The Island’s punching bag nature is why I eventually left for Brooklyn, a decidedly “cooler” neighboring borough that my parents both grew up in, and subsequently worked very hard to get the hell away from. They thought my move was insane.
Like most newly christened adults with a crippling fear of dying in their hometowns, I wanted out. I was fed up with the limitations of small town suburbia -- having jack shit to do on Saturday nights and winding up skateboarding in the Starbucks parking lot or stealing Minor Threat T-shirts from the Hot Topic in the Staten Island Mall. (Side note: many thanks to my mall-employee friends who kindly looked the other way and kept me clothed throughout high school.)
I packed up and set out for Brooklyn because I wanted new places, new people, new culture. I wanted the proximity to the venues, the restaurants, and the parties, the secret ones in discarded shipping containers by the docks that your sketchy dealer told you about on the down-low. And sure, Brooklyn and Manhattan are packed with that kind of stuff, so much so that there are websites just like this one dedicated to making sure not a single minute of your weekend goes by without -- god forbid -- having an endless stream of options for the hottest, hyperlocal-est, most Instagrammable spots in your neighborhood.