Got up with the roosters, pulled on myriad layers of wool and fur, and bustled down to the coffee shop to swig Americanos with my Muppet critics, who sorted out all my problems, bada bing, bada boom. So bolstered, I ventured to Red Hook while it was early enough to fetch my Fairway Thanksgluttony with less fuss than blunderbuss. Indeed, the bagels were still hot, the aisles still relatively unfettered, and I breezed through so quickly there was even time to flirt with the cute families already underfoot, not to mention Lady Liberty, who waved like a proud mama from across the waterway. Driving home I followed the East River as the sun danced upon its big-wind crests, and I thought: Sweet Brooklyn, you really are my heart.
Lonely Coney Island on the first day of November. The seagulls rule the school; the beach is shockingly swept; the borscht and blintzes are there for the taking. We remove what litter we find; make wishes and shyly feed them to the sea. The wind whips around us with gusto; the sun dips in and out of sight; the rides stand still like dogs awaiting unreliable masters. In Brighton Beach we find half-sour pickles, caviar, black bread, and, finally, prune chocolates, the candy forever in my grandparents’ blue dish. The Proustian madeleines of my wilderness of a childhood, writ large in a Russian’s lady hand.