I was walking up to my office the other day when a group of guys carrying cases of beer came in with me. They were going to a friend of theirs’ office to party it up before a baseball game. I overheard them talking about how this was a party neighborhood and only single people lived here. I interjected to let them know that it was actually emerging as a family neighborhood. They laughed at me, said “yeah, right” and made a few comments. So I went on to tell them how I had sold and helped create half the neighborhood from 2003 until the present. That the people I had sold to were in fact single or newly married but a lot of them were now having kids. I showed them the pictures of my 6 year old daughter and 5 month old daughter. They stopped in their tracks. The smirks went off of their face. One of them simply said “wow”. They had no idea. It’s okay, I’m not mad at ‘em.
Most people don’t realize that the East Village is steadily transforming every day, week and month. It has become a place where you can raise your children. It has the world’s coolest backyard- Petco Park’s “the park at the park”. Just this afternoon I took my daughters for a walk. We went to the park and my older daughter played on the playground just beyond the outfield. We spoke to a few neighbors who were out on a walk and continued on ourselves. We saw a number of other kids playing at the little league field. My older daughter joined in on the fun and showed the boys how to hit the ball.
After a while my baby daughter was getting fussy so we went walking on our way again. We walked past right field and back into the neighborhood. On the way back we saw a number of our other neighbors pushing strollers or walking with their newborns in their Baby Bjorn harnesses. As it was fairly warm out we ducked in to Mondo Gelato. We got some gelato from Nat and went on our way. As we left the store we ran into a neighbor asking if I would be playing music this week. I let her know I would be at both Mondo Gelato and at Java Jones the next two nights. Both are all ages family events by the way.
As I walked back into my Fahrenheit loft I thought about all the fun we had and all the families we ran into along the way. Then I turned my thoughts back to the group of guys who were laughing when I said the East Village was a family neighborhood. All it takes is a little bit of time in the neighborhood to see it for what it has become.