Thursday, November 4, 2010

We'll ride the subways to their final stops

Though I don't have much good to say about the election results, I do have good things to say about my Tuesday off (!) granted me by my job. So I will buck my own grumpy trend and tell you about that.

It's great to have a day off in the middle of the week. You can catch up on all sorts of business that is difficult to accomplish on weekends: eating a delicious breakfast with your mother (including a pastry called, um, a "fat baby"); tending to various household tasks; and, of course, voting. I like the new machines they have (scanners which eat a paper ballot; the ballots are saved in case of dispute), even though one of the poll workers grumblingly informed me and my mom that it involves 26 new steps for them. I also like voting with my mom; we run into neighbors sometimes, and it is nice to see my family all together in the list of voters. Man, my signature was much nicer before I started writing letters for a living...

Votes securely scanned, there was more business to take care of (and by "business" I mean "adventure"). I had read that Peter Pan in Greenpoint has red velvet doughnuts; unfortunately, I had also read (and witnessed firsthand) that these sell out early in the day. And since the bakery opens at 9, going on a workday would not be an option. So off I L-ed, and picked up both a standard doughnut and a cruller. Nothing to write home about, but I'm happy I got to try. Then I stopped by the always-inviting Word bookstore, and then took the G to Fort Hamilton for my magnum opus of the day, a walk down Dahill Road.

I have been curious about Dahill because it is basically the dividing line between two grid systems. One time a few years ago I found myself on the corner of Dahill, 59th Street, 23rd Avenue, and Avenue M--home of a nice little library, by the way--which totally blew my mind. (Your mileage, non-New Yorkers, may vary, but it was exciting to me.) And Dahill is like this the whole way down. Well, except when it's not there at all.

So, turns out I only gave googlemaps a cursory glance and though Dahill runs most of the way from Fort Hamilton Parkway to Kings Highway, it doesn't quite seal the deal. Instead, there are a variety of pitfalls--though this walk was shorter than my Bedford one, it featured more hazards. I should've known something was up when there wasn't even a crosswalk at the road's start--cue me, ducking across two lanes of traffic. And things got more puzzling as Dahill periodically disappeared. At the mysteriously street-gobbling 18th Avenue. (Why does it have no intersections? Is it because of the abandoned Bay Ridge freight line?) I had to walk several blocks west before finding Dahill again--all half-a-block of it before it vanished. Then I picked up the scent again for a while, only to dead end in an enormous cemetery. Eventually, it ran regular residential to Kings Highway, where I picked up pretty Van Sicklen Street and made my way to a pizza shop I'd read about. Again, nothing to write home about. But breakfast was so delicious, and the air so crisp and walkable, that I didn't care.

I should also mention that I took the opportunity to catch up on my recent music purchases: a CD by Lucy Wainwright Roche (source of this post's title) and a collaboration between Ben Folds and Nick Hornby, the latter of which I picked up at Manayunk's lovely Main Street Music. I wish I knew of anyplace good to buy CDs around here...

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