Not particularly sure why I felt the need to write this; I guess the absurdity of PLLBR got me thinking. For context I moved to Brooklyn about a year ago for the annual (REALLY)out-of-town to town shidduchim migration. Feel free to ignore if particularly boring.
Ten Brutally Honest Things I’ve Learned My Year “In-Town”
1. I’ve gathered from my devoutly Yeshivish acquaintances that Facebook is assur because you can engage in inappropriate private conversations; this is of course why it Instagram is totally acceptable.
2. There is a tree in Borough Park decorated with lost pacifiers(just in case anyone needed unique Xmas tree ideas).
3. Despite popular impressions, if you actually ask(they won’t ask you) there is a vast number of people who will host strangers for Shabbos meals. People won’t actually say “Good Shabbos” to you in the street or even smile in your general direction-but there are plenty of people who are willing to give hachnosas orchim a shot.
4. Apparently Mishpacha is controversial and possibly inappropriate for public consumption.
5. There is no good Chinese in this borough(by ANY standard of kashrus). Off the top of my head I can name at least five sushi places within a mile but I have to go to all the way to Queens to get some good sweet and sour chicken. I’m thinking conspiracy.
6. The “off-the-derech but still on the derech subculture” is one of fascinating magnitude that I never expected. I was introduced to it actually by the daughter of a prominent Rosh Yeshiva who was still rocking the full Beis Yaakov wardrobe, despite having no problem telling me all about her goyish boyfriend over Shabbos. Go figure.
7. Biggest factor keeping many of those “crisis” cases somewhat on the derech and shomer shabbos: Good ol’ fashion kiruv. It would seem that they enjoy the accepting more open and atmosphere in kiruv circles-even if they might have to put up with the insufferable BT and curious wandering singles crowd.
8. A whole lot of money is regularly floating around the gashmiusdik frum world. I’m talking “my everyday outfit costs 2K” kind of money, not including the sheitel. How they get it is largely beyond me; It could have something to do with hiring workers as part-time employees to avoid giving benefits… if it isn’t a cash business.
9. The twenty-three year old “older singles” and their parents can go cry me a river. However, there is a harsh reality to the “shidduch crisis” involving the shocking number of totally “normal” frum single females over the age of thirty.
10. It is pretty freaking convenient being able to order free and kosher delivery(Burgers, Mexican, Sushi, Pizza and Shwarma) past midnight using three different smartphone apps.
A Hostage of the In-Town Shadchan