Monday, February 06, 2006
The Verrazanno Bridge harbor from the roof of our old building in Bay Ridge, 1/11/04 - a week before the little monkey made his appearance. Unlike this year, the weather was so cold, the harbor looked almost frozen.
Braving the rain and yuck on Saturday, we ventured out for a trip back to the old 'hood in Brooklyn. Our mission, drop off the monkey with Grandma H and meet up with friends for a late lunch. Bess, our trusty silver minivan, carried her load with grace - two hungry thirty-somethings, one baby, one dog and enough gear to open a trendy baby and/or dog themed boutique that could rival any I've shopped at.
The car ride was a breeze, the monkey dozed off for awhile, and we met up in Bay Ridge to show off the little guy to old friends. After that, the monkey was unceremoniously dropped off in Gerritsen Beach, along with furball, to have lunch with Grandma and a playdate with Charlotte. From one end to another, the monkey got a mini tour of the Brooklyn nabes, albeit facing backwards in his car seat. But the scenes from Ocean Parkway, to Park Slope, to the BQE where just as I remembered it, even with the downpour.
When you want a burger, there's no better place than Bonnie's Grill - we've known for years that it rocks, but nice to see it's appreciated by others as well.
Relishing the rare child-free moment, we thought we'd grab some coffee before heading out. Instead the old monkey re-enacted his own one man version of the McDonald's infamous "I can't believe how hot the coffee was!" incident at Ozzie's, a Park Slope coffee bar. Trying to balance a hot beverage in a flimsy container and that piece of white chocolate mousse cake was, in hindsight, not a good idea. Hot coffee splashed painfully across his bare wrist, and cafe patrons watched with the langorous gaze of seasoned don't-get-involved new yorkers. If there are any representatives from Ozzie's currently reading, We reserve our right to seek damages in a court of law.
Driving through Brooklyn on a cold and wet day is not the best time to appreciate what the city has to offer. Grey and soaked was the dominant theme of the afternoon, but despite the lousy weather putting a damper on things, I was still reminded of why I miss Brooklyn. It's tough to sum up what makes it such a great place, and every ex-Brooklynite who looks back with nostalgia on his or her time there has their list of favorites. Here's mine, in no particular order:
Walking the furball along Shore Road with the Verrazano Bridge just off in the distance;
Thursday night sushi;
Smith Street restaurant row;
the off leash dog hours at Prospect Park;
Bagel Boy bagels;
Cebu - a great neighborhood restaurant for those nights you just didn't want to cook;
Muses - a great place to hang pre baby;
The Gate - a greatplace to hang post baby, and dog friendly too;
Century 21 browsing time after work for that random impulse buy on discount;
complaining about the predictably bad service at Paneantico's;
and most of all, of course, our friends, with whom we have shared both the good times and the bad. Thanks for spending the afternoon with us.