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Weekend odyssey

This post is a bit lengthy, but the posts during the week will likely be short.

Home Depot is Home Depot, of course. I think I can get all the stuff I need for my coffee table there, but I have strange ideas for coffee tables. Maybe I should be an artist =)

In the morning on Saturday I began walking down Nostrand looking for Café Naico (I had it marked wrong on my map, see below). As I walked I discovered that the “tight” neighborhood I had stumbled on earlier is simply narrow on Myrtle. Saturday is Shabbat, so most of the shops I passed were closed. I ended up in Williamsburg and had some, excellent Japanese at Wasabi. Since I was near the L train anyway, I went ahead and took a trip to Manhattan to visit a friend. I was there for most of the day and came home as night fell to continued my search for a local grocer.

Once in the store, I stood around for a long time thinking about what to buy because I didn’t really have anything aside from drinks to get anyway. I ended up paying about $15 for orange juice, some Tide and a six pack of Crush soft drinks.

As I checked out, a young gentleman behind me asked me for money. He specifically asked for a dollar to buy a ‘beef patty’ because he was hungry. I really wanted to give it to him. The thing is that I hate doing things which can be perceived incorrectly. To me, giving out a dollar (or a digg or a link) is a form of praise indicating that I would like to see more of this activity. I do not want to see more people in stores asking for money. First, and this can be excused in this case, doing so is rude. I certainly do not want to endorse rude behavior. So I offered his friend and him the alternative of taking a trip to Williamsburg (I chose this only because there are nice restaurants that accept cards) and have a real meal. He declined and therefore I declined to part with one of my few remaining dollars based on the fact I was ‘low on cash’ at the time. This was of course true, but this was not a satisfying response for me because I am not low on money.

I returned to the MYNT and took one of my drinks and went the roof to think about this interaction. The MYNT has a great view of the city from the roof.

Now that I have had time to think about it, I should have offered him a different deal. “For each dollar I give you, you have to talk to me about yourself for fifteen minutes, who you are, where you’re from and why you’re here. Not as punishment, but because I am genuinely interested in this information.” I believe this will be what I do in the future and hopefully it will provide me with a better understanding of the make-up of my surrounding area.

The next morning I went to a local church. It was an incredible (and more exhausting than I anticipated) experience. I have never felt more welcome in a place I have never been before. I’m going to attend for the next few Sundays and decide whether or not it should be my new home church. So far it looks good, their doctrine has not conflicted with mine yet which is my main deciding factor. The service is completely different than I am used to and has far more congregational participation, but it remains orderly and is thus acceptable.

On Monday I explored the Herbert Von King park, where the Little Leaguers play.

Once lunch rolled around, I decided I’d go to Café Naico for real this time (I had since located it). Before leaving Manhattan on Saturday, I printed out the map that Bed-Stuy blog provides of places of interest. My original problem was that I forgot to write out the legend in order to distinguish the points hence my trek to Williamsburg. Just to give you an idea of where I come from, the walk I took is about half as long as my hometown is wide. Everything may be bigger in Texas, but there’s always more of it in New York.

I finally arrived at Café Naico. I actually wrote most of this post there, which tells you two things:

  • They have free wifi, a big plus in my opinion.
  • They are cool with letting you hang out there.

I had a ham, egg and cheese croissant which was delicious, filling and cheap. I shall begin frequenting this establishment since, as I said before, I try to spend my money on things I wish to support. I fail frequently (like buying an overpriced towel), but I’m working on it. I certainly recommend Café Naico to anyone in the neighborhood.

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