Well, I decided to slow down. So today should be my first slow day.
But again ist started with a problem. I had gone to the bathroom early after waking up. When I wanted to go again a bit later I found the bathroom door locked. I hadn’t heard anybody though. I tried again about half an hour later – still locked. Now I was pretty sure, that nobody was in, but the door had a problem. I got dressed and prepared my breakfast. I ate my breakfast. Still no sign of Nichole or Micah. I packed my handbag, answered some emails. Finally at about eleven I heard Nichole trying to get into the bathroom. I apologized and said I had no idea what was wrong. She told me that I probably had shut the door with the knob not straight but slightly turned. Then the door locks. She showed me how to solve the apparently well-known problem with a butter knife.
When I finally was ready to leave I walked down Franklin to go to the bookstore to see if they have the book I need for my class. They didn’t, but ordered it for me. It will arrive Tuesday, when I will go there for the Crime Night anyway.
Then I took the G train to Long Island City again to visit LIC Flea and Food Market. I found it on something like a parking lot close to Gantry Plaza. It is not big but quite interesting. Food from several countries and craft products are offered. I walked through all of it, then I thought about what should be my lunch. The problem of decisions again. I could choose between Dogs, Burgers, Tacos, Chinese dishes, Thai salads, Japanese pancakes, Caribbean stuff, Empanadas, Pork Rolls, Doughnuts and Cupcakes. After another walk around I decided to have a Chorizo Taco and a Southern Comfort Lemonade with it. Southern Comfort was not possible because there was no ginger, so I changed to Cucumber and Basil.
While eating and drinking I thought about what to do with the rest oft he day. I decided to go all the way down to Sheepshead Bay. My Brooklyn Cookbook contains a little memoir about Sheepshead Bay where in former times people from all over Brooklyn went to eat fresh seafood at Lundi Brothers on Sundays and spend the day at the bay. I had googled Sheepshead Bay but not found much, so I was curious what had become of it.
On my way back to the subway I caught a glimpse of beautiful Queensboro Bridge and decided to get a closer look of it. So I walked north and found out that Long Island City indeed was pretty bizarre. I walked through a mainly industrial area with little townhouses scattered in between as well as luxury apartment buildings cramped into the chaos. At the bridge four subway lines mingle into a two story elevated train construction at Queensboro Plaza – apparently the heart of the neighborhood.
My subway map told me that the Q Train was going to Sheepshead Bay and had a stop at Queensboro Plaza. In the station I realized that it only stopped here on weekdays. So I hopped on a just incoming N train that runs parallel to the Q as a local and planned to change to Q at the next possible stop. I could change at 7th Avenue. A Q train was standing on the opposite platform, some doors open, most doors closes. No people in it. From other people asking I learned that the next Q train was to leave from another platform. So riding a Q train on a Sunday is not so easy. It took me an hour to get to Sheepshead Bay. The train runs express in Manhattan, but local in Brooklyn. It got quite crowded. Mainly families and elderly couples on their way home from wherever. African-Americans, Indians, Latinos, Chinese. White people were the minority, at least beyond Park Slope. I got off at Sheepshead Bay Station and had no idea where to go from there. The exit I took was the wrong one, what I noticed when I had turned left three times and found myself in front oft he other entrance. But there was a neighborhood map that told me where to go. It still was a bit of a walk through a neighborhood that looks somehow left behind. When I arrived at the Bay I immediately noticed the Lundi Brothers building.
The restaurant is called „Cherry Hill“ now and next to it there is an oriental massage place and a Japanese Steak House in the same building. A waiter was walking up and down outside the entrance. He looked bored. Lunchtime had passed but some people were still sitting at the outside tables. A blue footbridge connects the two shores. I walked over it and saw that there is nothing to see. No reason to come back here for a whole day. A boat was lying there without passengers and some Russian women tried to invite me to a Mary Kay party. I don’t speak Russian, so it was not really successful. I walked back to catch a bus to wherever. I found a B49 to Bedford Stuyvesant and thought this might be an interesting ride. It started with the maneuver of getting a woman in a wheelchair onto the bus. The driver, an African-American woman in short and tight trousers locked the front door, walked to the back door and swung out a kind of lift on which the lady’s caretaker could place the wheelchair and it was lifted inside. The driver clapped up a row of seats and fixed the wheelchair with straps. This took a lot of time but nobody complained. They are used to it. It is t he driver’s task to get people on wheelchairs onto the bus and secure the transport. The ride was interesting indeed, as it took me through lots of neighborhoods along Ocean and Rogers Avenues: Sheepshead Bay, Midwood, Flatbush, Lefferts Gardens, Crown Heights and Bedford Stuyvesant. Ocean Avenue is lined by mainly six and four story apartment buildings. Some show Art Deco elements, most are simply red brick. Side streets vary. Some are commercial, some residential with either apartment buildings as well or more or less elegant individual villas. The more the bus got into Flatbush the more young men with kippas got on. Flatbush is largely Jewish. Beyond Flatbush we passed a poorer looking area with neglected buildings and people sitting on sofas along the street, Leffers Gardens. But in it’s nothern part it has a Historical District with really beautiful Brownstone streets. Crown Heights in this part offers Hair Braiding and Caribbean food. I got off on Fulton Street and walked about 10 blocks north to catch the G train home on Lafayette Avenue. This part of Bedford Stuyvesant is pretty residential. On Lafayette huge and ugly housing projects line the street and look somehow displaced.
At home I met Nichole. We had a chat about beers – what to drink and where to buy – and I asked her for restaurant recommendations. I got a lot – too many to keep in mind – and again I had to face a decision. I finally went to Anellas on Franklin, where I got a table in the backyard and had my first Burger.
What I learned today: Bus drivers take their job seriously.