Moving to Brooklyn, NY.

Moving to Brooklyn, NY.

Our official military orders arrived and we were moving to Brooklyn! I will never forget the unanticipated culture shock in the big city that I would come to fall in love with.

The funny thing is, I had been to NYC before we had kids. My husband and I spent Christmas in the city and it was amazing. But this, was different.

My family spent 10 days on the road traveling from So Cal to Brooklyn. After nearly 3,000 miles we crossed the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge and excitedly arrived at our new home in Fort Hamilton.

View of Verrazzano Bridge from Fort Hamilton

Fun facts:

  • The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the U.S. connecting the New York City boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn. The body of water beneath the bridge spans the Narrows, a body of water linking the relatively enclosed Upper New York Bay with Lower New York Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, and is the only fixed crossing of the Narrows.
  • Fort Hamilton is a historic military base from the early 1800’s; the fort served as defense for New York City. In earlier years, the base was known as the Narrows Fort (1700’s) and served as defense in the Revolutionary War Battle of Brooklyn.
Fort Hamilton Army Base (sorry for the confusion, but we are a Marine Corps family)

Adapting to culture shock:

Yes, I had to adapt to the culture, diversity, ethnicity in the city that never sleeps. We lived right along the Belt Parkway which was super loud 24-7. Eventually, we got used to it. I know this because when we moved from Brooklyn to Maine, it was so quiet we actually missed the noise.

Belt Pkwy, Verrazzano Bridge

The city is a very fast paced environment. It’s loud and crowded. I suppose you could call it orchestrated chaos? There’s a learning curve to driving and the subway system. To drive my son to school, it took me 45 minutes one way to go 6 miles.

It’s expensive to live in New York and seeing stockpiles of trash on the sidewalks was something I never really got used to. The street parking was a struggle. That came with learning the hard way that a “No Standing sign” meant no parking.

Living on base was my sanctuary:

Now I have to admit, living on Fort Hamilton did not give me the full moving to Brooklyn living experience. It was like a quiet suburban neighborhood (minus the Belt Parkway noise) which you don’t get in Brooklyn; you don’t see a lot of gated communities.

For starters, we didn’t have to worry about street parking; which is a big deal. We conveniently had a commissary (grocery store), post office and gym on base.

Outside the main gate of Fort Hamilton put you in a neighborhood called Bayridge. This is where we spent a lot of time walking around, going to so many great restaurants, farmers market, street festivals, church, etc.

New York can be overwhelming, perhaps not for everyone but it was for me. After a couple of weeks of moving to Brooklyn, I began to settle in and my love for the city began. Our time in NY was just as fast paced as the city itself. Over the next one and a half years we would experience the city to the fullest. Here are my favorite things to do in NYC.

What I loved most about living in Brooklyn.

(Besides bagels and pizza)

  • Our backyard literally had the most amazing views of the water, the Verrazzano Bridge over to Staten Island and on a clear day you could see Coney Island.
  • This was our one duty station where we had the most visitors (family & friends) from Florida 🙂
  • Admiration for architecture.
  • Broadway.
  • Culture.
That’s Coney Island out there in the distance, taken from my backyard.


Our favorite restaurants in Bayridge.

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