Wondering what to do for Father’s Day?
Brooklyn’s Sip Fine Wine offers these words of wisdom.
Take a look around and guess where we are.
There’s a white-washed building topped by a stout brick chimney. Rough hewn wooden posts holding up a shingled roof. Wood framed double-hung windows with slightly sagging screens. A wide porch holding an assortment of ladder-back rocking chairs, some with seats of woven rush, others with canvas webbing.
Are we in a small, sleepy Southern town? Or are we someplace in the American Heartland, perhaps an old farmstead out on the wide prairie?
Sorry, but no and no.
Actually, this rustic-looking structure is the Avenue H subway station on the Q line, deep in the heart of Brooklyn. Built in 1906, over the years the station has been updated and renovated but, thankfully, never replaced.
Now, don’t just stand there. Grab a glass of lemonade and let’s do a little rocking before we catch the next train to Brighton Beach.
This handwritten sign was posted on the side of a bus shelter in Coney Island.
I can’t help wondering whether the author taped it next to the model’s face because he thought she resembled the woman he wanted to find.
I haven’t yet decided whether Joe’s note is sweet and romantic or stalker-ish and creepy. Or both.
Sofia? Sophia? Sofia — Sophia — Sofia
This is Joe. Good looking Italian U met on July !!4th!! on the “D” train in Coney Island — U are Spanish very beautiful — 30, 125 lbs — long brown hair — U gave me your ph. number and I lost my phone the next day!! I looked 4 U that weekend by the subway entrance but there were to many people — anyone know a beautiful Spanish Sofia I described — help bring us together. Joe 374-816-3984 Thanx
I wasn’t thinking about the significance of the date when I made an appointment for December 31 on the Upper East Side. It was only when I was en route that I realized that to reach my destination, I had to change trains at Times Square. It was still early in the day, but the place was already a madhouse.
When I got to my appointment, I sadly told the person I was meeting that my route had taken me through Times Square. She laughed and said, “Now I know you’re a real New Yorker! Only New Yorkers try to stay away from Times Square on New Year’s Eve — the tourists can’t wait to get there!”
She was, of course, correct, and as soon as our meeting concluded, I made a hasty retreat to Brooklyn, where I spotted this reveler on Montague Street. Happy new year!
Today, as I emerged from the Clark Street subway station onto Henry Street, my eye was drawn to a bright spot of color beyond the doors. Moving closer, I saw that the vibrant hues were actually candles and bouquets placed on the sidewalk. The location, just outside a college dormitory, is a stop for a private bus that shuttles students from their Brooklyn residence to Manhattan.
Feeling dread, I approached the man working in the coffee stand adjacent to the spot and asked whether he knew anything about the flowers. Sadly, he told me that early yesterday morning a student had committed suicide; he’d leapt from an eighth-floor window. “My boss,” the man said, “was here when it happened. He didn’t see the boy fall, but he heard him hit the sidewalk.” He pointed out that the pole of the bus stop was covered with handwritten notes carefully taped to the steel.
As we spoke, a young woman came out of the building and knelt at the makeshift memorial, arranging a box of sweets among the flowers. The boy who fell, she said, was a close friend, only 19 years old. He jumped to the cold, dark street at 2:15 a.m.
I later read more about the tragic death in the newspaper, including the name of the young man who died, Michael Simmons. He was a talented actor who had recently arrived from Tempe, Arizona to study at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. My heart goes out to his friends and family.
Each summer, the NY Writers Coalition offers an outdoor creative writing workshop for young people. At the end of the six-week sessions, the students join accomplished poets and writers and present their work at the Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival.
This year’s Festival included six notable poets who have participated in Jamaica’s Calabash International Literary Festival and Colin Channer, the founder of Calabash. After the reading, posing and hugging in the park, the writers met their fans and signed autographs at the nearby Greenlight Bookstore.
So Much Things to Say: Anthology of the Calabash International Literary Festival
NY Writers Coalition: Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival
NY Times: Summer Literary Festival Hits Fort Greene Park
Calabash International Literary Festival