Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Greenwood Avenue Storefronts

I know I'm not going to win much sympathy by complaining that I'm going to Mexico tomorrow, specifically to a resort called Shangri-La. Truly, I'd rather stay here and take pictures of the storefronts of Brooklyn. Dry your eyes, I'll be OK. But I do really like this blogging business, probably a little too much.

Here are two old markets on Greenwood, Blondie's, on the Park side of the Expressway and the Greenwood Deli and Grocery on the cemetery side. I used to live around the corner from Blondie's and I fondly remember discovering Lemon Coolers there, those melt in your mouth drop shaped cookies laced with powdered sugar and just enough lemony tang. Ah. Haven't seen those for sale anywhere else, perhaps they're not made anymore.

Even though I know Blondie's isn't run by a Blondie, I still manage to expect I'm going to be rung up by a statuesque woman with a blond beehive everytime I go in there.

I've only been in the Greenwood Deli and Grocery once. When I complimented them on their sign, they asked me if I wanted to buy it. I said I didn't, I just liked it. I wonder how much they would ask for it. A guy in the store made fun of me for my fuss about the sign, saying "yeah, it's groovy." I guess he pegged me for some transplant trying to impose her aesthetic on the neighborhood. Good thing I don't live elsewhere, because I would really be swimming upstream. Here in Brooklyn, I'm always finding things to love, things that aren't contrived or perfect, things that show traces of the individuality of the human hands that made them. Signs of the excitement people once had or now have about their unique enterprises. Sometimes when I squint I can imagine I'm walking down a street painted by Maira Kalman and anything is possible. For instance, you could find a playhouse in a wine store or a group of Buddhists meditating in a bookstore.

We once had a Dominos Pizza franchise around the corner from Greenwood on Prospect Avenue. That was so out of place. It's long gone now.

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