From Laundry to Comedy – via the Caribbean

I needed to start the day in the Laundromat as I was running out of suitable clothes. While it was washing I went to the supermarket Rachel had recommended and finally got bread. I got even brown bread. They call it pumpernickel but it is by far not what we know as pumpernickel. It’s just dark but soft. When I got back to the Laundromat and transferred my laundry into the dryer, put my card in and nothing happened, a man came to help me. He turned out to be the manager who owned the place, had built it up from the scratch after a fire four years ago, equipped it with brand new and super expensive express machines and was able to fix them himself. Fixing machines is what he had done in Russia before he came to New York 23 years ago. He owns three Laundromats, lives in Forest Hills, Queens, and his older daughter just graduated from College. I got to see pictures. A New York immigrant story. He asked me where I am from and as I said Germany, he wanted to know which part. I said west. His next question was if that is the part close to Russia or the other one. So much about geography. But I learned all I need to know to open up a Laundromat in just 16 minutes – that how long it took to dry my clothes. Might be a career.

After a lunch sandwich at home I went for another neighborhood exploration walk. I started out into the other direction today, towards the Caribbean. The Caribbean part of Crown Heights begins on Nostrand Avenue. It is colorful and busy. They burned coconuts on a kind of grill on the sidewalk (what for?). West Indian restaurants, Hair Braiding shops and fruit markets line the street. Reggae Music floats through it. I hope Rachel can tell me where to have good Caribbean food.
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There was more to check out in Prospect Heights, so I walked back west to Vanderbilt Avenue. A completely different world there. Kind of quieter version of trendy Park Slope. On Vanderbilt I picked up an ice cream in Ample Hills Creamery. I could choose between four kinds of cones and about 20 flavors of ice cream and sorbets. I had Mexican chocolate (with chili flakes in it) and Caribbean Banana. Gorgeous! Of course a drop of dark brown Mexican chocolate made it onto my freshly washed white blouse while I was checking out Unnameable Books across the street.

Flatbush Avenue is the main business street and leads up to Fort Greene. I walked up to the new and futuristic Barclay Center on Atlantic Avenue, where in the Atlantic Terminal Shopping Mall I realized that it was time to buy boots for the fall and winter.
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I am not in the mood to buy boots yet but it I wait until it starts to get cold the good ones will be sold out. And – omg – I will have to make a decision. What kind of boots should I buy. Will ankle boots do? Just comfortable ones for walking or will I need a pair of nice ones as well? What I saw at DSW was much cheaper than at home, so it would be reasonable buy several pairs. But there is still the luggage problem.

I took a train to Greenwich Village where I would meet Soh Ang to go to a free Comedy Show. I was early, so I sat down in Washington Square Park and watched the chess players there.
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The show was in a tiny and dark basement place and mainly featured young standup comedians who are looking for a start. It was quite funny and I was surprised that I understood a lot, even a lot of the jokes.

What I learned today:
All I need to know to open up a Laundromat.

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2 Responses to From Laundry to Comedy – via the Caribbean

  1. Meredith says:

    I had a brilliant idea a week ago. I had only a vague idea of where Greenpoint, Harlem and Crown Heights are and your walks, buses and subway trips are amazing but puzzling. Ta Da, get a map! Yesterday my map of the 5 Boroughs arrived and now I can travel along with you. I can plan my own visit to New York too.

    • Maria says:

      You are not the first one doing this! So maybe I should set up a deal with a mapmaker 🙂
      Or include Google maps with my traces on them in my blog. But I would have to learn how to do that first – and then it would take me a lot of time. So better my followers buy maps.

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