The weather forecast had promised a hot Sunday, so I thought the waterfront would be a good place to spend it. To add at least a bit of content I added the Literary Walk through Brooklyn Heights from my book.
On my way to Downtown Brooklyn I started checking out easy transfers from my local G train to the 2 train to Harlem. This is essential, because my luggage has already become larger and still will until I am moving to Harlem. So I would like to use elevators or escalators instead of stairs. That’s not easy because only the bigger stations do have them and the G Train is not connected to bigger statins.
When I arrived in Brooklyn Heights I made my first attempt to get money from a cash machine. I never had a problem with my credit card in the US, but last year I had in Vienna. My first choice was the Bank of America, which I had used on previous trips. The machine told me they would charge me a 3$ fee. I canceled and went next door to the TD bank, I had never heard of. Here I got my money for free and now I know I don’t have to worry about it.
Brooklyn Heights made me aware of how diverse Brooklyn is. Here the quiet and well-kept Brownstone streets are lined by trees and the trees even spread a smell. Even apartment buildings look attractive here. It is a huge contrast to streets in other neighborhoods I have walked through since I am here. But well, it is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Brooklyn. But if one day I am a successful writer …
Ok, one must have dreams.
Henry Miller lived here. At least for one year, then his landlord threw him out because of his lifestyle. He moved to Greenwich Village then and opened up a speakeasy as I was told yesterday. Arthur Miller wrote “Death of a Salesman” in Brooklyn Heights and many more lived and worked around, among them Betty Smith and Carson McCullers.
I interrupted my tour to get me a sandwich – with pastrami, coleslaw and Russian sauce
and sat down for a lunch break on a shady bench on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade along the East River, facing Downtown Manhattan. Below the promenade parts of the Brooklyn Bridge Park are still under construction. Several piers have been built into the East River and now are supported with sports installations.
Brooklyn Bridge seems to be seriously injured and carries bandages. What a shame.
A Jewish bridal couple was photographed on the promenade while I sat there. He wore a simple black suit and only his kippa indicated he was a Jew. She came in a pretty ugly dress, for my taste at least. It was cream silk with long lace sleeves and overloaded with pearls, laces and glitter. Another girl in a short skirt, but with her hair in a crocheted cap ran around her and arranged the dress. There was no party with them. Just the couple, two photographers and the other girl.
I decided to follow the waterfront instead of my walk and got to the Fulton Ferry Historic district. I had never been there before. It is a very popular place with not only the Ferry, but as well access to the Brooklyn Bridge Park, picnic places, famous River Café, a fancy carousel and more. The shore here has the appearance of a sea shore and it smells like seaweed. All Brooklyn seemed to be there this Sunday.
Next to Fulton Ferry is Dumbo, another neighborhood I had never visited. I passed the ruin of a factory yard where a food market took place and photo exhibits from Brooklyn photographers along construction walls. Dumbo attracted me on the spot, but right after arriving there it felt like rain. Some raindrops came down, it got pretty windy, and as I hadn’t brought my umbrella I thought I should try to find a subway station and go home.
My plan had been to go to a reading in a Park Slope bookstore in the evening. The time I had memorized was 8:30 pm. So I had enough time to go home, refresh a bit, put on my new summer dress, get my umbrella and take the train back to Park Slope.
Back in Greenpoint – where it still was hot and dry- I made a stop in the Deli on Manhattan Avenue where I had found the Aloe drink and found out they have big bottles as well. Today a young Hispanic man was sitting behind the cash desk, smiled at me and asked if I had tried the coconut. I had not. He promised I would love it and I said I love the aloe but promised to try it next.
At home I emptied a whole container of ice cubes into a huge glass and poured the aloe over it. Delicious and absolutely refreshing. What do they need Coca Cola for?
After refreshing, redressing and restyling I got on the train again down to Park Slope. When I had a look into Time Out Magazine to get the direction, I suddenly realized that the reading did not start at 8:30 pm but at 5 pm. What’s that? How could that happen? And what to do now?
I decided to go to Park Slope anyway and just have dinner there. What else?
As I walked up 7th Avenue I had to notice changes. Changes I did not like. The 2nd Street Café has vanished – Paul Auster was a regular guest here. And, even worse, the 7th Avenue Bookstore across the street was no longer there as well. I had bought my precious Brooklyn Cookbook there, which is more a storybook then a cookbook. I anxiously peered around the corner into 2nd street to see of Two Boots was still there, a half Italian, half Southern restaurant and another place Paul Auster was said to go to. It still exists and I thought why not have dinner there. But I walked further up 7th Avenue first, to check out the bookstore, where the reading would have been and walked down 5th Avenue to have a look at Stone Park Café, that was called Park Slope’s neighborhood center in an article about Brooklyn I had read in a travel magazine. It looked good, but is more a wine restaurant than a neighborhood café. So I decided to have dinner at Two Boots and walked back there.
The restaurant is somehow cute. Along the walls there are red leather boots, the middle tables are covered with colorful wax tablecloths with flower or fruit design. It is not really a place where the typical Sloper goes to (now I am using stereotypes). The interior is pretty kitschy. Balls and stars made from multi-color gold paper were hanging from the ceiling. Souvenirs from whatever countries on the walls. Chains of colored light bulbs. Guests as well did not look like upper class families. At one of the middle table a working class family with four kids and a grandmother were sitting. They were drinking something red in a jug. At another table an elderly couple and a younger man drank something from glasses in the shape of a boot.
I got a catfish and shrimp pie and a beer. The pie was small, but ok after the huge sandwich I had for lunch.
Back home I met Nichole and Micah, confessed that I had broken a glass yesterday and asked how to use the washing machine and dryer. So tomorrow will be laundry day.
What I learned today: I should use a calendar for my events.