I have a love/hate relationship with New York City.
As a born, & raised, New Yorker, I can’t help but love this concrete jungle. I’m always bringing up the idea of moving to another state where suburban life is the norm, but as soon as I imagine it being my reality, I can’t help but feeling scared, and nervous. The city life is my life – it’s all I know.
But with the serious issue of gentrification currently happening in the city, this home doesn’t really feel like my home anymore. Brooklyn is my hometown, and though, historically speaking, gentrification has happened here before, experiencing the change that my neighborhood is currently struggling with – Brooklyn is literally a mini-Manhattan now – is the worst feeling in the world. Local bodegas are being replaced with coffee shops, and beautiful homes, with classic, New York architecture are being replaced with huge condos, filling up the neighborhood with baby skyscrapers. It’s insane.
The moment they built a Starbucks down the block from my house, was the moment I realized gentrification won.
There are still a few places in Brooklyn that completely captures my feelings of home; this location, a train yard in Bushwick – now known as East Williamsburg – brings me complete comfort and bliss. My boyfriend introduced me to this yard a few years back, and it has since become one of my favorite places to spend my down time.
It isn’t the most safe place, though – I’ll be honest. My boyfriend has told me some wild stories of violence, sex and drugs taking place here. But, as weird as this may sound, growing up in the projects of East New York, Brooklyn, that is home. It’s rawness brings me feelings of familiarity. Those are qualities of my New York, the New York I grew up knowing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for living a safer lifestye, but I can’t deny that there is a culture dying due to gentrification. It’s a hard adjusment when all you’ve known and who you’ve known*, disappears.
*Blame the increase in rent; the average New Yorker needs to make 26$ an hour to afford a 2 bedroom apartment.
This tee, which I mention in my September Favorite’s post, was given to my boyfriend by a local graffiti artist who I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I really wanted to style this tee because it’s a color that I normally wouldn’t gravitate towards. My boyfriend still hasn’t worn this tee for that reason – we genuinely like to stick to our dark colors. Either way, I was up for that challenge, and immediately thought of this location as the perfect environment to style it.
I wanted this look to be relatively casual – with the basic jeans & tee combo. I threw on this specific flannel because the yellow, vertical lines in it matched perfectly with the tee. For shoes, I added my lace-up booties because they have been my latest obsession, and, because I love adding a bit of boho into my everyday life, I topped off the outfit with my black Brandy Melville fringe cross body.
Tee: Plasma Slug
Bag: Brandy Melville
Denim: American Eagle
Kudos to Oscar Rivera for editing these photos.*
Thank you so much for reading.