Sunday, March 04, 2007


Dear, dirty Brooklyn. We, Gabe and I, arrived late to JFK - sick passenger, airplane forced to turn around and return to Heathrow, hours on the runway, not enough water and air, 4 hours late which is not bad really, considering, Harry at the airport (how nice to be welcomed personally, even though I had claimed that we could do it on our own but we were SOOOO tired), settling in at the Shelanski's place was easy (they invented the term hospitality), an immediate hug from Ellen Shaw, Iris and Steve for a side of cow to celebrate the return (I restrained myself on the scotch for fear of falling over in my plate) and finally to bed at about midnight, or really 7am Israel time after a full 25 hours of being awake.
The first day just enjoyed the fact that the Tea Lounge is around the corner, with Ralph inside drinking tea, that we could ride the subway and visit homeschooling buddies in Windsor Terrace, and that I could see Erszi on Court St and be in town for the "frecha" store sale (LF).
Dinner at the Steins with the Olenicks, was lovely altho Gabe had reached pass out stage before I had anticipated but we managed to hold ourselves together until the end.
Bat Mitzvah #1 was as anticipated - Leah was excellent, community happy, parents and brother beaming. All was well in the world.
Press of people was intense and Lisa K and I are sure that I was taken for her by someone who engaged me in a long conversation with barely a "how is Israel," which at first I was grateful until I realized that something didn't seem right. Lisa and I have long been considered fungible so that was fine, really, once I realized. Hugged and kissed many - often twice.
Weather is manageable and not cold at all although certainly colder than J'lem.
Enjoy bumping into people on Court St in manner to which I am accustomed and have missed in J'lem but which I do as well when there, too.
No good humous to buy in the store, had to settle for inferior product but mercifully Gabe didn't complain but could be because I bought tofu turkey slices to go with.
Familiarity is only slightly marred by new stores and restaurants in 'hood and the unfortunate Starbucks on Smith St.
Am conscious of the fact that I am a vistor but know that it's not completely a normal visit.
Everyone looks lovely to me - children are bigger and more beautiful, babies have morphed into toddlers, pregnant bellies have popped out new babies, yielding pleasantly beautific fathers and nursing mothers (always pleasurable to see but I am told that nobody nurses in public which is sad as that was what I spend my life doing in the Kane St community room for so many years), and aging friends seem younger than ever.
Shul is what it always was - an annoying mix of the sacred and profane. People walking around analyzing this and that and that and this and the service rises above the same as it ever was, never to change, never to really be faster or slower, just the same. That's what makes it nice.
Davening/leading svcs reminded me that I do like to lead, have a certain skill at it, honed over the past few years, and should find myself some gigs in J'lem and not worry so much that people might not like me.
Have tried not to engage in too many political discussions and realize that I'm shifting leftward faster and faster, even tho I retain certain righter vestiges but find them harder to defend for a host of reasons - even with the threat of Iran and Syria, I remain a peacenick.
Have tried to be honest about big boys and their adjustment and the effort it all is, despite gen'l family happiness.
Purim was just too giddy for me but enjoyed a schnapps to pass the time and the sight of Meir Khatan in jeans - his first pair since the late 80's I think. Gillian said that when they went shopping at the GAP - can you picture him at the gap - he kept tugging at the waistband and saying they didn't go high enough. I will say that they looked fine on him and he was, in Sonny Bono wig and mustache and tie dyed shirt and suede vest - unrecognizable. Gill made a decent Cher but didn't push the envelope enough in costume but I imagine Bob Mackie was unavailable for a styling session.
Purim party today, then Charlie and Jo and hopefully Pammy, which will be just lovely, and then we're off to Mt Snow for some ski and snow.
Purim Sameach to all, esp those in J'lem.


Paula said...

I don't have your cell # - if you have any time this week call and I'll meet you in manhattan...

Regina T said...

What?! No nursing in public - in Brooklyn? My goodness, Beth, can that be true? It would certainly be a change from my experience and memories. I remember making the decision not to nurse on the subway anymore but I wouldn't think twice about Carroll Park. I wonder what changed?

Portland's a town with good hippie roots, as you know. Nursing is beautifully abundant. What about Israel?

lisa k said...

It's not true that no one nurses in public! I saw a Kane Street mom nursing just last Shabbat, and I've certainly seen others. With all the babies around, it is inevitable.

Ira Skop said...

fungible. Lisa. Beth. Very amusing.