I am notoriously bad at decision-making when it comes to finding places to eat. Last night was no exception to this. Though our original plans were to travel deeper into the heart of Brooklyn, my friends and I chose instead to spend our Thursday evening in Brooklyn Heights. And by my friends and I, I really mean that I let my friends decide, since I wavered painfully back and forth for about forty-five minutes before someone put their foot down. I feel very grateful to have gathered friends around me who tolerate the more frustrating bits of my personality and love me all the more for them.
We started the evening at Julianna’s, a pizza joint nestled under the Brooklyn Bridge (I love the word nestled – makes it sound as if the shop was curled into the crook of the bridge’s arm). The pizza was exceptional. We ordered a sausage, broccoli rabe, and mozzarella pie; I was licking sausage crumbles from my plate in that way you do when you dine with people who will not shame you for such a thing. It completely stole the show from any dessert we ordered, which is unusual in my opinion because I have been raised on a steady diet of cake after dinner and I expect dessert to be the crescendo of a fine meal. It wasn’t. But it was delicious nonetheless.
Brooklyn Heights has a way of making you feel like an adult. My friend Elena said this last night and I can’t help but agree wholeheartedly. I think that comes from that fact that it is a neighborhood cloaked in aspiration. As I wander among the brownstones and peer into the well-lit windows on the tableaux of other people’s lives, I tend to feel as if I will be able to achieve that kind of stability one day. Perhaps I feel that the moment I can call a brownstone in Brooklyn Heights home, I have achieved something of the success toward which those of us in school are constantly told to strive.
We ended the night at Vineapple, a coffee and wine bar with just enough chatter for our own conversation to turn to boys and men (there is a distinction, especially in college) without being conspicuous. This is how most evenings end. There is a certain comfort in the familiar, the acknowledgement over cups of late-night coffee that we mostly feel shaken and vulnerable in this great big city. But we are living an existence cloaked in the same kind of aspiration as Brooklyn Heights. And we keep striving.