Monday, May 17, 2010

Ten miles in 90 minutes

Today it took 90 minutes to travel 10 miles, from Long Island City to Brooklyn. By comparison, it takes 90 minutes to fly over 600 miles from NYC to Charlotte, NC.

I'm leaving for Charlotte in 2 1/2 weeks, and I'm saying so long to family, friends, former colleagues, and neighbors in small groups.

My sister Leslie visited from Long Island for the weekend, with our friend Diane.
Pajama party!

They didn't want to bring more stuff for me to instead brought wine, some vidalia onions, a neat candle holder, and a bracelet engraved "Listen to Your Soul." I was touched, they are both so thoughtful!

That's a nice pair of onions!

Saturday night we had a long, slow dinner at a new cuban steak restaurant in the neighborhood, and on Sunday we got up early for a lite bite, some coffee and we hit the bricks at 9:30 to shop "The Brooklyn Flea" in Fort Greene. I googled it to be sure of the location--on Saturdays the flea market is outside at Lafayette Ave, and on Sundays it's inside at One Hanson. Well, the website wasn't more specific than that, though it would have been helpful to know that One Hanson = the old Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower, and to have cross streets.

We walked 10 minutes over to the G train, which wasn't running. I HAD checked the MTA site, and there were NO alerts for the G. The shuttle bus was nowhere to be seen, so I waved down a cab, knocked on the window, and the guy sped off. The next cabbie had no idea where Hanson was in Fort Greene, so we had him drive us back to the house. Do over! I got directions from the website and we drove ourselves. The directions were a little sketchy. They didn't specify the address for One Hanson once we got off Flatbush Ave.  People either pointed in different directions, or said "the flea market was yesterday"  or just plain had no idea what we were talking about. One guy finally said, "It's in the old Williamsburg Savings Bank, tallest bldg, you can't miss it."  Ah, a few lefts and rights, and there is was! Stashed the car in an underground parking garage. Walking toward the building, I asked a woman, "Is this the Brooklyn Flea?" and she said, "No, in warmer weather it's over in Fort Greene." I thought, we cannot be THIS wrong!  We walked a few more feet and there was the sign, "Welcome to the Brooklyn Flea."  Sheesh.

A very l-o-n-g 90 minutes after we first left the house, we finally reached our destination, albeit in a circuitous fashion.

The lobby of the old bank is soaring and gorgeous, with wonderful stone, marble and metal work.

The vault door leads to a "food court"--dimly lit, and not too many choices. We opted for cheese paninis and bottled water. In a pinch, it hit the spot.


Leslie and Diane checking out cufflinks made from typewriter keys. Need? No. Want? Yes!

The ride home was a breeze, less than 10 minutes. A mile a minute, that's more like it! Back in LIC, we hit Cafe Henri for bowls of cafe au lait, and a sweet nibble--apple tart and a banana/chocolate crepe.

Fast visit, but lots of good girl talk, laughing, dining, and shopping. Leslie suggested I get a GPS. It's probably a very good idea ;-) 

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