maybe this isn't an ice age
Wednesday, January 15 2003
Today I drove down to Brooklyn to pick up Ray and Nancy's old dinner table. It's a rustic piece made of wood from an old Pennsylvania barn; there's still lead paint on the bottom side. The drive into the city was hindered by a little congestion around the major midtown bridges, but that was all. Interestingly, the heavy snow which still covers the ground at our house in Hurley dwindles away to nothing halfway down the Palisades Parkway in New Jersey. I hadn't seen forests and fields barren of snow for about a month and I experienced an interesting reaction upon seeing them for the first time on this drive. It was the optimism of springtime. "Maybe this isn't an ice age!" my subconscious seemed to exclaim.
I double-parked on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope and then Ray and Nancy helped me load up the table while Sally socialized with Ray and Nancy's dog Suzy inside. After driving around the slope for twenty minutes, I finally found a place to park and then Ray and I went out for food at a nearby pizza joint. It was lunch time, so we tried to avoid children by not going to Pino's (which is directly across the street from PS-321). Evidently, though, the pizza place we chose instead was near a Catholic school, because it was crawling with kids dressed in plaid uniforms. One pre-pubescent Catholic schoolgirl let out an especially piercing shriek two thirds of the way through our meal. It was yet another example of the tax "a Village" imposes to raise its children. By enduring it without strangling her, I was helping to be "the Village" that "it takes." I'd forgotten how lousy Park Slope is with children. With such a richness of potential victims, I wonder if it is becoming something of a Mecca for child molesters.
On the way out of town, I stopped at a big dumpster on 4th Street (between 6th and 5th Avenue) and took a couple solid wooden doors that were being thrown out.
As I drove down Atlantic Avenue (through Brooklyn's Arab shop district), I noticed that none of the store fronts were displaying American flags. For obvious reasons, these same stores had been among the first and most flamboyant flyers of the flag after 9-11, but (unlike in Kingston) those days are very much over with.
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