It’s been just a day over a week since I flew back to Brooklyn from Oklahoma, but it seems like ages. Maybe because it’s just so hard to imagine being in Oklahoma when I’m in Brooklyn, just as it’s hard to imagine Brooklyn when I’m in Oklahoma. It’s almost like going to another country. I sometimes feel like people are speaking another language here and for the first time in my life I get accused of “having an accent,” even though I’m pretty sure I have the most generic American accent possible. Anyway, I’ve been readjusting to the cold weather walking and getting back in my routine. I’ve actually made myself run every day since Saturday, despite the fact that it was so cold my iPod stopped working. I didn’t even know that was possible.
As I mentioned before, my new running route is around the perimeter of Green-Wood Cemetery. However, as jogging isn’t allowed inside the cemetery grounds, I hadn’t been inside until last week. There had been a light dusting of snow, although most of it was gone by the time I went out into the cold. Absolutely no one else was there, probably because it was below freezing and people don’t tend to visit cemeteries on weekday afternoons.
Despite how miserable this lion looks, Green-Wood Cemetery is a lovely place. I recently found out the area I live in is sometimes called Greenwood Heights, referring the its proximity to the cemetery, which is a little more specific than South Park Slope. Green-Wood Cemetery has existed since 1838 and its 478 acres hold around 600,000 departed New Yorkers, including Jean-Michel Basquiat and Leonard Bernstein. It was also the site of the Battle of Brooklyn during the Revolutionary War, which was the first major combat after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
While it’s not as popular with the tourists as it once was, Green-Wood Cemetery still gets its share of visitors. Apparently I missed the colony of monk parakeets that live in the Gothic entrance, descendants of someone’s escaped pet. I took a picture of the gate a while ago, when the grass was greener, that you can see on my flickr.
From the top of the cemetery, there’s a view of the Manhattan skyline. It’s hard not to notice that the tall, column-style headstones look rather like the skyscrapers.
This Monday, I attended the opening of “Downtown Pix” at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery. It’s a really fascinating exhibit of photography from the New York downtown scene from the 1960s to 80s. Tomorrow, my friend Cecilia and her brother are coming for a New York visit, and I’m looking forward to a tour of the best NYC cupcakes.