When most people think of "The New Harlem", 125th St. and it's surrounding blocks come to mind. Only recently have people begun venturing further north, barely touching 135th St. with a smattering of restaurants and shops haphazardly scattered about. Baz and I live on 142nd St., a good 10 blocks north of the outermost resemblance of any so called "action", and we live on a corner surrounded by three housing projects. Depressing as fuck all. Still, it spurs us to dream big, and we make lists to get by.
Short term (renting): Get the hell out of our current neighborhood. We've shortlisted the neighborhoods of Sunnyside (current top pick) and Astoria (my old neighborhood of 4 years), but will have to see what Baz's job situation is, since moving to Sunnyside sucks if you end up working in Jersey City.
Long term (buying): Haha, who knows. We change our minds on this weekly; first it was the Grand Concourse, then it was Fort Lee, then it was every fucking mountain town we happened to come across on a map. We planted it in our head, for some weird reason, that we were going to move to Berlin, NH. Came across it randomly on Trulia, liked the mountains around the town, saw that the house prices were nice, and set up shop in our heads and hearts towards moving there.
|Photo Courtesy of Flickr|
Then I did some research on the town.
Which used to be a factory town.
With paper mills that apparently make the town smell like flatulence, even though they were shuttered years ago.
And with that, we said farewell to Berlin, NH.
|Adios. Photo Courtesy of Flickr.|
We let our minds roam. Baz is hellbent on a "house in the mountains". I am somewhat less bent, though certainly crooked, to be sure. As long as I am in a non-Republican area where people don't settle disputes with hunting rifles, I will probably do okay for the most part. He prefers to work freelance, and I would be working freelance as well, so we are not hindered by the need to be where the jobs are, thankfully.
About a week ago, I started looking at Detroit, Michigan. I'm not sure what's made me barrel headfirst down a road to the midwest, but I watched a documentary last week on Netflix called Detropia, and now it's like a fucking siren song. I can't put it into words. There's something alluring and frightening and appealing about it, and it puts this hope into my head that I can't explain. Nothing about it makes sense - it's dismal, run-down, bankrupt, cold, and violent.
|All of the Above. Photo Courtesy of Tumblr.|
It's also the promise of the uncertain, of being able to take something and make it your own. I mean REALLY make it your own - none of this "edgy Bushwick loft" bullshit that I'm sick of. I love a raw looking apartment as much as the next hipster, but my asian genes make it impossible for me to pay premium prices for something that looks like someone walked out halfway through a gut renovation. Why not put myself in a place where, you know, logic happens?
Various people are saying that Detroit is becoming a magnet for artists, with cheap housing and studio spaces and the promise of possibility. Be anything you want to be. I like that idea. I don't feel that much in New York anymore.
Am I optimistic? Probably. I'll bet I sound like a fucking tool. But I'm okay with that. Because that means I'm excited at the potential, and that's pretty damn special, to be excited about something, for the first time in a long time.
I'll probably be using this blog, for the time being, to post various links related to Detroit, it's art scene, the positives and drawbacks, the posts that make me dream and the posts that knock the wind out of my sails. Huzzah!
Detroit's Artistic Opportunities