Brooklyn

Snow, then rain, and lots of truck traffic accompanied me on the drive from Hartford to Brooklyn. There was little to see as I climbed over the Whitestone Bridge into Queens and headed to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, but I was undeterred. I’ve liked Brooklyn ever since I went there the first time in the summer of 1974. I was twelve and convinced two red-headed pals(without our mothers permission) to ride our one-speed bikes across the river to a movie theater on the west side of town to see The Lords of Flatbush. I don’t remember the plot, but I do remember being hooked by Brooklyn. The congestion, the noise, and the accent had me at the first scene. Today was no different. As soon as I was on Flatbush Avenue, I felt my adrenaline rush, and I couldn’t wait to be apart of the vibe.

My first thoughts went to getting a slice of pizza, but I quelled my desire to take take a few photos of the Peter and Willie statue which honors Ezra Jack Keats’ Snowy Day characters. Sometimes I think I could recite that book by heart and I haven’t had a preschooler in over ten years. The sun began to come out when I headed up the steps into the Brooklyn library, a massive structure next to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. The walls of the children’s section is covered in quotes from books, many from my list. A librarian I spoke with shared the names of a couple of her favorite authors’, Virginia Hamilton and Jacqueline Woodson.

Before driving out of Brooklyn, I made a quick stop to visit with the daughter of a Columbus friend who is working at a publishing house. It’s always good to chat with a fellow book lover, especially one you used to read to aloud. Leaving Brooklyn over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, I was pleased that after so many trips to Manhattan during our years of living in New Jersey, I had driven in the four other boroughs today skipping that little island entirely.

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