Ask Caroline: How Do I Feel Cool In Bushwick?

I like to answer your burning questions about life, love, Bushwick and organized religion. Thank you to our readers who sent in a ton of honest questions. I’ve plucked only the ones I’m qualified to answer. Feel free to ask your own by messaging me on Twitter.

Dear Caroline: I want to go out in Bushwick but I don’t feel as cool as everyone (no piercings, baby tees, etc). How do I feel confident partying in this chic neighborhood?

Bushwick is, at its core, a group of the popular girls laughing at you from afar. It feels like you could truly do everything to try to fit in with them, and it still wouldn’t work. 

Let’s first break down what “cool” means. To find someone cool, without speaking to them, is often based on fashion, like you mentioned baby tees/piercings. Cool can also be seen at the events people go to and how many cigarettes they smoke per night. 

Most “cool” people know that they are fully playing the part of “cool” person. It’s not a natural state of being. It’s just not. You have to fully accept that this is the person you’re going to portray, and almost become a caricature of someone who is “cool.” 

With this in mind, you can be confident knowing these people did not inherit a specific “cool” gene to make them better, more fun, or more outgoing than you. 

Do not worry about wearing enough mesh to get into Mood Ring. The nights where I met the most people and had the most fun, were the nights when I convinced myself I was DOPE. And I own no cool clothes. If you have that mindset, and act like everyone in the room would be so happy to talk to you, they genuinely will be happy. 

Dear Caroline: I’m single and dating in NYC sucks. What should I do?

Do not date. Dating cannot suck if you do not date. 

If you must date, try to date non-NYC folks. Go to those sports bars where all the European people who love watching soccer hang out. 

Dear Caroline: Tips on how to calm your mind and center yourself in the evening?

The evening can be such a beautiful time for us phone obsessed freaks. The lack of plans, the soft humid air in your bedroom, the knowledge of sleep being just around the corner. How could you not take advantage of this special environment? I know how, of course I’ve done it thousands of times. I come home around 9pm absolutely dead tired and I use my phone until my brain fries and I inevitably fall asleep. Not very centering.

I firmly believe that calmness in the evening cannot be achieved if your room is not your sanctuary. You should feel safe and warm in the place you rest. This means: filling it with things you love, keeping it clean (enough), and having a Yankee Candle burning its life away. Having some sort of structured self-care routine is extremely important, otherwise it will be easy to toss away if you’re feeling too tired. Thoughtfully put your phone down, thoughtfully shower, thoughtfully play your favorite music, thoughtfully put on face moisturizer, thoughtfully write a little in your journal. But you cannot thoughtfully check Instagram or TikTok. I promise it’s not calming and you will not remember anything after your 40 minute doom scroll and your brain will start to hurt and you’ll have weird dreams. 

Caroline Cianci is a a stand-up comedian and comedy writer living in Bushwick. Caroline also runs a monthly comedy show in Bushwick called Last Drop Comedy. “You should come sometime!” she says.

Top image taken by Andrew Karpan.

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