Like everyone else in the northeast, I have been aggressively deluding myself this weekend that winter has retreated permanently. I didn't go so far as to get a pedicure - which is as good as tempting Old Man Winter, so far as I'm concerned - but I am a blister casualty.
Well worth it, of course...that spring exhilaration puts me in mind of the days before I was medicated! I had a brunch date with Baby Fanny, who is six months now, adorable, very intense, prone to moaning and groaning and growling, and was wearing a miniature pair of skinny jeans. It was strange going into Brownstone Brooklyn...it feels like it's changed so much since I lived there, or maybe it's just living in Bed-Stuy that makes the contrast sharp. Not to play the moral superiority card here, as I'm the very living definition of gentrification (albeit for purely monetary reasons!) but there is something disconcerting about a pleasure garden where one can't find function without a thick, organic-sugar coating of pricey form. There are, on the stretch where I used to live, now no fewer than two coffee bar/bakeries, a New American locavore restaurant, an organic market, two vintage/art shops and a fancy bicycle store. (Part of my chagrin comes form the fact that I wouldn't have half minded a few of these amenities!) We got breakfast at a happening little takeout gourmet shop of the steel-cut-oats and Greek-yogurt varietal, and it took ages, what with the throngs of Times-toting joggers, dogs named Django, toddlers named Django, and the occasional hipster. Fanny's dad, Rick, told me it's now impossible to get two eggs on roll, with ketchup, in the neighborhood.
(As to our corner of creation: there are, a few doors down, a passel of sure-nuff bohos, a commune of musicians who picked up wholesale from New Orleans and occupy a ramshackle brownstone (which lamplight shows to have been decorated along standard hippie lines.) On occasion they play New Orleans-style music, dirges and such, and it took me a while to decide how I felt about them. I've come down on the side of "enthusiastic love" and am equally sure I never want to break bread (surely made sans recipe, if not 'scavenged') within their walls.)
The day being fine, I decided to do the whole circuit and marched through Park Slope, which is what it is, and for those who don't know, rather like the above, but with an older clientele and some lesbians mixed in. There were many stoop sales and giveaway piles and by the time I'd reached the park, I was laden down with a stockingette 60's doll in a peasant costume; a plaster mermaid; a milk-glass jar; a patchwork pillow; a potato masher; and, for Mirah, a little china dog. I also picked up a vintage girl scout dress, and quickly swapped out my jeans and blouse for coolness. By this time two and half hours had passed (I have a habit of sitting in church gardens and staring intently at friezes for hours at a time) so I bought a picnic of salami, some Cowish cheese from Alsace, a baguette and an eggplant spread (those yuppies know their charcuterie!) and met Slim. Today, just to square the circle, we're attempting the Brooklyn Flea, which may well prove impassible. It looks fair again. The block is unusually lovely, shaded by cherry trees (which are giving forth their characteristic musty smell) and packed with tulips and daffodils and, just facing, a really pretty yellow tulip magnolia. Last night there were at least three barbecues going on; the back yard that fronts ours was ablaze with tiki torches. This bodes well.