Friday, April 20, 2012

Last Day in Brooklyn

My niece in NJ with Maya. I was at her birth 23 years ago. She has older twin sisters who are graduate students  at Columbia and Harvard. She is getting her PhD in physical therapy  and was in the middle of finals when we arrived. she found some time to play with Maya

The family (minus me) at the Polish Restaurant. Standing in the door is my nephew who flew in that day

Bay Ridge row houses near the restaurant

Bumper sticker in the neighborhood. Not everyone is Jewish

The sibs

Maya loves big shoes

Maya at McDonalds somewhere in the middle of PA on the way back

The Polish restaurant we ate at

Me panning the commercial district of  Bay Ridge on Third Avenue. Many years ago, we ran the NYC Marathon starting in Staten Island, crossing the Verranzo Bridge and then on to the parallel 4th Avenue

We are back now after 2 days of travel and 6 days of exploring NYC, NJ and Philly. I've been
 gone 37 out of the last 49 days and my house and yard reflect that. Currently I am waiting for 
Shanna to call me. She has turned her phone off. They probably got in in the middle of the night
 and are sleeping (after 11 am) but I worry after such a long trip with tired drivers. Update: She 
did call. all is fine but they were on the road for 17h. Tessa needs to be fed every 2-3 hours and
 the feedings take 1h. And it is 750 miles with 2 border crossings.

I didn't find time to run my usual distances on this trip but somehow I did find time to eat, too much
 at that. Not a good combo. I am trying to make up for it now and went for a long run in the cool 
air on the country road I like this morning.

On Wednesday, our last day of vacation, I did get up early to run in my brother's neighborhood
. As it was rush hour, I didn't want to stray too far. Unlike the sauna I had run in 2 days earlier
 almost leading to my collapse, it was cool especially since I had just put my sweaty clothes in
 a plastic bag forgetting to throw them in the wash.I ran near the Acela tracks, the fastest train
 in the US, running between Washington DC and Boston. I heard a train whoosh  by every 5
 minutes. Lots of people in his neighborhood work in Manhattan and can get to midtown in 30
 minutes. Hopefully one of these people will buy his house.

Once we thought the traffic cleared, back to Brooklyn. 48 miles by the odometer but it seems longer.Steve's sister's son had flown in from Seattle that morning, a red eye so he was plenty

Brooklyn is full of neighborhoods full of different ethnic groups. Steve, from age eleven, lived
 in Brighton Beach on the border of Coney Island. Brighton Beach was mainly Jewish but now
 is full of Russians so the signs are in Cyrillic letters. I think most of the Russians are secular 
Jews. His brother lives in a mainly Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, Midwood so no restaurants 
are open on Saturday and they are either dairy or meat but not both. There are many Italian neighborhoods usually adjacent to the Jewish ones. While we were there, we ate in the 
Gravesend, Bath Beach and Bensonhurst neighborhoods, the Italian neighborhoods. We
 bought rainbow cookies at different bakeries that just happen to have rhyming names, one
 on Avenue U and the other on Avenue X. One was excellent with plenty of marzipan in the
 batter (I love almonds), the other no marzipan so I won't go to that one again. We also
 bought tasty cannoli, very good, but the macaroons were dry and filled with coconut, 
not the moist almondy ones from the North End in Boston that I love.  Bay Ridge, where we
 went on Wednesday for lunch, is a mix of lots of groups. Remember Saturday Night Fever?
 We went to a Polish restaurant touted to be the best in NYC. It was very good but the food
 was quite different than the Polish restaurants they have in Detroit. Maybe an Ukrainian
 influence? I had tomato soup, which initially did not sound promising. Most of the soups had
 the dreaded (to me) potatoes in them but this was a tasty mix of dill, sour cream, noodles
 and tomatoes. Yum. Steve had sauerkraut soup, which contained pickles. Most people
 had blintzes and loved them. I went for various flavors of pirogi, mushroom, sauerkraut
 and cheese, with fried onions and sour cream. all bad for me but so tasty.
We spent the rest of the day chillaxin' at his brothers eating Italian sweets. They were all going
 to see Wicked on Broadway, which would have been fun but a pain to arrange. Listening to
 the traffic radio, we decided that there was no way we could go to Manhattan to leave
 without becoming mired in traffic so we had to go on the expensive but convenient bridge
 out stopping in North Jersey for food that Don'tae would not find so weird (he didn't want
 to even try Polish food).
Then yesterday, our 11 hour trip home. Maya tolerated this ride better than coming here. 
We stopped three times for her to run around. We went back a different way spending
 more time in Jersey going along the Delaware River for miles. Very pretty.

Below are photos of Maya at a park near my brother-in-law's
I finally added most of the photos from my trip from the last 4 or 5 posts.
Waiting now for Shanna's family to come here.

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