Who said you can never go home again? Well today I did just that. While my daughter attended the umpteenth Bat Mitzvah service of the season, I wandered around Brooklyn Heights – not exactly my old stomping grounds, but at least a semi familiar part of the beloved borough where I was born and raised. Since I knew I was going to be spending a few hours on my own, I tweeted a few Brooklyn experts for advice and within minutes, Liz Gumbinner, Nicole Feliciano and Anna Fader offered up a list of suggestions of where and how to spend my day.
Morning Jo at the Vineapple coffee shop – Liz suggested my first stop should be at this hip cafe on Pineapple street that’s populated with lots of artsy writer types. The place is totally cozy, has wifi (the password is conveniently plastered on one one of walls), comfy couches, tables and board games. I ordered a latte with skim milk, whipped out my iPad and read the latest edition of the New York Post from cover to sports section.
A stroll along the promenade – After I finished my coffee and two toddlers usurped my
Brooklyn Bridge (Photo credit: Akibubblet)
spot on the couch,I left Vineapple and made my way to the promenade – a picturesque pathway that I still remember visiting when I was a teen. I took a stroll along the walk and as I gazed out into the East River, I saw a handful of people kayaking. Wait, what? This is so not the Brooklyn I remember well – it was soooooo clean!
English: Looking east across Flatbush Avenue and down Avenue U at Kings Plaza on a sunny afternoon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A trip down memory lane…I couldn’t help myself, but after I made Becca take a few photos from her phone of the outside of my old house, I told a man who looked at us like we were nuts that I grew up there and he just waved and smiled. A few minutes later, a woman came outside with her son and dog and I once again gushed that she was living in my childhood home. It turned out she was the person who purchased the home from my parents 13 years ago and still remembered them. She then invited us inside and I couldn’t wait to see my old room. What I found totally strange was that the entire house seemed so much smaller than I remember it. My room no longer had that Laura Ashley style purple floral wallpaper and lavender carpet I had picked out as a teen. Our old den looked different without the shag carpet and my dad’s favorite brown recliner, but the dining and living room still looked familiar since Mom had left some of our furniture behind.
Cruising past my hangouts…Paerdegat Athletic Club, South Shore High School – which has since been boarded up and closed down, the Arch Diner, Ralph Avenue and Kings Plaza, while I drove down Ralph Avenue, I asked Becca to take a few more pix so I could remember our special day and the fact that I probably won’t be back again anytime soon.
Final Stop…Original Pizza! If you grew up in Brooklyn then there are two things we are passionate about. Our bagels and our pizza. Maybe it’s something in the water, but all I can say is there is nothing that quite compares to a slice of Brooklyn pizza. And so, I treated my daughter to her first taste of Original Pizza and then ordered a pie for my husband. And then we were on our way.
oing to have to fight for it since he wants to live there too.