Sunday, March 9, 2008

You say baccala, I say baklava

Last year at Making Brooklyn Bloom, I was watching honey bees gathering the first nectar of the season. This year, well, needless to say, the rain it raineth. Late in the day, making my way through a mostly deserted BBG, I saw robins and grackles feasting on worms. In fact, the number of earthworms, or more appropriately, segments of earthworms, seen yesterday was I think a record.
It’s the cliché that keeps on giving, Thomas Wolfe’s “Only the Dead Know Brooklyn” : “It'd take a guy a lifetime to know Brooklyn t'roo and t'roo. An' even den, yuh wouldn't know all.” Turns out there are three Fort Hamilton stations on various lines of the subway. There sure is more Brooklyn than ever dreamed of in your philosophy, Horatio. I made my way to the outwash plain of the flatlands this morning, on the trail of an Italian specialty store at the suspiciously Queens-like address of 1214-20 60th St, D. Coluccio & Sons. From the map, Ft Hamilton was the closest stop. But that was the N train. I got on the D train, and that Ft. Hamilton station turned out to be at 45th & New Utrecht. Borough Park, where a glimpse of knee is considered quite shocking (but let’s hear it for the last of the knickerbockers!). So walked underneath the elevated on New Utrecht, hung a right on 12th Avenue, lined with two story row houses and other orthodoxies. Not much of the old Calabrese neighborhood left down on 60th, but I did purchased some salted anchovies, salt cod, olives, and sausage. From the elevated, the Polly-O String Cheese sign had been edited with a “StringUmm” graffito. Came back on the D, which was full of Chinese, Deaf Russians, and several people confused by the time change.
The early afternoon, bright and windy, still beckoned, so I went to Dumbo. From the Promenade, I noticed that the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corp., (another of these god-damn state operating authority boondoggles; it’s office is in Manhattan; figures; and ain't it cute how it seems to be hiding behind the BBPConservancy?), had gotten things off to a symbolic start by cutting down more than twenty trees along Furman St. Down the hill, I went into the Melville House store at 145 Plymouth, where the two head honchos were having a rough day of it. The “Open” door was locked, their cash register was bollixed, and the female half said, this is what happens when you leave the bosses in charge. They have some interesting events coming up...

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