My first flight on an airplane post-pandemic was this past May to see my son and daughter-in-law in Brooklyn, New York. I recall sitting on the airplane with tears in my eyes, grateful to finally be on an airplane and filled with anticipation of seeing these loved ones that I hadn’t seen in over a year and visiting a new place.
Walking around Brooklyn with my son on that first day was indeed like exploring a whole new world. I was conscious of the thing that normally catches my attention, the historic architecture. But I was also much more aware of the vibrant energy in the neighbourhoods. Perhaps this energy has always been there and so is nothing special to local residents, but to me it was intoxicating.
The noticeable number of young families out for a stroll. And does everyone have a cute dog? The little stacks of books left outside so many houses, saying “Take one”. The multitude of picnickers in the park. Neighbourhoods in bloom as spring buds turned to neon-green leaves and pink blossoms. It felt like the opening scenes of some movie musical!
As we walked along a main street, my son would point out the different shops and restaurants that he frequented. We went into his favourite butcher shop and ordered some slices of mortadella for a quick snack on a park bench (which brought us the attention of all those cute dogs!). He pointed out the wine shop where I had ordered them a gift certificate online for Christmas. He also highlighted an old-style Brooklyn bagel shop, his go-to Thai restaurant, the vegan ice cream place, the preferred taco joint, and a colourful little cafe that he said made authentic Italian cornetti (a sweeter version of a croissant). The next day when my husband arrived, we would partake of it all… and so much more!
This trip was filled with so much joy and positive energy, that I’m sure many paintings will come from it. Here’s the first: that Italian cafe with the delicious cornetti and lovely vibe!
For my first post-pandemic trip, I couldn’t have wished for a better experience (thanks J & E!) and I am now very much in love with Brooklyn!
It sounds like a wonderful neighbourhood and your painting is fabulous. I visited my family for the first time in two years last September and it was so great! I think we have come to appreciate each other more since the pandemic.
I agree! Seeing family and friends after such a long haul was special. Thanks for your kind words about the painting too!
Isn’t it amazing? Sounds like Park Slope maybe? I immediately feel at home there. Loved your story and your beautiful painting! I’m a big fan of Brooklyn too. And of painting it, so we are soul sisters! Cheers! Liz
Hi Liz! We did walk around Park Slope a fair bit and around Prospect Heights. Can’t wait to go back and find more to paint!
Prospect Heights specifically Vanderbilt Ave lived their 10 years. Unfortunately like everything most of the places have gone. Like woodwork the only soccer dedicated bar in Brooklyn. After they finished building the apts on dean and Vanderbilt Ave they raised all the rents a lot of business closed. Sad sign of the times for us here in Brooklyn but I’m glad you enjoyed it. That cafe means a lot to the friends I made at woodwork. We always bought an espresso after our match ended regardless if we won or lost. That painting brings back a lot of good memories of friends I made along the way.
I also live in a neighbourhood where new development is changing the community, and it’s inevitable that some of the community’s favourites won’t be part of the new face. I’m sketching as many as I can these days before they vanish or change. And I’m glad I got to see some of the older businesses, architecture and the charm that is still left on Vanderbilt Ave and in the neighbourhood. Thanks for your thoughtful comment!