Sunday, January 24, 2010
Love Letter to Brooklyn
I've never lived in Brooklyn. I probably never will. I identify so strongly with the south, I don't know if I ever would really feel at home long term somewhere else. But anyway, for the past eight years I've spent 2-5 days a year in Brooklyn, as part of my comings & goings to/from camp in Western Massachusetts (another second (third?) home), and it's become a favorite, full of favorites.
Nash & I just got home Friday night from three days in Brooklyn, in Crown Heights, Prospect Heights & Park Slope. We revisited old favorites - the Superhero Supply Store, Tom's Diner, Chevella's, Naidre's - and had some new adventures. We schlepped to Fort Greene to shop at Green Light Books, to Williamsburg for coffee at Second Stop, and all the way out to Queens to visit the NY Hall of Science.
We didn't have time this trip to go to that cafe in Boerum Hill where I've had the best Thanksgiving dinner themed sandwich ever, or into Manhattan for borscht at Veselka, or down to Coney Island or out to see our friends who live in Bushwick... but it was good. We saw friends and bought books and ate well everywhere we went.
In my neighborhood, Algiers Point, there is a brochure that calls Algiers "the Brooklyn of the South." I have no idea who coined this or what it is supposed to mean, but I have experienced Brooklyn as a friendly place, way friendlier than, say, New England tends to be. Last summer, Liam & I were in the city for two days, just the two of us, staying with a friend in Fort Greene. We had to take the bus somewhere, and though we'd been told to have "exact change", we both imagined that that meant what it does in New Orleans: A combination of paper dollars and coins that add up to the exact amount required. Not so strange an idea, right?
But, no. We got on board and were told that we needed coins or a metro card and we had neither and I felt a little panicky - going to the park to meet up with friends was totally not going to be worth whatever weird bus humiliation was about to take place! But, again, no. The bus driver said, Are you from out of town? Yes. Then why don't you just have a seat and enjoy our New York hospitality!