Why I Decided to Stay in Brooklyn

One day the landlord came to my Brooklyn home to do some small repairs. He was a senior black man with really nice manners, very calm and polite. The kind of person that gives you a feeling you’ve learned something from them each time you meet. I was just starting my day late in the morning, wandering around the apartment enjoying the lazy minutes I could have before getting into something serious when he showed at the door — in his classy flat cap and a suit vest.

We shared a little conversation, he asked me what I was going to do that day. I told him I needed to go to Manhattan but haven’t decided yet if I should do it that day or the next day.

“There’s something going on in Manhattan today, some big event. It may be hard getting around there. Better stay in Brooklyn today”, he told me and continued repairing the ceiling.

I looked at his ideally ironed trousers and felt the absurd of him putting plaster on the ceiling wearing them. This way of approaching things was a significant part of this man’s identity. I went to the fire escape to have a cigarette and kept mumbling “Better stay in Brooklyn today. Better stay in Brooklyn.” That’s what I did. These photos are the result.

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