Friday, October 19, 2012

From Apartment to Subway in Bay Ridge

Birds on my way to work.

The walk from our apartment to the subway is only six minutes, but we still have four routes to choose from.

The one I choose depends on several factors, but primarily upon the direction in which the "walk" sign is flashing. But a few other things come into play, too. I'll choose the sunny side of the street on cold days, the shady side when it's extremely hot. After a big snowfall, I'll avoid the sidewalks that haven't been shoveled. When I see a garbage truck making stops on one street, I'll generally go to the next.

In the springtime, I'll purposefully walk down the street with the big purple lilac bush. In the fall, I choose the path with the house that has the best Halloween decorations. And at Christmastime, I seek out lights and try to make it a point to walk through the corner where the trees are sold, taking in the holiday scent.

But some morning sights never change, no matter the month or season. At one corner, I almost always see a flock of birds picking at bread left by some kind soul. Once I saw the birds feasting on giant muffins. Usually, however, it's a crumbled wet mess.

Strollers are a common sight -- both at the preschool about a block away and a popular pediatrician's office closer to the subway. And across from the pediatrician, the beautifully manicured lawn of a funeral home, sometimes with a few men dressed in black out front. Life and death, right across the street from one another.

If I walk by my salon in the morning, I'll give a quick wave to my hairdresser if she's looking out the window. If I walk by the bodegas, I'll see the workers unpack the fresh fruits and vegetables that were just delivered.

Mostly, however, the morning walks to the subway are interesting just because you start to see the neighborhood wake up. It's nearly 9 a.m., and the gates are coming up and businesses are opening their doors.

All that happens in the sun, rain and snow, although it's much more difficult to find enjoyment in it when the wind is blowing raindrops in your face, under your broken umbrella. But sometimes, when it's warm and pleasant and everything comes together, the world seems almost perfect.

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