journaling from bushwick inlet park (nyc day 14)
Today one of the other tenants in my Airbnb thought it would be a good idea to smoke a joint in the apartment. I've only been living in this apartment for two weeks, but I've already developed a sort of exasperated resignation towards incidents of this nature. Ants everywhere? Collapsed cupboard? Unresponsive landlord? Missing food? What can you do, really, other than complain a little and move on.
A saying I like is "pick your battles", and it's one I've internalized of late because my emotional energy is so low these days I don't have much of a choice. I learned after five today that the task I spent all day working on actually turned out to be unnecessary due to someone's misunderstanding. These are the kinds of things that will drain your energy, if you let them.
After I wrapped up at work I took the subway to Williamsburg and revisited Bushwick Inlet Park, where I write this now. It's still surreal to me that I can be in "nature" and among other people and find a free place to write within half an hour of my apartment without needing to get behind the wheel and drive somewhere. And I love it here! It's not the most beautiful place, and I think the view of Manhattan is better from Jersey (especially in the evening, when the sun sets and illuminates the western side of Manhattan), but it has everything I really need to unwind and get those creative juices going: birdsong, faint conversation, a light breeze, healthy trees, and sunshine.
It might be surprising to you but I've not been the type of person to draw or write on a notebook in a park. I've done it before, but I always manage to come up with excuses not to. I think my notebook's too shabby, my fountain pen's too fragile for the great outdoors, or I don't like to write by hand, which I know are all my indolence cosplaying genuine concerns. Even now, my hand is cramping as I write this, a painful reminder that I don't give my Kaweco Sport nearly as much love as it deserves. I miss my other fountain pens: the Pilot Kakuno I left in the apartment, the Lamy Safari back at home that was a gift from my ex. The Kaweco is portable but its small size is not the most comfortable to write with. The quest for your fountain pen is a lot like dating; often you'll need to spend time with a few before you can decide what you like and what you don't.
I'm surprised to say that I quite like Williamsburg! I've been here before and not thought much of it, but I probably got stuck on one street and thus viewed the neighborhood from a narrow lens. Williamsburg seems to have a lot of the things I love about Manhattan (lively streets, walkability, interesting establishments) but at a far more friendly, human scale. I don't have to crane my head so far back to see the tops of buildings. The streets only have a lane or two. And I'm never more than a few blocks from green space or waterfront. I think I'd very much enjoy living here, sans the cost of living I'm sure. (Oh, and of course, the most important thing—they have a Trader Joe's here!)
I booked Amtrak tickets to go to Boston in two weeks! It's my first solo trip in many years; I think the last time was way back in 2019, when I was in Chile and traveling alone every weekend. Sometimes I can't believe I'm supposed to be smarter and wiser now or whatever. I was so much happier then, exploring a country by myself without fear. Now I'm dragging my feet to go to a city only four or so hours away, one that won't post me any cultural challenges or language barriers. But the prospect of traveling alone intimidates me now, because I'm not sure I can even enjoy the solitude when I'm so unhappy. And there's all these other questions now, like what if something goes wrong? Why am I even going? It's so much easier to commit to something when someone else does it with you, so I've dragged my feet while making these plans and come up with every excuse not to go (too much work, need to save money, might be dangerous going alone, yadda yadda). That being said, I'm proud I finally pulled the trigger on those train tickets. Fingers crossed everything goes smoothly; Boston is one of the few major American cities I have yet to visit. (P.S. If you have recommendations for things to do/see in Boston, please let me know! I have a whole weekend to fill up.)
they said making friends in nyc was going to be easy... i present to you exhibit A of misu tries to get people to come to a poetry reading with him
p.s. today I'm reading Karl Paulnack's opening address to freshman parents at Boston Conservatory, a beautiful read about music and life
thank you for reading; write to me at
yourstiramisu 🐌 proton dot me