Sunday, October 19, 2008

Brooklyn lessons

So this time our visit felt very different to me, more different than ever before. This time I did not cram it with every friend who could possibly meet me, I didn't go to the places I always go to, and we didn't sleep in our usual crash pads. This time we drove down Saturday morning for a change and I spent the early afternoon with my dear friend Sylvia in the Botanic Garden. Then I went over to the park and hung out there, watching the people. It was a gorgeous day so the place was jammed. It was lovely and I am again reminded of how frickin' enormous New York is. Just big.

Later I visited Helene -- we met up at the farmer's market at Grand Army Plaza and that surprised me not only by being much huger, with many more booths, but there were also many more vegetable selections; New York is so much farther south and a lot of the farmers were from New Jersey.

I also saw Helene's renovated kitchen, and then we ran into Mike and Steph on the street, and then I went to our hosts for the evening, Grace and her daughter Sylvie, Lily's friend since they were two. And then Dave came in and I went to the Upper East Side with my friend Alyssa. This was a big deal: I never go to the Upper East Side. And the significance, I realized, is that I no longer visit New York as a resident, now I visit as a visitor. I no longer need to see everyone whose name I ever knew, and I can actually visit places I've rarely if ever gone to.

Sunday we hung in Lincoln Street playground (ah, there's a flash from the past, and it was that much more fun because I didn't feel I had to go there in some misguided sense of retracing my footsteps), ate at Los Pollitos, yum (another flash), went to an open house for my friend Char in her new digs, and then to visit Grandma on Long Island. Then home to our minimal electric. Ah, well.

Next I need to be even more touristy and get Lily to some theater, namely Gypsy and South Pacific, if we can get tickets. Or maybe Chicago. Maybe we'll just plan a weekend for just that. Give a shout if you want to join us.

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