Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Broken Land

Scenes from Saturday

SBG and I had a lunch date this weekend. Destination: Greenpoint, Brooklyn, home of a large Polish-American community (my people!) and plenty of places for sampling pierogies, our favorite Polish food.

It had been awhile since I’d been to Brooklyn. Early December, in fact, if I remember correctly. It occurred to me that at this time last year I was still living in Brooklyn. Weird! Time passes so fast, and yet my days as a Brooklynite seem a lifetime ago.

I took the 1-train to the B-train, switched to the F-train, walked up some stairs, down some stairs, and transferred to the L-train. I rode the L-train headed towards Brooklyn, exited at the first stop across the river, walked half a block, then realized I had no idea where I was nor where I was going.

So I asked a friendly long-haired stranger, who seemed to be the reincarnated George Harrison, “Which way to Nassau Ave.?” He stopped and thought about my question – really thought about it – before giving detailed directions.

I set off down Bedford Ave (“About a 7-minute walk,” George Harrison had told me), side-stepping slow-moving hipsters, clad in skinny jeans and talking on cell phones. I passed McCarren Park, which was packed with people and their dogs, all soaking up the sun.

On the other side of McCarren is the neighborhood of Greenpoint, and that’s where I met up with SBG. We left the sun and settled inside a restaurant that resembles your grandmother’s kitchen – assuming your grandmother used plastic tablecloths and mismatched china and kept vases of dusty silk flowers sitting about.

We ordered Hungarian Pie, three kinds of pierogies, cucumber salad, and Polish lemon soda.

And then we had a sour-cream-induced heart attack.

Or, very nearly did. Polish food: it’s some serious business.

Afterwards we went for a stroll through the neighborhood – past stores decorated for Easter, past a statue of Pope John Paul II, past bakeries selling Polish jelly donuts (Serious. Business.), past a tattoo parlor, a spa, a bookstore, and back to the park.

You know what? It's hard to be in a bad mood when you're in good company, feeling the sun on your face, and full of pierogies.

Thanks, SBG, for sharing a spring Saturday with me!