My Brooklyn "Stoop" (Sponsored Post)

I am pleased to announce that Clinton Hill Blog has been selected as a partner site for Absolut Vodka's launch of Absolut Brooklyn, a new apple-ginger flavor developed in partnership with Spike Lee that celebrates Brooklyn stoop life.

As part of today's big launch, I'm supposed to share my "stoop story" with readers.  Problem is, I don't have a stoop!  But I do have a courtyard, which is just as good in the Brooklyn sense.

When I moved to Clinton Hill, I was looking for the type of community that I always imagined existed in NYC but I hadn't yet been able to find -- a place where people said good morning to one another, and put down roots.  In my last building in Hell's Kitchen, my neighbors wouldn't even make simple eye contact with me, even though I looked at them hopefully every time, hoping we'd at least be able to smile and say hello.  And I certainly found that in Clinton Hill.

My building (and several others) face in toward a lovely courtyard with wooden benches and large, shady trees.  The benches are, as Brooklyn relaxation spots are known to be, reflective of the buildings and the neighborhood.  Every day, the old time residents set up shop to exchange neighborhood gossip.  New mothers sit rocking babies in the breeze.  Young people wait for their friends to meet up before heading out for some NYC adventure.  Whether you're stopping to sit and chat or just passing through -- on the way to do the laundry, get your heels fixed at the place across the street, or picking up some groceries -- the courtyard is always a buzzing hive of conversation, fixed and in transit.  The courtyard has contributed to my tardiness on several occasions when I've run into a neighbor that I just have to stop and catch up with, and has also been a place where I've met new people. Just off of the courtyard, my neighbors and I have cheered on marathoners every November, sipping hot chocolate and hosting brunches.

I often have parties at my place, and my non-local friends always marvel at the fact that I actually invite neighbors.  If they'd spent any time in the courtyard, it would be obvious - we're all working together to cultivate our co-op equivalent of the Brooklyn Stoop.  And it's a really awesome asset to be able to share with my friends and neighbors.

Full disclosure: I received a bottle of ABSOLUT BROOKLYN and a pretty cool flip camera for writing about stoop life and stoop culture in Brooklyn! Any post displaying the Absolut seal is a sponsored post.