A workday was necessary. I had to answer emails, pay my phone bill, write postcards, research rooftop-bars and read that damned story I have to critique on for my class. As well I had to check out places for the story I’m going to write.
Answering emails took most of the morning, there were some.
I did not succeed in paying my phone bill online – because the address on my credit card does not have a US state. I was forced to enter a valid US state with my address. My address however is in Germany. What’s that?
Writing postcards was done quickly but now I would need stamps.
The rooftop bars kept me busy quite long as well. I not only copied the addresses into my NY Moleskin but googled them as well to get an impression. What I did find out is that most of them have a doorman and you will not get in wearing flip-flops. Dress code is casual-elegant. So not after a long city walk in Sneakers and T-Shirt and pretty sweated.
Reading the story – Charles Yu: Standard Loneliness Package – caused me pain. What makes this kind of writing successful? It is easy to find lots of aspects I do not like but next to impossible to find a single one I do like. I gave it up and left for my outdoor todos.
First I went to the post office on Meserole Street to buy some stamps. That was pretty time consuming. A tiny old lady with a bush of fuzzy yellowish hair wanted to send a pair of slippers to California she had brought them in a plastic bag. She kept the enormously patient woman behind the counter busy for a while. On another counter a woman with greasy hair and varicose veins was arguing about a parcel she had been delivered today but was not at home. It was still in the truck but she wanted it now. When it finally was my turn, I asked “How much is a postcard to Germany?” I meant stamps, but the woman then wanted to sell me postcards and tried to explain to me that I had to buy extra stamps because the imprinted value was for use in the US only. My fault, ok.
Having my stamps on the postcards and the postcards in the mailbox my next stop was Greenpoint’s Library on Norman Avenue. That’s where my main character works. It is a functional building but the atmosphere inside is friendly and cozy. There are shelves, a couple of tables and seats and a big children’s area, where kids were happily playing. The library holds lots of Polish books of course but as well some in Spanish and even other languages. It was pretty busy, so Greenpoint people apparently read books.
Having checked the library’s address on the map I had seen that Greenpoint’s south is extending further east, beyond McGuiness Boulevard. So I was heading there but first got a Donut Ice-cream Sandwich at Peter Pan’s, Greenpoint’s famous Donut bakery.
The bookstore had been serving little donuts from there at the readings I attended and they were great. My Donut Icecream Sandwich was easy to buy – I just had to decide between two types of donuts left and what icecream – but difficult to eat, at least without a spoon. The donut is cut open, like a roll and a big scoop of icecream is set in between the two halves. You get it in a container with a bunch of napkins – and you need them. The icecream is melting.
In the so far undiscovered eastern part of Greenpoint I found a beautiful park, McGolrick Park. There is a farmers’ market on Sundays and I will not have the chance to go there, because I have no Sunday left. The park has lots of old trees, maple I think, plenty of benches, a playground, a dog run and a pavilion. Elderly ladies were sitting on benches, chatting Polish. The surrounding streets are beautiful and quiet. I decided that is where my character lives and I regretted not having spotted this place before.
On my way home I paid my phone bill in the shop on Manhattan Avenue, hat a chat about the weather with the Dominican girl there and treated myself to a Happy Hour beer in Brooklyn Point Café next to the Polish Bakery.