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Public eye: Angela D. Freeman

New York street interviews: Stories from the sidewalk as told by real New Yorkers about their lives in the city that never sleeps.

Photograph: Allison Michael Orenstein
Public eye: Angela D. Freeman

Hanson Pl at S Oxford St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Real? Yes, it’s real. And the funny thing is that I have two or three other fur coats—full-length ones—but I bought this one for $30 from my neighbor, and I get more compliments on it than on the ones I paid thousands and thousands of dollars for. It’s a mink.

Don’t tell PETA. It does bring more attention than I would like to have. One guy in Times Square pretended he was going to put red nail polish on me.

May I ask how old you are? Oh, do I have to? I’m in my forties. When I was 25 I stopped sharing my age.

What do you do? I’m a freelance journalist. I write for several publications and one major TV station.

You seem more on-camera than off-camera. Well, in college I did a lot of music videos. I’ve been in Spike Lee movies, but always just as an extra. I hate to be photographed, and I’m actually very reluctant to do this, but I want to represent this neighborhood.

Are you from here? I am not; I grew up in Buffalo but left at 18 because I wasn’t a small-town girl. When I left Buffalo I was a flight attendant with Eastern Air Lines.

You were a “stewardess.” Precisely! That was 1984. It was a wonderful experience, but after two years living out of a suitcase, I chose to pursue my education in college.

Were there flight-attendant–pilot romances? Once or twice. We’ll have to speak about that over drinks sometime. [Laughs] There was a particular pilot that I had a short-term relationship with…. Anyway, I first moved to Clinton Hill and then Fort Greene. I arrived in 1989.

Back when this was a very different city. Oh yes, it was. I feel very positive about the gentrification. I’ve watched the block we’re on go from the crackhead bodegas to nice restaurants.

Is it really all positive? I really feel that everything that’s happened here has been positive. Though there have been a lot of people who were bought out, or put out. Or forced to move to Buffalo. [Laughs] Right. But not me. You’d have to drag me from here kicking and screaming.

More from Angela

Brooklyn is the coolest place on earth right now.”