Thursday, November 7, 2013



I arrived at JFK International Airpot at 10:02 am. A midwestern bumpkin, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and dressed in an outfit fit for a Lower East Side, New York street goddess circa 1965. So many bangles, rings on every finger, at least 13 scarves, and a teal turban wrapped around my head. New York City?? I'm Madde Gibba and I have arrived!

Everything I knew about my new home in Brooklyn I had learned from Barbra Streisand retrospectives I had seen on Kennedy Center Honors, PBS documentaries, or the legendary movie "Funny Girl." Surely it would be streets filled with apple salesmen, children on wooden boxes shouting the daily news, and street dancing--lots of street dancing.

I knew my neighborhood was going to be different from the world of St. Paul, Minnesota that I had grown so accustomed to over my 25 years on this earth, but there was no doubt in my mind that it was to be magical. I was headed to historic Crown Heights, Brooklyn. An up and coming neighborhood described to me as a charming "Hacidican" neighborhood--Hacidic Jews and Jamaicans living in a beautiful melting pot of harmony.

The buildings were beautiful on that cab ride in. The streets lined with all those trees I had always heard kept growing in Brooklyn. And then the cab driver stopped in front of a historic grey stone. I looked around, not a single tree in sight. "Well, here goes nothing," I mumbled to myself, the cab driver rolling his eyes as this over-accesorised 20-something gave herself a pep talk in the middle of Crown Heights, "Barbra Streisand, take the wheel!"

I rang the bell. A man answered the door wearing tiny green underpants, with nothing more than his back hair sweater to keep him warm. As I carried my bags into my new unknown home, I couldn't help but steal a sniff of his comforting back hair. "Hmmm...he smells like bacon," I thought. "I fucking hate this place already."

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when the panic attack started, but the overwhelming wafts of bacon back and street trash sent me into a tail spin that would last an entire 48 hours.

Throwing myself on basement futon that would now serve as my temporary cocoon of comfort, I took in the gravity of this decision I had made to move all the way across the country-seemingly on a whim. Outside my window children played and screamed in the schoolyard one block over. "There are kids here," I thought, "I bet they rarely get murdered." My assumptions were wrong as I pulled up my phone to read an article about the local 1 year old child who had been out walking with his parents weeks before and had been shot through the head by some of his father's gang co-workers. Then the shrill barks of dogs started, followed by the terrifying screams of children--sending me into a full blown spiral. "There is an elementary school next door-for dogs, rabid fucking dogs."

Running up the spiral staircase to the ground level kitchen, I knew it was surely the darkness of the basement that had sent me panicking. Yes, all I needed was some air from the kitchen windows, light from the sunshine outside, and maybe even a granola bar. Yes, this was probably a low-blood sugar situation. As I stared out into the street, feeling the blood inside of me begin to cool, the two men appeared on my front stoop. Exchanging shouts as they threw a tool box at each other and screamed "Drugs. Drugs. Drugs. In this toolbox. Drugs." Great, a drug deal! No sooner had the most subtle drug dealers in the world departed for the hardware store, that a man appeared at my window wearing a plastic bag for a hat. "Hey bitch." he said as sweetly as a man calling you bitch can say, "You wanna piece of this, momma? I bet you have a sweet pink (I'M NOT EVEN GOING TO TELL YOU WHAT HE SAID BECAUSE THE WORDS MAKE ME SAD INSIDE....) You want me to pound your ass?" I slowly turned my head to the window, granola bar hanging from my mouth, "You know what? No. No, I don't think so. Thank you." Promptly closing the curtains and beginning my second descent into the darkness down the spiral staircase of doom.

As I slow-motioned crumbled into the floor in a puddle of my bangles and culturally-insensitive turban, I mumbled over and over "Barbra Streisand never dealt with this bullshit in HER Brooklyn."

Hours passed as I stayed in that ball on that cold, hard floor, quietly sobbing so Bacon Back upstairs didn't hear me crumble into a million broken dreams, as I listened to the sweet sounds of Rabid Dog Elementary outside.

I don't remember regaining the strength to order those fried wontons, but there they were being stuffed into my mouth for hours as I lay like a beached whale on the basement floor asking Tina Fey Netflix to take the wheel.

Day 2: 

It was the lights of the cop cars outside the kitchen window that woke me from my slumber the next morning. Surely a fire alarm had gone off or something by accident next door. It certainly wasn't probably, most likely, oh jeeze, it certainly maybe had something to do with the fight I heard last night--probably. You see the neighbors next door didn't seem to be getting along last night. Two people shouted all night saying "Bitch, you don't know how lucky you are to have this sac.", he said. "Oh, I'll leave you and you can go fuck your own Red Lobster" she shouted back. And so I had fallen asleep to the sweet lullaby of Red Lobster fucking.

