Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Visiting Brooklyn

Yup, we were there. So sorry if we missed you! Work sent me to a conference in Manhattan on Friday so Dave and Lily came with me Thursday night. We stayed with Margaret that first night, Mike and Steph the second, and Grace and Michael, the parents of Lily's friend Sylvie, on Saturday. I had good long talks with Kim, Margaret, Mike and Steph, Helene, Ismene, and Mike and Grace, and we all saw Jenna, Curtis, and Harry on Sunday for brunch. Lily had playdates with Georgia-Rae, Nicky and Sabrina, Ariadne, Sylvie, and Harry. Dave saw Gone Missing with David. Whew!

First, a plug for the Civilians, the theater company that is doing Gone Missing. I worked with Michael Friedman on God Hates the Irish when I was in my "I wanna be a stage manager" phase in 2005. Michael is a founder of the Civilians and wrote the music for both these shows. He's amazingly talented and I would say try to see anything he does, if you get a chance.

It was cold, and it snowed on Saturday night. I was dined at everyone's houses and talked myself hoarse. I walked around the cold streets a bit. I hadn't been back since March. How odd! Kim and I went to the Boerum Hill Food Company for lunch, for old time's sake. I was thinking, how odd that eating here is memorable! Something I don't do any more, and haven't done for a year. It was a year exactly, you know, Thanksgiving weekend.

We walked over to PS 261 and I didn't get to see everyone but I did get to see several folks, especially Justice and Nilsa and Nilsa's daughter, Kristine, in the pre-K trailer, and Nan, dearest Nan. I saw Lena, too, and a few other folks. It was lovely.

Lily and Dave met us there after spending a couple of hours in Manhattan spending Lily's gift certificates at the American Girl store (thanks Betsy, among others!), and as she had forgotten her hairbrush back home, she refused to remove her hood from her sweatshirt. Still, everyone ooo-ed and ahh-ed about how tall she was, and hugged her despite her protestations. Justice had her as a student when she was 3, for goodness sakes! Justice asked after my mother, who had gone on a field trip with them that year and clearly left an impression. I didn't see the parents I wanted to, but maybe next time. Oh, and Lily told Nan that her teacher this year, Teresa Mullens, reminds us of her -- She's just like you, Lily said. Bossy! I'd use the word powerful. Nan and Teresa are both wonderful.

The thing about Brooklyn is, now I have to figure out how to be there. Do I tell everyone I'm coming and make every effort to see everyone, if only for five minutes? Do we stay at one place, or several? How many playdates is good for Lily in one weekend? For me? And what about the rest of New York? What if I want to go to the Metropolitan for an afternoon, or the Mermaid Parade? Can I just do that?

Margaret asked me what food I was craving from New York and I had to say none. I miss good bagels -- I don't care what people here say, Brueggers are not good bagels -- and good pizza -- ditto -- but not much else, and how often do I eat those, anyway? I miss being able to buy fresh mozzarella easily, or the dumplings from that street window at that tiny place in Chinatown. Dave used to ride up on his bike and buy two bags of 50 for like $20 and pedal off. Yum!

I miss talking to Margaret about work and families and kids and politics. I miss yakking with Helene about the same stuff. I miss watching Ariadne grow up--talk about tall, her and Georgia-Rae! I miss having Harry and his folks right down the street. I miss Steph's amazing stories about her adventures in the school system. I don't miss having trouble parking, or overheated apartments, or watching people get arrested in the middle of the day at the subway. I don't miss the Department of Education and the nonsense Tweed is inflicting on those in public schools; they are taking a really outstanding, in many ways, public school system, and turning it into a business. Yuck. And I really don't miss the crowds, or the perpetual glow of the lights, or all the people. So many people.

I miss the community of PS 261 and I miss the ease of Lily being able to see her friends, some friend, at basically the drop of a hat. It's all a trade-off, right? I am so happy to have clean air here, and really fresh vegetables, and space, and true darkness, and a 10-minute commute. I really love my job, the people, the challenges, the rewards, and especially the final product.

I am still finding the balance thing hard, here, the balance between work and family and friends. I still don't quite know how to do it all, to find time to meditate and light a fire in the fireplace and clean the house and work out at the Y and walk to the lake and call my posse. I seem to be able to focus on one, to the detriment of the others. Oh well, I guess more will be revealed. And it's not like that balance would be any easier if we were still living in Brooklyn.

Dave and I walked Sylvie's dog Homer around the block late Saturday night and we came back down Warren, by way of the condo. It felt odd, because it didn't feel odd. It was not my place. It had been for so long, 11 years, and now it's not, but I didn't really mind. I just thought, I'm really glad we sold when we did, the top of the market, they tell me. I certainly don't miss Fifth Avenue! especially given how it's changed. Maybe if we could have moved further out. But I still would not have been satisfied, I don't think.

Is moving kind of like death? Am I still dying? Or reborn into a new place? How long does it take? Two years, my friend Karen said. I think one to move and one to land. Check this space in a year.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.