Monday, May 30, 2011

The start

So we landed at JFK safely and in an incredibly good mood. That soon changed when we texted my sister to let her know we'd arrived - early. She was on her way but soon after sent a message to say they had a major petrol (gas in American) leak and were waiting for the cops, fire engines, etc.

We got a cab to my mum's apartment as she had arrived a few hours earlier and my sister had the keys to our apartment.

After a brief wait during which fatigue crept up on us slowly but surely (it was almost midnight local time so god only knows what time our time) Julia and Marvin arrived and we were off to our temporary home. (BTW apart from it being a major pain in the bum they were both fine, it was just one of those annoying, unavoidable accidents.)

The apartment is cool. It's in an old newspaper building which has been converted. Big rooms with soaring ceilings, exposed pipework. Funky mix of eclectic retro furniture. The original of our Pegasus (this is where I got the idea for ours, except this one is four times the size) hangs above the leather sofa.

Showers and bed time followed but our internal body clocks were totally stuffed so we couldn't sleep even though we were utterly exhausted. Finally the children went to sleep and I went off sometime around 3:00am.

Jason woke me at 9:00am and I felt amazingly good. Getting the kids up was difficult but finally we were ready to head off to brunch and to meet Marvin's mum and dad.

We walked through our part of Brooklyn and it is what I love in a neighbourhood. Wide tree-lined streets, interesting old buildings, a mish-mash of shops and businesses. Our brunch cafe was a welcoming combination of hip and earthy, our table in the courtyard surrounded by buildings casting cool shadows amongst the tables. Great food and laid back service added up to a wonderful first meal in NY.

[Yo, I've now eaten grits. It's like polenta, yummy. Nothing like I imagined. Tick of another American cultural mystery unravelled.]

Then we started walking... my favourite part of any holiday. Just walking, absorbing the atmosphere, the sights, sounds and smells.

We made our way to Prospect Park, a fabulous huge space, much like our Centennial or Bicentennial Parks. Grass, trees and lots of people having a great time on a warm weekend day. There were families playing and picnicking, groups of friends playing with frisbees and all sorts of ball games, lots of dogs, bikes and joggers. Just a really happy atmosphere.

More walking and we ended up back at mum's apartment. Then we headed back to the bus stop and back to our part of Park Slope. A goodbye to Jules and Marvin, who were headed to collect dad from the airport, and then a bit of shopping and we came home for a rest.

We probably should not have tempted fate by taking the kids out one more time for a play at the playground across the road and then some dinner but we did. The kids fought over where to eat, not because either of them truly cared but because they were both over tired and ratty and driving parents nuts is obviously what you do when you're tired and ratty.

After a quick and painful Chinese dinner we dragged them home whereby Little Miss M promptly took herself off to bed without a word, followed shortly by Big Jay. Now Will is watching Funniest American Videos and I'm blogging. The weariness is setting in and I think it won't be long before I'm in bed myself.

One thing I've learnt is that Brooklyn is not a suburb, which is what I had believed. It's a city in itself. So saying you are going to Brooklyn is like saying you are going to Sydney, you could be going to Bondi or Penrith.

More Brooklyn sights and good food tomorrow.

1 comment:

Jules said...

Love this! Love being down the road (ish) and reading your updates! See you at 10 x