Yesterday I was trying to fix my broken bed. I had bought two enormous sheets of plywood, I had gotten them cut at Lam Supply company on Meeker Ave, but there was one pesky half inch that hung over the edge and kept the base from lying flat, making it impossible to replace the mattress on top. It was 8 p.m. and I was feeling very frustrated. If I didn't complete my task, I would end up sleeping on the floor and having to deal with a complete mess "later," which I knew would become nearly impossible to complete any time this week, and I would just be sleeping in a pile of bed linens and broken furniture pieces-- something that felt unacceptable. If I don't complete tasks when I start them, it's nearly impossible for me to get them done. This is not something I'm proud of, but it's a reality. Thusly, I became determined to finish my bed reconstruction.
To calm down, my friend and I went for a walk. We walked in the direction that I rarely go-- past the Sewage Treatment plant. As we were walking, a number of the rolling doors were open on the facility spaces, and I was reminded of the robust stone cutting and woodworking businesses that operate in our neighborhood. It being autumn, it was dark early, and it made me confused about what time it really was. So many people were still out there, working late, covered in dust, building amazing and beautiful things. My desperation to complete my bed was making me bold, so I interrupted someone who was gathering items outside the door of his shop to ask him where I might get some wood cut at this hour. He described to me the enormous project he was working on, building out an entire apartment building in Manhattan, but encouraged me to keep looking. I was embarrassed to be interrupting these hardworking people, but I was also fascinated by this whole world of manufacturing happening steps away from my door and wanted to know them.
As we continued our walk, we came upon the GMDC woodworking center. An enormous building, I was surprised I had never noticed it before. I certainly have seen it every day, but I never gave it a second thought. All the lights were on, so we approached the door. As we were skulking around outside, a man on his way home opened the door.
"Are there any woodworkers inside that might let me use a saw for a second?" I said, and he replied absolutely, that the whole place was full of them. He put me in contact with one, Winston, who was just finishing up his day. He was building cabinetry for a big order. His generosity was very clear from his friendly manner and welcoming ways. He showed me around the building and told me a bit about the facility, and all the many people working in manufacturing and woodwork that were inside. He also took five minutes to cut my piece of wood, which I brought back to him after we met.
Walking home I could smell the Serena Bakery churning out loaves upon loaves of fresh bread, and I felt so thankful that I live near an industrial business zone. I had never thought about all the useful and beautiful work being done right down the street from me. The IBZ, to me, had always just meant enormous trucks going by. I'm so glad I broke my bed so that I could see a side of the community that I now feel really proud of. There are good jobs in our neighborhood for very talented workers. I want to fight to help preserve what's left of our industrial business community.