Friday, August 14, 2009

It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

“I have an affection for a great city. I feel safe in the neighborhood of man, and enjoy the sweet security of the streets.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I was listening to the Brian Lehrer show the other day, with guest Thomas Beller of Mr. Beller's Neighborhood and editor of the book Lost and Found, a collection of "slice-of-life" stories about New York. While the book sounds interesting, and while I encourage all of you to check out Mr. Beller's blog, what really piqued your MatchGirl's interest was something that guest host Mike Peskin said.

I'm paraphrasing here, as it was late at night while I was listening and the notes I made are scribbled. But he said something to the effect of how it is easy to feel insular in a major metropolis. And that one of the best things about New York was the neighborhoods.

It's so easy to feel like you're the only one out there when you're slogging through the world of unemployment. It's too easy to hole up on your couch and watch some crap TV, looks for jobs (and men) on the internet ... and even if you go to a coffee shop or a park, all the other people in the coffee shop are just like you, typing away on their MacBooks, iPod ear buds in their ears. Eye contact is barely made. And that sucks. Because one of the best things about New York is the neighborhoods.

I know I love mine.

I've lived in Greenpoint for five years and it's taken a while to make inroads. The old school people in the neighborhood are always questioning of the new people. I'm sure they look at the way Williamsburg has changed and it makes them nervous. It makes me nervous, too. But I love that, after a few years here, that the bodega guys say hey when I see them on the street. The woman at the laundromat recognizes my laundry bag. And, now that I have met a few of my fellow unemployeds, I'm very happy when I run into them around the neighborhood.

So, my lovelies, let's meet again.

Several people have e-mailed me with ideas as to what would be useful to them in their networking efforts. Several people have sent me blurbs with what they are looking for in a job. And I love that. And I want for us all to network more.

Let's not keep ourselves so isolated in our own neighborhood.

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