Brooklyn, Brooklyn Take Me In

Wild beasts in Williamsburg.

Does anyone else feel like it should still be February? Come on 2010, take your time. Anyway, this past week I showed Bron, my visiting friend from Australia, some of my favorite East Villages sites. Which of course meant coffee shops, cupcakes, and random strolling. I’m always up for exploring on my own, but it’s fun to have someone else to share in the joys of graffiti in abandoned lots and dogs will funny faces. We also had a fairly epic music exchange, and I’m excited to work through the 900 unfamiliar songs. There are few things I love more than finding new music.

Mr. T in Williamsburg.

We met up again in Thursday, this time in Williamsburg, where we again had coffee and toured the outdoor street art, including my beloved Space Invaders. I guess I’m slowly creating my visitor tour of Brooklyn, and it’s centered around caffeine and vandalism. I’m sorry, there are no vineyards or Valrhona chocolate shops here! Although I hear that it is possible to buy a Valrhona shake and donut somewhere in this city, but those things have the potential to melt my brain.

Video installation in DUMBO.

From Williamsburg, we walked down to Greenpoint and got the train to DUMBO. We watched the sun set behind the Brooklyn Bridge, which never gets old. I like how the lights slowly turn on everywhere and the sky becomes pink. We had dinner and drinks in the neighborhood, and happened to pass this video installation that seemed to be of subway tunnels. Then we said goodbye on the subway platform, which is exactly how we had said goodbye in Berlin, now that I think about it. I get sad sometimes when I think about how spread out how my friends are. I guess it is wonderful to have friends to visit while traveling, but I would love it if they all lived on my block and we could drink gin and tonics on my roof while watching more of those subtle sunsets.

Park Slope intersection, site of an air disaster.

I celebrated three different birthdays on Friday night, so I guess I am making friends here as well. On Saturday, I got yet another Paul Auster book from the library (I’m officially obsessed) and then did a bit of investigation and visited the intersection of Seventh Avenue and Sterling Place in Park Slope, where an airliner crashed in 1960. I went thinking there would be some obvious signs of damage or at least a plaque, but there was nothing except new condominiums and people wondering why I was staring at the buildings. I did end up writing about it for Atlas Obscura, if you are interested in disastrous history.

The only hook echo in Queens.

That afternoon, I went with friends up to Astoria, where we visited an Italian butcher shop (a little too authentic for this vegetarian’s sensibilities) and walked the busy streets. We passed this UHAUL truck, which is the only one I’ve ever seen with an Oklahoma theme. I guess my state could be represented with worse than doppler radar and tornadoes. Although it would have been better if it had Toby Keith’s face and the words “I Love This Twister.” Or Will Rogers lassoing the tornado. I’m not sure who to direct these suggestions to. On the way back to the Dark Slope, I stopped in the real Park Slope for drinks at a friend’s apartment. I should calculate how many miles I travel in a week with the train and walking. I imagine I could have made it to Australia by now.

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