Just returned from a weekend in Brooklyn where we helped TBC move her stuff into her first NYC home. I say “first” because already she’s mentioned where she might like to live next. This was an interesting theme in weekend conversations – both our own and the conversations of others.
FBC has a plan to move into a different neighborhood next year. SBC will be looking for a new place next month – maybe something closer to shops and restaurants.
Standing in the bagel line, walking down the sidewalk, sipping coffee on a bench everybody seemed to be talking about The Next Place They Hope To Live. This is NYC – expensive NYC. People were talking about rent-control and safe streets and proximity to Vanderbilt Avenue. They mentioned Dream Apartments with rooftop space and central air and – is it even possible? – a washer/dryer in the building.
I came home to a freshly mowed yard that could fit a tennis court and a pool and a horseshoe pit but it’s farther out into Chicagoland than I would like. But it’s great.
I mentioned this phenomenon of constantly talking about housing in Brooklyn with TBS’s friend M who is a native New Yorker. “Yeah, that’s a thing here. But there’s no such thing as the perfect apartment.”
Where We Live makes all the difference in the world. Whether we live in a place where you can hear bullets all night or not determines our sensibilities as does living in a place with pristine sidewalks versus a place where a neighbor sweeps the garbage to the curb each morning. But Where We Live often determines what kind of neighbor we are/what kind of neighbor is needed.
- In a neighborhood with neat fences and landscaping, are we the kind of neighbor who reaches out to meet the people who live behind those freshly painted doors?
- In a neighborhood with trash on the sidewalk, do we take our turn doing the sweeping?
- In a neighborhood with kids riding scooters on the sidewalk, do we know their names and look out for them?
- In a neighborhood with homeless people, do we ask if they’d like to join us for breakfast?
Missional church starts where we live. I could be a much better neighbor. I could be much better at even knowing my neighborhood. How about you?
Image of apartment building in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.