My husband and I took a quick trip to New York City last week, just a few days over the year anniversary of our move from Brooklyn, New York to a suburb of the Denver area of Colorado. My husband had been back many times this past year, because he is still technically working for his NYC based company, but this was a first trip back for me. We were picked up on a rainy Saturday evening at LaGuardia Airport by good friends, and stayed the weekend with our friends, enjoying their wonderful hospitality. Sitting and chatting and laughing by their living room fireplace that Saturday night we felt as if we had never left Brooklyn. It was so nice to catch up on things we couldn't squeeze into erratic phone calls and e-mails.
The next afternoon my friends drove us by our old home in Brooklyn so we could take a peek. I thought I'd be more nostalgic when I saw my house, but it definitely didn't feel like home to me any longer. It looked smaller than I remembered and the garden was not as tidy as the way we had kept it. I did hear from former neighbors, through their Christmas cards, that the new family enjoys our old home, so I'm glad about that. The neighborhood looked the same--not surprisingly after being away for only one year--but the feeling of "HOME" was definitely not there any longer.
We drove down the main thoroughfare of Brooklyn--Flatbush Avenue -- almost from one end to another, and reminisced about our lives in Brooklyn.
It was fun to see the iconic Brooklyn landmarks again, both old and new. The new are Barclay's Center--the new powerhouse home of the Brooklyn Nets, and numerous concerts and entertainment events, and the many high rise co-op and condo apartment buildings, rising up like blades of grass in spring in this now chic borough of New York City. Among the old sights was Erasmus High School, seen in the middle of the collage above. The original school on this location was founded in 1786 as a private institution of higher learning named for the Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus. The original building still stands in a quadrangle in the middle of the campus. The school was turned over to the public school system in 1896. As the borough's population grew so did the physical structure of the school, which grew in many different phases. The high school has many famous alumni -- Mae West, Barbara Stanwyck, Eli Wallach, Mickey Spillane, Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, among many others. The academic performance of the school declined in the 1990's and the school was reorganized in 1994 into five different smaller high schools, each with their own administration. The spire of the Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church, can be seen in the upper right on the collage above. The first church located here was built in 1654, by order of Governor Stuyvesant. The present edifice was constructed from 1793-98. The next landmarks are the Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch in Grand Army Plaza, seen in the upper left of the collage above, and the large central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, where I spent many hours over the years, seen in the lower right of the collage. All of these sights brought back wonderful memories of a borough with a long and illustrious history!
We turned off Flatbush Avenue on Tillary Street, and drove towards Cadman Plaza West and the Brooklyn Bridge.
We drove onto DUMBO neighborhood where we were lucky to find a parking spot. I could not resist taking a photo of this iconic view of the Empire State building framed by the Manhattan Bridge.
We went shopping in a West Elm Market. As you can see from the small shopping bag my husband carried out, compared to that of ours friends, I practiced great restraint at the store because I knew I had to take back what I bought in a small suitcase--smile
I was really tempted by all the wonderful Brooklyn memorabilia in the store, but had a good chuckle at the bag of "Brooklyn Compost" in the clearance section. Who would ever believe Brooklyn dirt would one day be offered for sale? Brooklyn has really come up in the world!
My husband and I decided to pose for a bridge photo!
We stopped at Jacques Torres for hot chocolate drinks and walked around DUMBO until the glow of the Empire State building lit the early evening sky. It was so much fun to spend a lovely day with good friends and enjoy a place we love. Brooklyn will always be my hometown, and a place that will always be very special to us, but home is really where the heart is, and that home is in Colorado now.
Join me next post as I'll show you what we did in Manhattan on our quick visit--we were "putting on the Ritz"!
As a resident of Colorado I must also take this opportunity to congratulate the Denver Broncos who became the American Football Conference Champions today! On to the Superbowl! Go Broncos!
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