Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Back Home in NYC

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Stories about travel, food, and life's experiences along the way..
Well it’s been exactly one week and one day since arriving back in New York City. Upon pulling in to Grand Central Station on my bus, all were greeted with 100 degree temperatures and plenty of sunshine.
I must admit after making my way home to Brooklyn on the subway, and as I wheeled my luggage up Greene Avenue, I had mixed feelings about being back in the city. “Maybe I should have stayed”, I thought. After all, the folks said to stay as long as I wanted. And with my non-committal job; (I temp at the moment) that wouldn’t have been a problem. But no, I decided to come back to the city and forego the prolonged chaos that comes with a large, dysfunctional family. Mind you, I say that in the most endearing way possible.  So I was back, trying to fight off that void of emptiness and loneliness when a person leaves loved ones and familiar places. Turns out I was able to do a good job of occupying myself and my mind and decided to be happy with my decision.
Aids in Warding Off Post Holiday Blues – (in Brooklyn)
As my former Czech shrink once put it, ‘it’s all about filling a void with good things’. Of course, at the time she was referring to my abyss of sadness and isolation at the rejection from an old boyfriend. However, those are some of the best words of advice I have ever received, hence now they get carried with me wherever I go.
The Gym
So armed with that mantra on my first morning back I set out for the gym located on the corner of Fulton Mall in downtown Brooklyn. The gym evokes those “happy” endorphins and feelings of power and control, which is probably why I love and need it so much.
Located a few doors down is a super-duper, ghetto fabulous store called Danice . Danice is packed full with eye-catching, colorful, summer fashions. I definitely wouldn’t shop there for work attire. However, being on a budget these days and needing a fun pick-me-up, I was able to score two super cute sundresses for eighteen bucks! Of course, they may only last one season, but for that price, I can live with it. I’ve decided I like shopping ghetto fabulous.
Rockaway Beach
Another antidote I pulled out of my arsenal of tricks to aid the post home-holiday blues was a trip to the beach with some friends on the weekend. We headed out to Rockaway Beach Saturday after a yummy breakfast at a local dinerBeach 90 (stop off the S train) is where we laid our beach blankets and hung for the next 5 hours. We like this beach because it’s super laid-back. There are lots of shells for beach combers (like myself), a cool little beach bar, and a picturesque rock jetty. The only drawback of our beloved beach is the overwhelming amount of seaweed the tide brought in. I thought about making sushi, but then decided it might be a bit too sandy. :-D (har har)
Bay Ridge
Well after we had our fill of fun in the sun, we headed back to our friends’ apartment in Bay Ridge. I swear - even though I live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan, I really don’t get out much. I had never been to Bay Ridge prior to that. Bay Ridge is a lovely ethnic neighborhood nestled in the Southern corner of Brooklyn. The area I was in is pretty, quiet and seems family oriented. 

Tanoreen Restaurant
A perfect ending to our beach day was a stop at Tanoreen, a delicious Middle Eastern restaurant located in the heart of Bay Ridge. It’s a bit of an upscale place with great atmosphere and cute Arabic waiters. I highly recommend the browned brussel sprouts with tahini and pomegranate molasses. They will absolutely melt in your mouth.  The owner, Ms. Bishara, a gorgeous, intriguing, Middle-Eastern woman, came around to all us patrons wanting to make sure everything was to our liking. We, of course, readily acquiesced that it was wonderful!

In Conclusion

So in conclusion, I would like to give a round of applause – first to my friends for unknowingly catering to my void. Also to Brooklyn for being so diverse and full of life. One doesn’t have to hit up the loud hot spots of Manhattan to have a great time. To the beach for its soothing sights and sounds (and also for my horrific sunburn – though I’m determined to return once it becomes a tan!) To Middle Eastern culture for its delicious food and people that are so pleasing to the eyes. Oh yes - and to Danice for such great, cheap dresses. J  

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