Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Revisiting America

It's a wonderful town.  I've been before, but not quite like this.  To know we're here for thirty days!
First things first.  We rode and rode to find our apartment, we're in Brooklyn, on Madison Street ( not Avenue), in a black neighborhood, thousands  of brownstones, ours #395.  We were met by Roy who is the caretaker of this brownstone, he's been here since l955.  He's quite elderly, has COPD, and is unable to do much.  As promised, he recruited several people to help get our stuff up to the second floor.  I think we've caught on now, that we get someone's okay to help us before we show them the car and how much stuff we have to move.  David, the main one to help is our friend, and has given us very helpful advice about things to do, our safety, etc:  It didn't take too long but I don't know if he'll be around when we start to leave.
Our apartment, loft style, open floor plan, is about 1000 sq. ft., which is plenty of room, no partitions, bathroom in the hall, (it is private).  A bedrooom is on each end, Janie's in an alcove, with the sitting area by Janie's bedroom, kitchen area and two closets in the middle, my bedroom on the other end.  Furnished okay, except we eat on the coffee table, a two burner stove, only a microwave, everyone has laughed at us for "hauling" so much stuff with us, but the  toaster-oven and crockpot have already earned their place.  Two tv's, WIFI, which is a life-saver.  It's okay, and we did look for something else and for several more thousands we could have moved.  We made the executive decision to stay here and we're fine.
We're doing the same thing here we would do uptown.  I get up early every morning, eat my cereal, drink coffee, walk, make up my bed, think about what's for lunch.  The usual.
The weather has been wonderful, bright blue skies( hundreds of planes flying and they look so pretty against the blue skies), very cool in the morning, warm by noon, light breezes.  Just like in Chatom or anywhere else.
My walk, up Madison street, takes me past brownstones, deli's, schools ( I know "three school crossing guards by name already), many little plots in front of the brownstones planted with flowers, many with nothing but trash, signs saying keep your dogs leashed, clean up after your dog, adults allowed on playgrounds only if accompanied by children;  playgrounds well kept, one particular area laid with artificial turf, men sweeping and cleaning the spaces early each morning, many parents walking their children to school, buses flying by, (our street is like a speedway at times, I know cars are going at least 60 miles an hour), many older men out walking.  I walked Mother's Day morning and every older gentleman I met and even young men said, "Happy Mother's Day.  So, I feel quite safe.  We've been told not to be out after dark by ourselves, which we haven't, but common sense whereever we might be.
We are getting better at using the subway.  Our main problem is finding a spot to park close to the subway entrance (we're about 8 or 10 blocks from the subway entrance).  We take the A train ( remember the song?) which is an express to Times Square for our theatre performances, then yesterday to go to the Met we had to transfer to a local train, then a bus, than walk a few blocks. Our only problem is reversing that procedure, which did cause us a minor problem on the way home.  But we did get here okay, only a little later than we had planned. 
How do I describe our day at the Metropolitian Museum of  Art?  Well, it is beyond description.  We chose to view the Impressionists work, and that alone took hours, and maybe we didn't even see all of it.  There are over 2 million objects on display-paintings, sculpture, decorative art, photography, drawings, prints, musical instruments, costumes, and from around the world; family programs, family greeters, lectures, volunteers at information desks speaking Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portugeuse, Russian, Spanish.  Really, a world all its own.  I'm sure Janie will name many of the artists so I won't do that.
Another very special outing was to see the musical "Billy Elliot"- a brilliant, talented, 11 year old was Billy, and he carried the show, singing, dancing, acting.  It was one of the best shows I've ever seen-two hours and 45 minutes, non-stop entertainment.  I wouldn't dare tell you how much our tickets cost (from here on out we may have to limit our adventures), but it was worth every cent.  We did have wonderful seats, hence the cost.  Would go see it again if it were not so costly!
What did I just say?  Well, we're on our way today to see another musical, "Jersey Boys", and that's all I'm going to say about it.  I'll find some way to explain my way out of this.
Thanks for being so patient about our blogging.  We do get so busy, and it does take me a lot of time, because you are already aware of my limitations on the computer, spelling, phrasing, mis-information.  I do want to apologize to Kathryn Gaston for making an error in naming the church in Winston Salem, North Carolina.  The fresco was at St. Paul's Episcopal Church rather than St. Peter's Episcopal Church.  A reminder to check my facts before I write about them.  Thanks Kathryn.
I have to figure out something for lunch, so until the next time, know that we're okay, blessed to be doing what we're doing and can't believe we are in our 5th month.
Forgot to tell you about our church service Sunday, so I'll do it later

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