For three months, I had a summer fling with Brooklyn. It was passionate and intense, leaving me with a lifetime of memories.
Today, I have to say goodbye to Brooklyn. I keep remembering my first day here and all of the expectations I had. Here are a few thoughts I had along the way, and how it really turned out.
Expectations vs Reality of Brooklyn
Expectations: “I hope I will not suffer from the heat”
Reality: Summer in Brooklyn is like being a chicken in an oven waiting to be perfectly cooked — tender on the inside, crusty on the outside. I expected a little tanning from all that suffering but I was a fool to believe so.
Expectations: “New Yorkers should be nice. I’ll be able to make myself some friends.”
Reality: Americans always think of New Yorkers as being rude. In Paris, it is just the opposite. We always thought of New Yorkers as being nice. Despite their national reputation, New Yorkers are angels compared to my fellow neighbors in Paris.
In only three months, I met some of the most interesting people in my life in Brooklyn. They gave me a chance to discover their world and introduced me to their style of living. New Yorkers give a lot of respect to others, and they’re extremely friendly. I’ll miss your kindness and warmth. I made some friends that will travel with me into our next journey of life.
Expectations: “I will go on a massive shopping spree once I’m there.”
Reality: Despite my disappointment regarding the fashion sense of Brooklynites, I enjoyed the shops. Actually, I might have enjoyed them too much for the size of my suitcase.
Expectations: “I can’t wait to experience Brooklyn nightlife.”
Reality: Brooklyn’s nightlife is a lifestyle. Restaurants are too pricey but each one is unique. You will never see such diversity in food and style than in Brooklyn. Bars are insanely crazy. New Yorkers are very outgoing, which gives a cheerful and welcoming atmosphere to any place you walk in.
If I had to describe the Brooklyn clubs I would say prepare yourself for intensive dancing. Pick your favorite music and there will be a club for you! And I could go on and on with the breathtaking rooftops you can find all over the city. Drinking my cocktail in Paris will never taste the same without facing skyscrapers.
What You Really Do When You Live Here
Expectations: “I will go to every museum in the city.”
Reality: Let’s be honest. Three months is not enough to see every museum. However, even a short selection of them gives you access to some of the most famous masterpieces on the Planet. My head is spinning from all the Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, Goya, Giacometti, etc. I have seen. I fell in love with this subtle mix between culture and fun.
Expectations: “I hope I don’t get lost.”
Reality: I’m proud to say that it never happened! I discovered quickly that Brooklyn is easy to navigate, and getting lost is difficult. I still have troubles figuring out the different neighborhoods, though. I don’t think I can find Kensington on a map.
Expectations: “I might want to stay after three months.”
Reality: Of course! If it weren’t for my family and friends, or mostly for my visa, I would never leave this city. These three months have been the best summer of my short life. I lived unforgettable adventures in a thrilling city with remarkable friends! I am overwhelmed with memories. I think it will take me a couple of days to realize I am back in France and grieve my summer love.
It is always hard to realize that you might have lived the best moments of your life.