“A unicorn is somebody that knows they’re magical and isn’t afraid to show it.” – “Unicorn”, as defined by http://www.urbandictionary.com.
Unicorns are mysterious. Unicorns are magic. Unicorns are elusive. Unicorns are unique. Unicorns are fearless.
Growing up, one of my favorite movies was The Last Unicorn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Unicorn). It is a movie about a lost unicorn on a quest to find out what happened to the rest of the unicorns in the world. She was brave and determined; she stopped at nothing when it came to following her heart and discovering as much as possible along the way. I have been fascinated with unicorns ever since.
I didn’t start calling myself a unicorn out of nowhere, my ex-boyfriend used to call me this. When I asked him why he chose to call me that his response was simple, yet prolific (to me anyway). “Unicorns aren’t attention seekers, they’re in their own world. They’re too busy doing random unicorn shit while the rest of us are being regular. They’re risk-takers. They’re bold. They’re beautiful.” And so I became a unicorn, the very thing that I admired as a little girl.
Brooklyn, ahhh Brooklyn – my happy place. While I was born and raised in Queens, NY, I was destined for the funk of Brooklyn. I fell in love with this borough about 7 years ago. Fort Greene seduced me. I had a love affair with Park Slope. However, Bedford Stuyvesant (aka Bed Stuy) stole my heart. The abundance of old-school brownstones with audacious character and detailed craftsmanship, the tree-lined blocks, and “the stoop”; a place for lazy days, people watching, conversations with neighbors, writing, reading, getting your hair done (and doing hair), or sipping your favorite cup of tea. I knew that Bed Stuy was the neighborhood that I wanted to live in.
In May of this year I left the uber quiet streets of Queens to move to the place that makes my heart happy, Bed Stuy. I walk the streets of my new neighborhood and Biggie Smalls’ Unbelievable (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es-B_PCFyDc) has a new meaning to me…. “Live from Bedford Stuyvesant the livest one, representin’ BK to the fullest”. I rep hard for my new borough. It feels good to be around other creative minds; writers, photographers, dancers, musicians, poets, fashionistas, trendsetters, and young entrepreneurs. You name it, they’re here.
I appreciate the mix of cultures, ethnicities, local restaurants, shops, and community gardens in my neighborhood. There is no other borough in NYC that gives you the energy of Brooklyn. No where. Where else can you be awakened by your opera singer neighbor practicing his octaves on a Saturday morning? Where else can you come home to your brownstone in the middle of a summer evening to see a music video being shot on the stoop adjacent to yours? Where else can you go out with absolutely no plans, but wind up at having the best evening of your life without leaving your borough?
Brooklyn is where Pennie Penz (a name that pays homage to my namesake, my maternal Grandmother – Pennie, and my love for writing – Penz) my pseudonym/pen name, was born. Brooklyn is where I started to believe that I could actually fulfill my purpose and become a writer. Brooklyn is where I signed the lease on my very first apartment and started from scratch – away from family and out of my comfort zone. This unicorn is home.
– Pennie Penz