Up on the roof

I’m not supposed to be on my roof.

Nobody. Not even you, KC.

So of course I go up there all the time. It’s a few short ladder rungs away from the base camp of my fire escape.

Once you reach the summit, you see Brooklyn, Manhattan…

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge ($13 one way!), the Statue of Liberty (barely, in the distance), and pastoral sunsets…behind the BQE.

The landlord knows this happens, but pretends it doesn’t, even though it’s his building and therefore his liability. Since he doesn’t seem to care that I disregard the rules, I consider his leniency a gift and appreciate it often. I’m usually up there by myself reading at least once a week, or sometimes I rendezvous with a neighbor from the adjoining building. We take turns supplying Mexican beers and lime wedges — a most satisfying roof “criminal” collaboration.

The best view is at night, with the pretty lights of Manhattan reminding you that all that reputation-building opportunity and financial reward is right there for the taking.

Gowanus and Manhattan, in focus.

Gowanus and Manhattan, in abstract form. I like this version infinitely more. It better represents the speed of the city and the blurry, emotional snapshot nature of memory.

I haven’t begun to make my name here yet. But now that I feel at home in New York, it’s time to go all Millie Dillmount on this town. The first job I took when I moved to Brooklyn in the winter of 2010 was all wrong for me, just not a match. Since then, I’ve been enjoying the relatively stress-free life of a freelance video producer and restaurant server. The problem with that choice is that I have this nagging condition known as ambition to do something bigger than myself. I’d like to be a journalist again since I still have the urge to share stories and champion smart ideas. Most importantly, I need to thoroughly love what I’m doing.

There’s rarely a job posting that makes me excited. I find it works best to create something new that plays to my strengths and vision. So here I am, laying the cornerstone of my building, which will hopefully grow up to be a big, beautiful skyscraper, with a pool and a bar stocked with Negra Modelos on the roof deck. My plan is to share stories about innovation, design, art, events, compelling campaigns and New Yorkers doing ingenious, generous, unusual or humorous things. Nom Nom Emporium: a marketplace of delicious ideas and stuff I find entertaining. If you have stories you want to share, say hi.

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