So my New York portion of my vacation continues.
I spent the morning with my niece in the gym. My sister had gotten there after work, and had been there earlier than us. She was on the way out as we were on the way in (sidebar: working out agrees with her. She looks great!). An hour and a half later, my niece and I navigated public transit back to Canarsie. I missed the subway, I have to say.
The two of them had events in their schedule to do, so I made myself busy for a few hours (read: slept) until it was time to visit good friends of mine, Jesse and Stephanie.
I have known these two for a the better part of a decade. They're one of the most perfectly matched couples I've ever met. Their daughter is an incredibly cute child who has an addiction to a children's show I've never heard of before today, and whose theme song I will never be able to get out of my head. I haven't seen them since Stephanie came to my father's funeral. I've always enjoyed their company as they are funny, smart, opinionated and fun-loving. They play games, enjoy a beer, and love life and each other. It's quite awesome, actually.
Last year they moved from Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn, as many couples of a certain age tend to do these days. They moved to Fort Greene, which in my youth was very much the 'hood. My, how that has changed.
After a couple of hours bs'ing on their patio (and that time went QUICK) we went to a little restaurant on Greene Avenue called Prospect. They had recommended it highly and as I said to Jesse, for the first time ever, I deferred to someone's superior knowledge of Brooklyn. Food was phenomenal, and we sat and ate on the patio seating area..
As we ate we chatted more. It had been two years since I had seen either of them, there was catching up to do, there was exchange of humor, there was the expression of hope that Bernie Sanders would win the presidency, and the plan for seeking political asylum in Canada if Donald Trump won. I told them about my girlfriend who was at that moment, probably, doing something incredibly cool on a camel and how strange it was for me to be with the same woman for as long as I have.
After dinner we had dessert (I won't bore you with the details as to what, but just know that it was fantastic and awesome) and more conversation, talking about Marvel movies and Star Wars. It was food and drink and the rambling old friends make when they haven't been in each other's company in far too long.
Six hours and 2800 calories after I arrived, we said our goodbyes and made a plan to hang out again before I went back to Bellingham.
Two takeaways: first, good friends are an awesome thing, and one should absolutely never take them for granted. Secondly, Fort Greene has really changed from what I remember. Putting aside the fact that I very likely couldn't afford to live there anymore, the change is profoundly positive.