Sunday, May 25, 2008

how cool is this?

yesterday was the 125th birthday/anniversary of the brooklyn bridge. when i woke up and saw a picture-perfect sunshiny blue sky day, i thought it would be cool to be a part of that somehow, so my fiance and i took a train downtown and walked across to the brooklyn side and had lunch in an irish bar. and then we went next door and got some pretty amazing hot chocolate. the bridge was densely crowded, to say the least. of course i forgot my camera but everyone around us seemed to have one. they would stop abrubtly to snap an impromptu group shot, as though there was absolutely no one behind them or around them, and that - along with the bicycles, the baby strollers, and running children - created these sudden massive snarls that almost undid my patience.

and foreigners, foreigners everywhere! i mean, sure—in nyc, everyone is from someplace else. if you spend any time at all in the city, you get used to being surrounded by people who aren’t necessarily native speakers but this was borderline wacky. oh, well. it’s the nature of the beast. as the dollar weakens, there will be less of an incentive to skip town for a vacation and more european tourists on the scene in the most mundane moments of my nyc life.

on the way, i called my 92 year old father to tell him all about it. he told me about the waterfall in the east river. (hm. something else to check out.) at the top of the bridge, they gave away fake old timey looking certificates that declared your loyalty and love to the brooklyn bridge – i thought it would be cute to send that to my father, that he’d get a kick out of it.

there was also a brass band that played new orleans style jazz, and so inside of all the aforementioned stop and start confusion, there was a spirit of revelry and merriment, and an audience for the music – people formed a fairly thick half circle around the musicians to enjoy them and automatically created a dance floor, though only one couple actually took the bait. they were dancing like they were drunk. or high. or both. i remember the woman wore a little purple pointy “happy birthday to me” looking hat that was strapped to her head, laced with purple fringe. it was pretty obvious that they were as much a part of the show as the band was. ew. we kept it moving.

later, after pointedly deciding to take the train home, we impulsively walked back across the bridge to manhattan and found the #2 on william street.

my reward? i ran into some people i hadn’t seen in ages: ola, this really lovely african woman that everyone mistakes me for, as well as her husband and her little girl, whom i held in my arms when she was about 2 weeks old. she’s 6 now! (that kind of freaked me out…) and aisha, a harlemite/grad student who’s phone number i keep losing.

all in all, i’m glad that in some small slight way, i was a part of history. and yes, i wish i’d taken a picture of the bridge—although it was ultracool that ola’s husband took a picture of the two of us.

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