At first glance, my daughter’s
But I made myself look again and I saw
’s melting pot still simmering on the stove. In one block I found three Chinese bakeries and a kosher deli next door to a grill cook creating made-to-order tacos for breakfast. He knows what his customers will order before they open their mouths. America
Across the street I found a combination of shops to put Mall of America to shame. First was a window full of “fine furs.” Next door a row of
Peking ducks garnished the window like swags of Christmas garland. Adjacent to the ducks was a storefront full of wedding dresses. All in a row, just steps between them. A bride could receive a proposal, buy a gown and a fur for the evening, then fling a dozen ducks over her shoulder for the reception, all in a couple of hours.
And in Midwood Brooklyn, I could assemble supper from fresh produce gathered from one of two gigantic markets, a number of international bakeries and a corner grocery all a half-block walk from my daughter’s apartment. And though the people in the store don’t speak much English, they recognized me and soon knew the products I preferred.
town, I drive my gas guzzler 20 miles to a big box store where I’m pretty sure nobody will know who I am or what I like. Iowa
After a few days, I came to embrace the colorful clutter that is lower middle class Brooklyn, nothing like the Disneylandish Times Square that pops up when I think of
. New York City
Sometimes it is refreshing to revisit our preconceived notions:
Big cities are unfriendly.
Teenagers are lazy.
Old people are slow.
Second impressions are becoming my favorite kind.