Saturday, March 12, 2011

A free Saturday- what?!

"Oh what a wonderful day was a Saturday in Brooklyn! Oh how wonderful anywhere!"- Betty Smith

It's taken me years to finally read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Why has no one made me read this before? To all of you who read it, and didn't force it in front of my face, shame on you. This is the most beautiful and poetically written book I've ever read, and the fact that it centers around poor folks in Brooklyn pushes it over the edge. I imagine this shall turn into one of those repeat reads I break out every few years. So far I only have two of them, this will make three.

It occurred to me when I went to bed last night that this is the first time in a seriously long time (I'm talking, over a year), that I've had a Saturday with no plans other than Bible study. I hope to continue this trend, as there is no greater freedom than being able to wake up early on Saturday, drink a warm cup of New Orleans Blend coffee, read a Bible, and to have no time limit on this ritual.

I decided to take advantage of this by turning mundane activities into great adventures. This is a talent I have polished over the past five years or so. Todays first agenda item was grocery shopping. And I don't mean a regular PathMark, grab some Lean Cuisines and cereal run, I mean, I made an event of it, as city shopping should be.

Before most of Court Street had even let the light come into their resting eyes this morning, I was strolling the mile up to Trader Joes. I stopped along the way for a bagel at the local hippie grocery store that seems to somehow have confused Carroll Gardens with Williamsburg, then set my feet toward Atlantic Avenue. I navigated the aisles of the bank-turned-Supermarket looking for a list of very specific ingredients for some yummy recipes I'd looked up. After buying the basics, and enough sauces, spices, and seasonings to stock the kitchen of an up-and-coming chef, I ventured to the Union Market. Though I am opposed to over priced groceries with snooty labels for the most part, this store happens to be the only place I know where I can buy purple potatoes. Seriously, they're black on the outside and purple on the inside. Amazing.

I then hit the produce stand across the street, where I loaded my already-too-heavy bags with fresh carrots, broccoli, onions, apples, and so on. As I looked down at my load of groceries, I contemplated trying to walk them all the way to my door, but the muscles in my arms and shoulders begged me not to, so I waited for a B57 while admiring the dogs and children of the brunch-goers.

Oh a Brooklyn Saturday...

I made an event of cleaning my room and putting together my loft, of which I am very proud, and for the first time since I moved into my fabulous apartment, feels like a bedroom of my own. Seeing as how it was three PM and I'd already accomplished my to-do list for the day, I decided that the best way to enjoy the rest of this beautiful sunny afternoon was to walk to Bible study. We met just across the bridge in Manhattan's financial district. This time, I hit Smith street and window-shopped along the way, before crossing the ever-so-majestic Brooklyn Bridge and making my way to Park Place. These are the kinds of walks that remind me just how amazing it is that I live in this great Borough, which is a part of this fantastic city. The night ended with a post-Bible study outing to a pub around the corner, consisting of quality fellowship time and a baked potato.

You see, this day could have been just like any other day. And from the sounds of it, it was. But for me, it was beautiful. A little blessing and a welcomed return. No worries, no deadlines, no cares, just a chance to thank God for the amazing opportunities he has given me. I wish more people could learn to take advantage of this joy. It's seriously in each of our lives every day, we just have to be conscious of it.

Praise the Lord for Brooklyn Saturdays.