Thursday, January 5, 2012

Brownstones and Bagels

Whenever we return from visiting my son, Rob, and his family in Brooklyn, fellow "Mainers" invariably ask me, "So, when is he moving back to Maine?" or "Why would they live in Brooklyn when they could live in Maine?' or simply, "Brooklyn ???"

Sometimes I get the sense that friends who haven't had the opportunity to explore Brooklyn, and get to know its amazing diversity of people and places, may think of it like this...

I  now  realize that part of the answer to why my son and his family love Brooklyn may be hidden in the photos I took last Saturday (sunny and 56 degrees!) as we walked through Park Slope with camera in hand...

through quiet early morning streets lined with brownstones...

each with a stoop and small garden in front.

"New York is the biggest collection of villages in the world.".
~Alistair Cooke

We loved exploring the amazing variety of shops that lined the streets on each block...

and admiring the window displays...

especially this one!

Since my DH had injured his foot playing tennis just before our trip (and we had a lot more walking to do!), I treated him to an hour of Chinese reflexology, acupuncture and hot stone massage at this shop. Can't walk down to the corner for that here in Maine!

While DH was having his feet rejuvenated with hot stones, I enjoyed an early morning latte on a bench at the Gorilla Coffee Shop right across the street...a perfect spot to just sit and watch the world go by on a Saturday morning in New York.

“People always think that happiness is a faraway thing … something complicated and hard to get. Yet, what little things can make it up.”
~ Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

On this corner, you could even have a hat made...just to your liking.

As we walked, I kept reminding myself to look up...each building we passed was a work of art displaying architectural details from days gone by.

And, on these last few days of December, a few hearty geraniums were still blooming in window boxes.

Where else but in Brooklyn can you rush from your traditional Chinese foot massage to buy a superhero costume...all on the same block?

Or stop in to buy a baker's dozen of the world's puffiest, crustiest, most delicious bagels, still warm...

...and find that the man behind the counter has quietly slipped a huge Black & White cookie into the bag for your no charge? 

From Rob and Tomomi's neighborhood in Brooklyn, you can walk just a few steps down to the subway...

And, in less than 10 minutes, emerge to see this...

and this.

And where else can you see real subway art?

I think I now know why Ron and Tomomi have decided to stay in Brooklyn. It is not beautiful in the same way that Maine is beautiful in its own way. And as our grandchildren grow up, they will experience the best of both of all worlds... the vast rocky beaches of Maine... the cherry blossoms of Japan... and the rich multicultural neighborhoods of New York.

How lucky they are!

"We'll leave now, so that this moment will remain a perfect memory...let it be our song and think of me every time you hear it.”
~ Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn


Claudia said...

I understand completely why they live in Brooklyn. I love New York and though I live in the country, there is a little part of me that would love to live in the city. There's so much to see and do, such beauty. And I love to walk city streets!

Great photos!


Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

Beautiful post and a lovely tour of your son's world! We have one daughter who lives in the country and one lives in the city and you're right. They're both beautiful in their own way.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I would love to explore Brooklyn. So amazing and beautiful in it's own way. Our country has so much to offer we just need to embrace it.
hugs, Linda

myomyohi said...

I think your grandsons are very lucky indeed.

MeMeSue said...

WoW...makes me want to take a road trip! The boys are getting so big!