Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Trip "Home" to Brooklyn


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.


It was thrilling to see this part of Brooklyn's view of the World Trade Center One completed, complete with it's antenna making the building reach 1776 feet!


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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53 comments:

Pondside said...

It's such an odd feeling, isn't it - to see windows that once looked out from your rooms, to see the steps that you went up and down every day and the places that were part of your routine. I'm glad that Colorado has embraced you and you have embraced western life as you have - you are truly at home there now.

eileeninmd said...

Pat, I am so glad you had a wonderful visit back to your hometown..and I am sure your friends enjoyed seeing you again. I enjoyed the NYC photos and skyline. Just beautiful. Have a happy week ahead!

ellen b. said...

Loved all these photos, Pat! Beautiful!

Claudia said...

Beautiful posting, Pat. I do love how Brooklyn will always be a part of you but that your heart is now in Denver - with your loved ones. Great photo of the two of you! Picture perfect.

Betsy Brock said...

How fun to go back and visit! You captured some gorgeous pictures of the city!

We watched the Broncos! :)

Gigi said...

Although I am happy that you are now in CO with your loves, I ALWAYS LOVE YOUR NYC PICTURES.
in 2005 we moved from the Southern CA mess to a Northern A ranch, so i understand.

Sarah said...

Pat, I'm happy for you that you got to go back to visit. Your move out west was a huge step. It must feel very rewarding to know that CO is definitely home now for you. Love the bridge shots. I guess I never realized how beautiful the Manhattan Bridge is and that it perfectly frames the Empire State building. Amazing photo!

Pamela Gordon said...

Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos of your trip to Brooklyn. I love the bridge photos. You had a great visit back by the sound of it. I'm glad you know that home is where your heart is and that is now in Colorado. Have a blessed week.

myletterstoemily said...

As much as I love Colorado, I can understand
that there is no place like New York.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I've always loved your photos of the city and it's nice that you went back to visit. Love the photo of the two of you...you look so smartly dressed and stylish! We watched the Broncos win! What a great game! Hugs!

Barbara F. said...

So happy you enjoyed a quick visit back here. Your photos of the city are always just fabulous. xo

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Looks like you had a great whirlwind of a visit to NYC!!! I loved everything about this post . . . except for the Bronco comment! LOL!!! My beloved Pat's fell to them! Seriously, Denver did a good job today and they deserve to advance to the Super Bowl!

Happy New Year!!!

Daniela said...

What a charm that Brooklyn has, with your own photos it seems to be there with you!
I've never been in such a big city as New York, but I hope one day to have the opportunity to visit it, it's wonderful!
I am glad that you've decided to give yourself a period of relax among your old friends and the places where you have lived for so long, it usually helps the spirit!
Have a lovely week. xo
Dany

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Great pics Pat! Have fun rooting for the Broncos in the Super Bowl:@)

Old Kitty said...

My goodness but Manhattan Bridge is glorious!! It's stunning and evokes so much of my romanticised and imaginary NYC! LOL!

And that is my first ever view of the new World Trade Centre! With antennae! Fabulous!

Awwww so lovely to see you back in your old home town/city but as a tourist. You and hubby are looking amazing btw - the Colorado air and open spaces suits you both! Yay! take care
x

Sam Hoffer @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

How fun to go "home" and see it through new eyes. That hasn't happened for my SIL. She and my BIL moved from Mineola two years ago to be near us in NC and she still hasn't adjusted. She states loud and clear that she is & always be a New Yorker and still listens to NY radio in the evening.

Your photo of the Empire State building through the bridge is spectacular and could easily be on a postcard. I agree with Kitty above, the Colorado air suits you both well. Just look at the smiles on your faces. Great photo of you two.

Although we have no ties, we were pulling for Denver too.
Sam

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

The "having to pack to fly" really restricts the shopping, doesn't it? LOL! Love the photo of you and your husband. Yep, home is where the heart is! And, yay, Denver! I love Peyton Manning. ;) blessings ~ tanna

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

I know it feels strange to return and find "home" changed from what you remember.

I love that shot of you two and the empire state bldg.

Thanks for sharing.
Have a Happy Blue Monday.

LV said...

Thank you for this grand New York tour. It will be the only way I will ever get to see it. Looks like everyone had a fun time.

podso said...

I wondered if you had gone back to NYC. It's interesting to go back isn't it? Realizing it's not quite the same, and not home anymore, but fun to remember and enjoy old friends. It looks like you did a lot in your short visit! I'm glad you are so happy in your new place. Love that photo of the Bridge and Empire state building!

Ann said...

It's really funny how our previous house can seem "smaller" than we remember. That has happened to me a couple of times. How wonderful to see old friends and spend time with them. So glad you are enjoying Colorado and the Broncos. My son who lives there is still a KC Chiefs fan but his wife is a native Colorado girl and is a BIG Broncos fan. That will be some kind of Super Bowl party.
ann

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat, I always love seeing your photos, and seeing Brooklyn through your eyes. How fun, and what mixed emotions you must have felt on your first trip back to your hometown.

Neesie said...

Oh Pat that was a fantastic trip...thank you for taking me! ;D
I've never been to New York before but it is on our plan for the near future. Your photographs give such a great insight into the city.
I especially love the Empire State building framed by the Manhattan Bridge! Very clever and artistic.
And who'd have guessed I'm home by dinner time...just perfect :D
Happy Blue Monday to you

Lorrie said...

It's funny how quickly that feeling of "home" can change from one place to another. It's truly where the heart is.

Thanks for the photo tour of New York - such amazing buildings reaching to the sky. So nice to see a photo of you and your husband, too.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I love the shots of the bridge with the Empire State Building in the background. The new World Trade Center shot is very impressive, too! Looks like a wonderful trip, I enjoyed your photos. Yay Broncos!!

