New school, new neighborhood

This late afternoon, I went to Fort Greene in Brooklyn to attend a friend’s birthday event. It was held at a German restaurant-beer hall and had a fun, casual, family-friendly vibe. I was pretty disappointed that they wouldn’t let me order schnitzel a la carte (they force you to order it in a set with several sides, which I wasn’t hungry enough for). I was even more disappointed when they told me that they didn’t have the apple strudel on their menu; they actually hadn’t had it in months, and the servers kept trying to tell the owners to take it off, but they wouldn’t remove it. Surprisingly, the pretzels here were actually good. I had half of a pretzel, which I never eat because I usually find them bland and boring, and this one actually left me feeling pretty satisfied.

I asked my friend why he decided to have his birthday event here given he and his family live in Forest Hills, which he said is about an hour’s commute from this spot. Their 1.5-year-old daughter just got accepted at the only Japanese immersion school in all of New York City, which was walking distance from this part of Brooklyn. And so they wanted to come here to check out the neighborhood since they would soon move here to be closer to the school.

Moving is an expensive, tiresome nuisance. But for the right school, families will move, not just here in New York, but all over this country. Who wants a double commute on the train twice a day to pick up your child from a 2s program or preschool? They really enjoy living in Forest Hills, but they are set on a Japanese immersion school, and given there’s only one in all of New York, the choice was made for them. I guess they are happy they were lucky enough to get a spot, and the neighborhood is a nice one. But now that they will be moving from Queens, I will have one less reason to visit Queens. And for food, I’ve always been partial to Queens over Brooklyn. But this is the life of parenting: you make choices (and sacrifices) for your children.

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