to stay up all night, too?

      • Absolutely no problems. A little water came in through the bathroom wall to leave a moldy smell, which I mopped away with bleach. One week we get two inches of rain, and I have a four inch flood. Two weeks later seven inches of rain and no problems. Go figure.

      • Ha! That is too odd. Maybe it depends on direction of wind? Or something you said or ate the day before? Very interesting.
        We’ll be weather linked from now on – your studio and mine. It is certain that I’l think of you when it rains. : )

  4. Sasha says:

    Perhaps there’re no Whole Food stores in Brooklyn, but there are Food Coops in there, where you can find good quality organic olive oil and many other treats! One is in Park Slope, but there are more than one, i just don’t know where.

    • Yes, i know of those Food Coops, but I think they require you to work 5 hours a month in order to be a member. I’ll have those 5 hours a month only after I finish my feature film project. Also, I don’t have a car so getting loads of food at once would be problematic. I shop at Rossman’s
      It is excellent.

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