Brooklyn Revisited

There would be many reasons to visit Brooklyn again. So many. The one that brought me back to Brooklyn today was the Brooklyn Historical Society. It caught my interest because I had come across so many photos marked with “Courtesy of Brooklyn Historical Society” in my guide books. It had been closed for renovation when I last stayed in Brooklyn, so I had to come back for a visit later. Another reason was that I had missed to have a cheesecake at Junior’s – the home of New York Cheesecake.

When I opened my window this morning an icy cold came creeping in. Shoshannah reported 25° Fahrenheit – that’s -3° Celsius. An icy wind made it feel much colder. My weather forecast said it feels like -12°C. I put on my warmest sweater and wrapped my scarf twice around my neck. When I stepped outside in the early afternoon the icy air bit me nevertheless. I longed for my UGGs, my woolen coat and a thick scarf to wrap in. All of them are at home. It’s so much easier to cope with a cold winter day when you have the appropriate equipment. But this way saying goodbye to New York in just two weeks will maybe turn out a little bit easier.

Brooklyn is far from the Upper West Side but getting there is quite easy on the 2 or 3 train. From 96th Avenue to Borough Hall there are just 9 stops. So it didn’t take me long to get there.
The Brooklyn Historical Society is currently showing three exhibitions: New York City Landmarks, Documenting Sandy and Inventing Brooklyn. The landmark photographs were interesting because I recognized a lot of buildings at once but found some that I had never heard of. Documenting Sandy showed impressive photos by professionals as well as amateurs. Inventing Brooklyn however was a bit disappointing. It showed old Brooklyn history, like material about the battle of Brooklyn, a tiny bit of immigrant history by just some audio clips but nothing about ist more recent development and how Brooklyn became the rising star and creative hub it is today.
The museum is small and its galleries are small. Most of the second floor is occupied by its main treasure, the impressive library. As the library is closed on Sundays I could only have a glimpse through the door.

Having finished the museum I passed Fulton Mall towards Junior’s at the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb Avenues. People were still sitting at lunch there. I came for coffee and cheesecake. I got the original cheesecake. Plain cheesecake without anything on it. It was not cheap, but it was a big slice and it was exactly like cheesecake should be. High and firm but not dry. Not too much vanilla to make it bitter. Nothing in it. Just cheese. It was so good. In fact it was much better than I had expected.

I got off at Union Square and was surprised again that I still come across things I never saw. There is a wall in the subway station where the tiles carry tags with the names of the victims of 9/11. I passed this wall so many times but never noticed the names.
I took a 2 train to 72nd Street and walked home 32 blocks on Amsterdam Avenue to check out dinner options there. I felt like Indian food today and found Swagat at 79th Street that looked quite pleasant. I made a mental note. At Garden of Eden, another lovely Supermarket – yes, they can be lovely – I grabbed a bag of mandarines and a halfgallon of apple cider, hoping hot apple cider might help to cope with the cold.

At dinner time I put on an extra layer (leggings underneath my pants) before I went out again and took the train down to 79th Street. The restaurant was pretty full but a little table for me was available. I had Mulgutwanni Soup of lentils and herbs and chicken malai kebab from the Tandoori. The meat was marinated in yoghurt and incredibly tender. I should have ordered a vegetable dish with it because it was just the meat with rice and a bit of lettuce and onions. No sauce. I ate it with the spicy cilantro sauce served with the thin and crispy bread. It turned out to be a good match.

What I learned today:
Too cold to learn anything – brain frozen 😦

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