What a beautiful Sunday morning in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn! So many different thin gs come into my head to blog about. And still.
JDT blogged about our visit to Queens and the Billie Jean King US Tennis Center. From prior experience we knew there was a real likelihood that this could be a late night. AND those that know me well, know that is not my favorite part of the day. After the usual standing in line, actually lines, we made our way into the complex. Our intent is much different in such situations. I want to find a place to settle in, watch some tennis, while JDT wants to be in as many different places at one time to not miss a thing. Neither is right, nor wrong, just different. It is our very different approaches to life. Understanding that makes the usual “dustups” that almost always ensue at least “understandable”. Finding the right balance almost always leads to wonderful experiences.
After wandering a bit, watching a set or so of Diego Schwartzman dispatching his Slovenian opponent we decided to make our way over to Louis Armstrong Stadium. We had spent a serious amount of time selecting the correct seats to buy through Stub Hub. And well, we hit a home run on that one. JDT had read a great deal about the best angle. For me it was about being low enough, and not too low. AND as I said, we absolutely got it right. We got some food and water and settled in for the match. The caliber of the tennis was good, not great. The level of competition was fabulous. It was a five setter. And it took 3:55 to play. The match had started at 7:20 PM, so that made it 11:15 PM when the match finally ended. For those of you that are Grand Slam tennis junkies like us (mostly JDT), you know there is an interview and “theatrics” that follow. That meant the second match of the evening session would very likely start at darn near midnight. JDT knows that me and that hour are not a great combination, so we started our journey (yes I mean journey) back “home”. (Postscript – I NEED TO BE BETTER, SURPRISE JOYCE ONE DAY AND STAY UNTIL THE BITTER END!)
We have been on nearly 100 subway trips since our arrival August 1st. Some have been close to midnight (return from Mets game; return from Theater in The Park). None had been into the early hours of the morning. Two hours and fifteen minutes after we left BJK we arrived back home. I’ve shared my incredible fondness of traveling via train in prior blog posts. I don’t need to repeat myself. I was reminded and provided with another reason. You see the world as it is, not how we hope it would be. In all its dirty AND beautiful glory.
A short tangent before I wrap up. A couple weeks back we visited the New York Transit Museum (A must visit for those hoping to understand the history and essence of NYC). The museum is in an old subway station in Brooklyn. It is wonderful. Being down in that old converted subway one really gets a feel for what it must have been like for those that built the NYC transit system. Its history is inspiring and a real touch of Americana. A real highlight of what we, as Americans can build when we decide to work together. In those days it was mostly the Irish in NYC that were the disfavored immigrants that the rest of us leveraged to prop up and create a more convenient world for those more fortunate. Right or wrong (I’m not here to debate that debatable topic), there is always the fortunate and the less fortunate. AND it is the less fortunate that our society and economy rely so heavily.
The night sessions at BJK start at 7 PM. We wanted to have the Full Monty Experience, knew the gates opened at 5ish, so decided to arrive at BJK a bit before 5. Our subway journey was the C line to the G line to the 7 line. To translate for those non-New Yorkers, this means we went from central BK to west BK north to west Queens and then finally east to central Queens. Picture this, early rush hour from Manhattan into Queens. Yep, you got it, the workforce that works relatively early, dominated by construction workers. Mostly minority, mostly latino all looking incredibly weary at the end of a long week (remember the remnants of IDA passed through earlier in the week). And it took me straight back to my impressions from the NY Transit Museum.
I’m incredibly proud (hopefully in a positive way) and grateful for all of my blessings in life. AND I am aware and acknowledge that I would not have any of it were it not for everyone in our wonderful society and culture and all that each contribute.