Maria Gagliano said...

Loved this. Nice seeing New York from a nonyorker's eyes.

Willow said...

It's always fun to visit a place where you've lived a long time but you don't now. You see everything with 'different eyes'. But it's still fun.

Kathleen said...

Glad you got to come home, and I arranged the balmy weather for you! Good thing it is not this weekend, we are bracing for another foot of snow Wed, then freezing, freezing, freezing! Hope we make it to gson's bday Sun., but if there is ice we won't be able to go.

Jim said...

terrific post.

ladyfi said...

Wonderful shots of Brooklyn and the bridge!

zeal4adventure.com said...

It always is nice to be able to visit and to reminisce a place you once called home. I did that too over the holidays. :) Wonderful shots, especially of the Manhattan bridge framing the Empire State building.

Bill Nicholls said...

Never been to NY let alone Brooklyn, looks like you had a great time

Marcia said...

Loved your photos!

Bonnie said...

Pat, It was enjoyable to hear about your trip to NYC and see the wonderful photos. I especially like the shot of the bridge with the empire State building in the background.

I am glad you enjoyed your friends and seeing your old neighborhood. That you are happy where you are now after living there for so long is a special blessing.

I look forward to your next post about "putting on the Ritz" in Manhattan.

Barb said...

What a great insider tour of Brooklyn, Pat. I'm sure glad that CO feels like home to you now! I especially love the Empire State framed by the bridge! Great shots of the bustling city.

Roz Corieri Paige said...

It must have been so nice for you to return to your beloved Brooklyn. I have never been there and want to go so badly just to experience all of the "Italian-ness" of it. Your photos of the new World Trade Center are gorgeous; I almost cried! And the photo of the beautiful bridge framing the Empire State Building is brilliant. Thank you for your photo tour of this special place, Pat. Hope you're having a blessed 2014 too.
Roz

chai-and-chardonnay.blogspot.com said...

Lovely post and I like to learn about Brooklyn...went there for the first time 2weeks ago but did not manage to find the place in Dumbo to take the amazing shot of the bridge as you did! Great!

Chel @ Sweetbriar Dreams said...

Hi, I've just popped over from Our World Tuesday and love your post. One day I plan to come over to your side of the 'pond' and see these places for myself, but in the meantime thank you for this amazing tour! x

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I'm so glad to hear that you weren't 'home-sick' seeing your old house. You were such a wonderful tour guide of Brooklyn and environs and now also in Colorado. How can you not love all of the sunshine there? Also, congrats to the Broncos! We were rooting for them :) The weather looked so nice during the game also.

lisa hermanson said...

Wonderful photos, although I hark from this area of the world, it all looked fresh to me.

Barbara said...

Your travel pictures are just the best, Pat! Thank you so much for all of your really interesting blog posts. You really know how to showcase the places you visit.

Tracy said...

Hi, Pat! Happy New Year! What fun to see about your trip... and catch up with you here. :o) We had a lovely time back in the US with my family. The New Year saw us ringing it in with colds though, and a kitty that wasn't well either... So feels just now we're really getting back into the swing of things. ;o) Wishing you & yours all the VERY BEST for 2014!

gracie1961 said...

Maybe for you NYC it's not home anymore, but I'd die to be back there! I left a big part of my heart in the Big Apple!

diane b said...

That must have been an exciting and nostalgic trip but you obviously know where home is now. Nice shot of you two in front of the bridge. Hope you didn't get the awful snowstorm there.

annie said...

Hi Pat!
They say you can't go home again, but it is sweet to do it once in a while.
It is amazing how we fit into the situations in which we find ourselves.
I enjoyed your posts about NY and now I am enjoying the Colorado posts just as much.

Karen Harvey Cox said...

Pat,
Oh, it must have been wonderful to be back in your home turf. I love all of your photographs and I wanted to thank you for your post on my sad day on Facebook. Moving is so difficult, but filled with adventure.

Now, I hope that you two arrived safely at home before the big storm in NYC.

Wishing you a lovely day.

karen

Karen Harvey Cox said...

Pat,
Oh, it must have been wonderful to be back in your home turf. I love all of your photographs and I wanted to thank you for your post on my sad day on Facebook. Moving is so difficult, but filled with adventure.

Now, I hope that you two arrived safely at home before the big storm in NYC.

Wishing you a lovely day.

karen

Donna said...

Hi Pat, Oh, I enjoyed all the wonderful photos. I imagine it was nice to see your old home, but it sounds as though you are truly at home in Colorado.
What an exciting trip!

Donna

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

We can never go home to San Diego without driving by the house where we raised our children and lived for the most years of our marriage. It was a good house and I wouldn't mind moving back in to it but oh how I am loving the adventures that leaving it made possible.

Kind of amazed at the hubbub going on after the NY gov said extreme conservative politicians that believe in prolife, or gun rights or traditional marriage have no place in NY. I can imagine what would have happened in the news if the gov of Utah had said politicians who are pro choice, anti gun and pro gay marriage had no place in Utah. There would have been a journalistic blood bath!

Sheila said...

I enjoyed reading about your trip back home. I was surprised that you didn't feel more homesick being back in Brooklyn but that only proves that you made the right choice to move to Denver when you did.
After all home is where your heart is - no wonder you're so happy in your new surroundings with your children and their families close by.

Cathy Keller said...

Aw you return to your roots in NYC I return to mine once year just to visit the glorious Rockies! Indeed, go Broncos!!! Have a grand weekend! Cathy

GailO said...

The skies were beautiful this day! Did you miss all the snow while you were here?

and congrats on that Broncos win:) They beat my Patriots fair and square!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

How wonderful to be able to go back...see the old sights, spend time with friends and return to your old neighbourhood. Nice pic of you two! Glad your team won!