1. You will get called a hipster.
The second you move anywhere in Brooklyn, no matter if it’s Park Slope, Crown Heights, Sheepshead Bay, or in actual Williamsburg, people will call you a hipster for doing it — New Jersey residents especially. Because if you can’t afford to live in Manhattan, why not just move to Jersey like them? It’s faster to take the PATH to Penn Station than it is to take the subway anywhere.
2. You will learn (or pretend to learn) all the random neighborhoods.
At first you won’t know what Bed-Stuy means (for the record, it stands for Bedford–Stuyvesant), or where the hell Kensington is. And maybe you never will. But at least you’ll learn to nod your head and smile when the cute boy you just met or your new co-worker says they live in Cobble Hill, Gowanus, or Sunset Park. Pro-Tip: if you can’t get down the locations, at least learn specific traits. For example, Flatbush has authentic Caribbean food, DUMBO is essentially Manhattan and Red Hook equals Ikea.
3. You will spend a lot of time on roofs.
Bonus points if it’s your own rooftop or if it has a view of Manhattan. It doesn’t matter the time of year, weather, or the proximity to the train, rooftops in Brooklyn are where the party’s at. On rooftops, noise doesn’t really matter, smoking won’t really bother anyone, and you can have a fire pit or a Smurf piñata.
4. You will spend a lot of time on trains.
This isn’t because Brooklyn is particularly far from “the city” (i.e. Manhattan) but because all your Manhattan friends think it is. Manhattanites don’t go to Brooklyn unless they want a hipster haircut or to go to Smorgasburg. Manhattanites think that the only reason you live in Brooklyn is because you cant afford Manhattan, and although it may have a slight ring of truth, it doesn’t make the commute to Manhattan for Sunday Brunch any more fun. That being said, about 6 months in, you may decide to forego any friendships with Manhattanites because the twenty minutes to get to Manhattan just seems too long.
5.Your mother will think you’re going to die.
Your mother will call you every single day, possibly twice a day if there is a shooting or some sort of abduction somewhere in Brooklyn. She will send you texts to remind you to lock your door when you leave the house and send you emails telling you to avoid walking pass the barbershop that is run by Rastafarians who play hip-hop music around the clock. It doesn’t matter how many times you tell her that the Brooklyn of her 20s is not the Brooklyn of yours or that riding the subway after 9pm is no longer considered “dangerous” by anyone. She will never be convinced that Brooklyn is just as safe and gentrified as Manhattan is these days. To her, it just can’t be possible.
6. You realize you can eat at a new brunch place every weekend and never run out of options.
There is a never-ending selection of brunch places to try. Each one has bottomless mimosas, all-day coffee, and a random selection of dishes such as “kale cupcakes” and “ibis nests” to experiment with. For the first month you will try a different one each week, but by week five you will find your spot (probably the one closest to your apartment) and never deviate.
7. You will fall in love with Wash & Fold Laundromats.
At first, you will convince yourself that you don’t need to drop off your clothes. Why pay $20 for someone to stick your stuff in a washer, when you can do it for half that? But eventually, after you wait a month to do your laundry and you realize you’d rather spend a Saturday doing anything other than sitting at a laundromat, you will give in to the temptation and drop off your clothing. After all, they text you when your clothes are done and they fold them tinier than you ever could.
8. You will become all about #ShopLocal.
With tiny family bookstores, organic grocery stores, and farmers markets on most days of the week, you may find yourself having an averse reaction to all chains. Why go to Key Food when you can go to the Grand Army Plaza Green Market? Why get ice cream from Cold Stone, when you can go to Ample Hills or buy a pint of Brooklyn’s own Phin & Phebes? You may even find yourself protesting the new Starbucks in Crown Heights that is located directly next too local coffee hotspot The Pulp & The Bean.
9. You will find that Lena Dunham is a constant topic of discussion like the weather or the Yankees.
Lena’s name will come up in conversation at least once a day by co-workers who assume everyone in Brooklyn is a Dunham disciple or by friends from out-of-state who are convinced that you live in a naked commune in a constant state of sexual arousal with a carousel of revolving artist boyfriends “just like in Girls.” You will hear your local baristas debating Lena’s merits — or lack thereof — and see people run for seats on the train just so they can dig back into her memoir, Not That Kind of Girl. No matter where you stand on Lena Dunham, she actually grew up in Manhattan, so there’s that.
10. You will discover that everyone outside of NYC thinks you’re cooler than you actually are.
Thanks to Girls — and other TV shows and movies like it — Brooklyn is now officially on the map. No matter where you go, when you say you live in Brooklyn, people know where it is and they know it’s cool. So by default, that makes you cool too.
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