In and out all day, cops, detectives, medical examiners. "Law and Order" was probably, most likely, oh geeze, it certainly maybe was being filmed outside my apartment building. Hours passed with more and more people passing through. I sat at my kitchen table, chewing on a granola bar, and hoping for Jerry Orbach and Ice-T to appear from around the corner and saying something witty, when there it was. Being wheeled into a medical examimners van--a black body bag. I'll just assume they tripped and had fallen on a heart attack. "Welcome to the neighborhood" the dead body in the bag DIDN'T say to me.

I live in Brooklyn now. Madde Gibba's Brooklyn--not Barbra Streisand's, Madde Gibba's.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

People. People who need people...

Everyone in New York seems to be in love these days. How do I know this? I ride the subway with all the lovers. A morning commute into the city is not complete until you have had an impossibly hip duo of lovebirds wedge themselves into the train car,  insisting that be the moment they put their tongue in the other person's mouth, while you sit below them silently wondering why life isn't fair. 

A particularly insufferable duo stood above me this morning. The lady complaining, "My roommate doesn't even put her nail polish away after she's done doing her Pinterest nail art," while her impossibly hip boyfriend comforted her by saying, "Well babe, that's the economic tyranny of not being able to afford living by yourself." After I retrieved my eyes that had rolled all the way to the back of my head, I realized something about these ninkumpoops-- they were the other person's person. We all need our people to share our inane thoughts with, and that usually comes in the form of a lover of some sort. A lover who will love you despite your absurdity, and listen to your theories about how your fridge might have a monster inside it. That's what your people do for you, they put up with you. 

Without a Boris to my Natasha these days, I find that my own inane thoughts have nowhere to go. If they aren't accidentally being texted to ex's (Tragic, don't do it. I know you want to, but just don't. It's not worth it. There's a reason you two broke up and it's probably because you share too much. Just don't.), they usually come out in the form of absurd text messages to my friends, who entertain me slightly by pretending to give two shakes of a leg about the thing I saw, or the thing I did, or the thing that I just need someone else to know in case I'm eaten by a rat in the middle of the night-- but we both know it's not their job. That's the job of a boyfriend.....or a therapist, a very patient and well-paid therapist. Or ya know what? A blog. I have this blog sitting right here, why don't I just get some of those things out. 

(Photo credit: Courtney McLean. Sorry I was ignoring you, girl. I was probs texting someone something they didn't give a poo about.)


-Can you OD on soy? I think I'm od'ing on soy. I love soy. 

-I think my leg is broken. I'm walking on it and it totally feels broken. 

-I made a hat out of feathers and noodles! Wanna see it? 

-Is quinoa a thing you can do for breakfast? You know what, I'm just gonna do it. I'm doing it! ....How's your Mom?

-I saw a dog who looked like a man outside my apartment today. I should have taken a picture. I didn't. I hate myself....How's work? 

-Is it too early to listen to "The Christmas Shoes" song? 'Cuz I just turned it on, and I'm loving it. I want a wonton. Get me a wonton. I love you. 

-I found a lone tap shoe on the ground. I took it home. Tell no one. 

-Would you rather ride an elephant and have it talk to you, or pee in space and float in your own pee puddle? 

-Some kid was doing hip hop on the train and I was really into it--UNTIL HE KICKED ME IN THE SHIN! ...How's your day?

-I sat on my own donut. 

-If plants could talk, do you think they'd thank me for watering them? Or do you think they'd be like super prideful about it? I'd like to think they'd thank me. 

-Does your mom know I exist? I emailed her and she hasn't responded. I love her. Tell her that, ok? Ugh. Whatever. 

-I'm eating KALE!!!!!!!!

-I love you a lot. That is all. 

At the end of the day, we all need our people. Our people forgive our neuroses, they might actually even consider them charming. Without our people we feel lost. So in a city of 8 million people, there's bound to be one person who wants to be someone else's people, right? I'd like to think so. Until I find one, I will keep to myself the fact that I keep sitting on my own donut. 



Monday, November 4, 2013

A Gal Grows in Brooklyn

(Madde gets into her bed and snuggles in next to her Twilight Sparkle stuffed animal. She takes her computer off her bedside table. Pulls up Safari and types in "Does Madde Gibba have a blog she forgot about?" appears on the screen. She blows the dust off, types in her password, and gets going on her new chapter....)

Why hello there. Perhaps you've read this blog before, perhaps you're just stumbling upon it now. Whatever your reason for being here, I say to you...WHAAAAAAAAAAAAATT UPPPPP?????????

Since we last met I have picked up and moved from Minnesota to Brooklyn, New York. I now live in a land of skinny jeans, ironically large and/or tiny hats, glasses that have lenses the size of a giant baby cheek, and IPA's that "you've probably never heard about." So basically, I just picked up and moved to Minneapolis 2.0.  So why not dust off my blog and have a go at sharing too many of my opinions? After all, people can only take so many Facebook status updates before blocking me. So consider this blog my apology to all my Facebook friends who have had to deal with "vaguebooking" and instagram overload.

Ready. Set. Brooklyn.

xoxo, MaddeBelle