My Neighborhood- a primer in creativity

Almost three years ago I was dragged  kicking and screaming from my home of 25 years in the West Village. Well it wasn’t quite that dramatic except in my psyche.  The brownstone I had been renting for all that time was going to be sold and I had no choice but to relocate.  I was miserable and looked everywhere to find someplace that made me even a smidgen as happy as living there had, I didn’t think it was possible and was alternately angry or comatose.  I focused lots of my misery on Marc Jacobs as he was omnipresent and I was certain if he hadn’t opened 40 or 50 stores around the corner, I could still afford to live where I wished to.  It was an awful time.  But, then I got lucky-  I came upon Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, and while  I did swear that I would never be one of those obnoxious outer-boroughers that went on and on about how much they love being out of Manhattan, I have fallen deeply, and madly in love with it.  A particularly fetish of mine has become the front gardens that Carroll Gardens is famous for, I adore them.

The amazing part is, each front garden is almost identical in size, the houses are set back from the street about 30 or 40 feet and the space before the front doors is around 20 by 20 square give or take a few feet.  What an outrageous and eclectic array of choices my neighbors have made! It’s truly astonishing and amuses me no end in my wanderings.  I choose a different way home every time I go out shopping so I can encounter a new variation.

It’s an obvious metaphor I know (what we all do with more or less the same space), but I couldn’t resist sharing it with you:

carroll gardens 197Here’s  what you start with.
carroll gardens 178Some keep their gardens with homespun appeal,
some Carroll Gardeners grow minimalist, elegant odes to naturewhile some Carroll Gardeners grow minimalist, elegant odes to nature.
carroll gardens 179Several grow vegetables.
carroll gardens 212There are a lot of Zenish habitats,
so Zen, there are Koi pondsso Zen, there are Koi ponds
or just perfectly balanced rock gardenor just perfectly-balanced rock gardens.
carroll gardens 171There are hunting lodges,
monochromatic wildflower fields monochromatic wildflower fields,
and wildly colorful onesand wildly colorful ones.
carroll gardens 168This being still an Italian Catholic neighborhood, there are lots of odes to God and Country.
carroll gardens 234There are perfect “secret” gardens.

carroll gardens 220

And my personal favorite, the one that gets me every time:

carroll gardens 186