I do have a tendency to get very excited and animated by things that may perhaps be seen as ordinary, boring, or just "interesting." And it is true that once unleashed, my unbridled enthusiasm often embellishes - things such as chewing gum on the sidewalk, etched windows on the subway. or a place where one may find nothing. But, nonetheless, I cannot conceive of another place where one can find the plethora of absolutely amazing people, places, and things that can be discovered and explored in one evening in one locale. Let me explain.
Needful of photos and story material, I was prompted last Saturday to corral a friend to explore Red Hook, Brooklyn. I chose Red Hook to visit a highly rated neighborhood bar, Sunny's. But, as typifies any train of thought travel in New York City to the open-minded, I was quickly derailed, and Sunny's became a postscript to the novella of the night. I often go on photography jaunts alone, but when possible, I do prefer company in these urban safaris. I have often explored the corners of the city with fellow photographer Bill Shatto.
On this trip, however, I recruited a friend who is a college student and who brings spontaneity, impulsiveness, and a fresh curiosity to the table. You will meet her in part three of this story and learn why this story is entitled Pretty Rad. However, I had no idea that this night would become the next cool adventure, befitting her expectations from a couple of previous outings.
I had visited Red Hook a number of times and was aware of the two big retail attractions of the area: Ikea and Fairway. Fairway is a market very well known to New Yorkers for its extraordinary prices and selection. It is an institution on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Given the scenic wonders of Red Hook and that I already knew Fairway, shopping here was never of interest to me. Hence, I had never set foot inside this particular Fairway. My companion had not been in a Fairway before, so I decided to briefly tour her around the store before our main feature of the night.
I made a big mistake in assuming that this Fairway was just another store and that an excursion here would be a quick perfunctory run through. When I say big mistake, I mean BIG. Have you ever seen limes stacked 20 across and 16 high? Or an aisle of yogurt? An olive oil department? An entire section of vanilla beans?
I have visited suburban Pathmarks and the like, but I have never seen such a mammoth selection of products within one food category as this market in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Those nearby who can shop here regularly are truly blessed with good fortune, and their path there must truly feel like a Fairway to Heaven :)
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