Already Brooklyn seems so long ago.
But writing is a nice way to relive good moments, and our time in Brooklyn was brimming with good moments.
On Sunday morning the sun shines through blue sky. We find a playground and eat our bagels outside. What a treat for us snow-weary northerners. No snow in sight. Swings to swing on and slides to slide on and fresh New York bagels to eat. News from Japan chastens our glee as we eat and play and reminds us that moments like these are not to be taken lightly.
We know that the Brooklyn Flea is held at the tall building with the clocktower, so all we have to do is wander the streets in its direction until we find ourselves at the doors. The building itself is magnificent and houses hundreds of stalls of delights on two floors. The nine year old likes flea markets. A triumph! It is fun for all three of us to wander the aisles, trying on ridiculous jewelry (well, two of us try on ridiculous jewelry). I am smitten by the pottery of SKT Ceramics adorned with Susanna Tisue’s charming illustrations of animals. And she has a hedgehog. I have a thing for hedgehogs.
I find the perfect crusty old iron drawer pulls for our kitchen drawers and they are the correct width to cover the holes from our icky old handles. And the price is right. These I find at the Olde Good Things stall, along with many things I can’t fit in my suitcase.
The nine year old leaves the Flea with a skeleton key to hang on a necklace and a small gold locket (and a belly full of grilled Gruyere cheese sandwich and whoopie pie). We parents have eaten Salvadoran food (spectacular) and leave with a very cool T-shirt, a vintage chicken game, the kitchen hardware I mentioned and big smiles on our faces.
Next stop, Daryl Shawn‘s concert, (more about Daryl here) held in the upstairs sunny performance room of a lovely building on Oxford Street. We arrive early to help lay food on the tables, set up chairs and welcome guests at the door. The room fills and the time comes.
Daryl opens with a set of original solo guitar music. Gentle one moment, then percussive, rhythmic and rousing the next. He knocks on the soundboard, picks out notes on the neck and asks the instrument to follow his lead. The crowd is engaged and attentive. But this is familiar ground for those of us who have heard Daryl play guitar through the years.
The suite of music that follows is all new territory. On the stage, left to right: Daryl on guitar, David Grollman on percussion, Joonsam Lee on bass, Jennifer Little, soprano, Deborah Dimasi, soprano, Tod Mijanovich, baritone.
Harmony and dissonance, gentleness and fervor. Words to communicate and words to be sounds. Innovative percussion includes scraping and scratching. Acoustic bass adding a big Papa Bear vibration under all the voices, and the guitar and its master leading the way. Each song drifts seamlessly into the next for the entire suite which lasts 30 minutes? 45? Who knows? We are all pulled into its slipstream and occasional eddies and come out feeling like we’ve met a whole new Daryl. And what will he do next? The thrill, too, of knowing Deborah Dimasi’s soprano voice with its confidence and velvet qualities, is icing on the cake.
But the performance hasn’t ended. The bonus track, it says on the hyacinth blue program.
Daryl and Deborah take the stage alone and perform Shenandoah with guitar and Deborah’s solo voice. Shenandoah is a song I’ve heard since the day I was born, it seems. By the pluck of the last string and the resonance of the last note there isn’t a dry eye in the house. Next celebrating, food, talk and walking out into the sunshiny streets of Brooklyn. Spring. Eternity.