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WITH DAFFODIL FOLIAGE PUSHING UP in the front yards of brownstone Brooklyn, the winter of my content is coming to an end. I’ve enjoyed this uninterrupted two-month spell of  life in my ever-amazing home borough, where you see things like the movie shoot, above, on Prospect Park West, when you go out for your Sunday morning walk.

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We’ve had our bit of snow (that’s the cherry orchard at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, with the Brooklyn Museum in the distance, above, as it looked a week ago Friday, and the view from my front window, below).  I’ve caught up with old friends and gobbled down some culture (the Matisse show at the Met, the Museum of Arts and Design, French lessons on Saturday afternoons, even an afternoon at the ballet), though not enough of either.

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And at long last, I’m in sight of a closing date on the property I’m buying in East Hampton. On Friday, the house passed its inspection for an updated Certificate of Occupancy, meaning, the Town deems it safe to live in (and that the backfilling of a derelict swimming pool, which I oversaw last month, was done to their satisfaction). And this afternoon I got an email from the seller telling me he is “putting together a crew” to move his two boats and the accumulated furnishings and stuff of 30 years out… this week.

Ye gads. It’s really happening! This means that after weeks of lying on the sofa, leafing languidly through books on Japanese landscaping and ripping pages out of decorating magazines, I’ll soon be putting in actual hard labor. All too soon, perhaps. Am I ready to plunge full-tilt into cleaning, painting, gardening, renovation? It makes me want to settle back on the couch with “The Art of the Japanese Garden” and a cup of tea. I’m already reflecting nostalgically on this temporary period of being a one-home person. I haven’t missed the Long Island Expressway one bit.

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Soon enough, I’ll be in the woods, at the beach, breathing country air and enjoying country silence. Meanwhile, I’m appreciating the beauties at hand, like the freestanding mansions of Victorian Flatbush, above and below, where I went earlier this week for the annual ritual meeting with my accountant.

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Mostly, though, what I appreciate is my Prospect Heights pied-a-terre, below, where I’ve been cozily cocooned. Its cheery yellow walls never fail to boost my spirits, and its two south-facing windows have served my houseplant collection well.

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As the days lengthen, then, onward to what’s next.

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MANY OF THE WORKS in the current exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, “Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties,” represent — appropriately enough, since the 1920s was a time of sexual liberation no less than the 1960s — the body beautiful.

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I’m sure the show’s organizers felt Youth and Beauty was a sexier title than Smokestacks and Water Towers, but it wasn’t all sculpted torsos and nude limbs. Some of my favorite pieces were paintings and photographs of Jazz Age architecture and the burgeoning New York skyline.

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Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), a painter and architectural photographer who turned industrial vistas into great geometric compositions, was well represented, and it was Sheeler I thought of this morning while walking through downtown Brooklyn.

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I’M RE-ACQUAINTING MYSELF WITH BROOKLYN after an absence of a year-and-a-half, and discovering my new neighborhood, Prospect Heights. It’s hardly major culture shock, since I lived in Brooklyn most of my adult life, but still, there’s a learning curve. A person has to figure out where the nearest laundromat is, which delis carry soy yogurt, exactly what time you have to re-park your car after double-parking on alternate-side days in order to nab a spot, and so on.

Sure, I rented this apartment largely for its proximity to the Brooklyn Museum, the botanic garden, and the public library, but right now, the quotidian stuff is taking precedence.

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Typical Prospect Heights limestone

This morning I joined the pre-Thanksgiving madness at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket, though all I bought was a bunch of eucalyptus (I’m going upstate for the holiday and not doing major cooking). Then I went to a 12:30 class at Shambhala, a storefront yoga studio three rather long blocks away, where I was the oldest by far (I tend to be conscious of these things). This neighborhood is young, something I never felt in Springs, where gray-haired people like me go to retire.

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I had lunch at my go-to café, Milk Bar (where I also raised the median age considerably), and popped into Met Food for staples. Everything I need is right around the corner, either on Vanderbilt or Flatbush Avenues – banks, drug stores, about seven dry cleaners, hardware, shoe repair – convenient as hell, yet neatly tucked out of sight of my handsome landmark block.

Then I went to Pintchik, the venerable paint store, for yet another paint sample. I’m homing in on a color for my bedroom. With the yellow living room, below, a great success (according to everyone who’s seen it), I feel I need something equally strong for the bedroom.

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I started in the coral family, moved to pink, and now I’m thinking red/orange. Clearly it will be on the warm side of the color wheel, but nothing so far feels right. The Pintchik guys will get to know me well.

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Of course, as I made my rounds, I checked out the row-house architecture on surrounding blocks and was fascinated by how the styles differ from older neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, and Boerum Hill, which are filled with Federal and Greek Revival brickfronts and classic brownstones. Here in Prospect Heights it’s more varied, stylistically, and closer to turn-of-the-20th-century, with lots of limestone.

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Looking at the decorative detail on a short stretch of Prospect Place between Vanderbilt and Underhill, I saw several carved faces in the lintels above doorways, something I never noticed much before. It must have been a late 19th century thing; the one below even looks like a mad Teddy Roosevelt.

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I’m back in Brooklyn, but in some ways it’s a whole new world.

EMBRACE CHANGE, DON’T BATTLE IT. A fortune cookie said it, so it must be good advice. I like that action verb “embrace.” Not “welcome” change, receptively — no, no, go out and give it a big hug. Reach for it, move toward it, make it happen. That’s what I read this morning, on a little slip of paper I stashed in my wallet long ago, and that’s what I’m doing. With some trepidation.

I’m starting my search for a pied-a-terre – a 1BR rental apartment — in Brooklyn. The Wikipedia definition pleases me: A pied-à-terre (French, “foot on the ground”) is a small living unit usually located in a large city some distance away from an individual’s primary residence. The term pied-à-terre implies usage as a temporary second residence, either for part of the year or part of the work week, by a person of some means.

It’s not that I don’t love living in the woods way the hell out on the tip of Long Island. I do. But I have unfinished business back in Brooklyn. A storage space full of furniture, art, photos, rugs, clothes, mirrors, books, collections. City-dwelling friends and relatives I haven’t been seeing enough of. And I want a base there, a place where I can meet up with my grown children when they visit, from which I can take plane trips without having to drive 3 hours to and from JFK. Friends’ spare rooms have been fine for the short-term, but the vagabonding thing gets old.

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Brooklyn was my home town for over 30 years. True, I haven’t missed city life in the year-and-a-half I’ve been away. Haven’t yearned for it in the least. And yet, something compels me to take this step. See how it feels to go back and forth, “split my time,” have a country place and a city place. I need more on my plate. A new challenge, project, change of scenery.

My city stuff, above, presently in deep storage

I never intended to live here in Springs full-time. It happened by accident. It’s almost fall, and the Hamptons have never been so beautiful. Leaving, even for a day, seems crazy. I’ve never been skilled at anticipating how I’ll feel months or weeks hence (I’m not sure that’s something a person can really know, anyway.) I’m trying to project, with difficulty, how I’ll feel on a gray day in January, when it’s quiet here with a capital Q; I think I’ll be happy to have the Brooklyn alternative.

Prospect Heights is my neighborhood of choice. I’ve never lived within easy striking distance of the Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Park, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and I’d like to.

My search begins tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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