Brooklyn, In Steps


In her introduction, Emily wrote that I have a talent for putting random healthy things on a plate and making it look really good. The first part, at least, is true, but anyone can do it, really, and it’s not a skill I’m particularly proud of (also, not photogenic). Instead, I’ll be doing walks, along with a playlist or two.
Some of my earliest memories involve walks, usually on the Wellesley College Campus, where I would shove my brothers into mud puddles (“muddygush,” we called them), and cheat at poohsticks, and wheedle my mother into pushing me in the sky blue swing that was forever a bit too big for me, so’d have to hold very tight to the scratchy rope, tight enough to give me rosy burns that I brandished, triumphant, at my brothers.
Mostly, though, we were driven, and when I finally passed my license test, I drove. I hated it, hated throttling through the highways, hated backing up, hated parking, hated being pulled over and having to flirt with odious policemen to avoid being ticketed. My senior year, though, two things happened: my classmates voted me “worst driver,” and I got into NYU, which meant, for all intensive purposes, that I’d never have to drive again.
Because New York is a walking city, a walker’s city. You can walk anywhere, in any direction, and your only impediments will be rivers and the harbor.
I’ve done a lot of walking in Manhattan, though rarely above Central Park North, but it wasn’t until this year, when I moved from Soho to Cobble Hill, that I began to walk around Brooklyn. My impression of Brooklyn before had been confined to Williamsburg, and had consisted of a mismash of images pilfered from A Tree Grows In Brooklyn–vats of pickles, lecherous scrap collectors, featherbeds heaved out of windows, gypsies and monkey men– and populated solely by the hipster kids I knew who lived there (It turned out I was wrong on both accounts. Williamsburg has many more Mexican restaurants than pickle shops, and pseudo dive bars have replaced gypsies and monkey men as sources of entertainment. Also, Hasidim live there alongside the hipsters, and the two groups do not get along.). But anyways, my knowledge of Brooklyn, its neighborhoods and parks and people, is growing, if slowly, and I’m hoping to share it with you, as this is a blog for the curious, as well as the cooks. I know this is rambly, and I haven’t even given you a walk yet–but here’s a taste of the first one. I hope you come back for a second helping.

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