Brooklyn on Pause

This is my fourth post in my Quarantine Chronicles Series.

You may remember my post in April about balancing sane and safe. I didn’t know then, but that week was our peek in New York. My memories from that time are a little trauma informed. As a city, we are very happy to be on the other side of that hill and pretty serious about not wanting to return to it. As I mentioned at the beginning of this week, NY has a list of states that require mandated quarantines. At this point, that list contains 35 states/territories. Obviously, we are taking this seriously.

But in the midst of all of this, I have discovered a silver lining. NYC without tourists. I know, it is VERY BAD for our economy and people’s livelihood. But back in May, when we were still ‘on pause’ with no hope of entering reopening phases any time soon, it felt like a gift.

I first left my neighborhood after the shutdown to have a social distancing picnic with a friend at another park in Brooklyn. We brought our own blankets and had separate food. We kept our 6 ft when our masks were off. And we were so surreally happy to be out. And that’s how it felt, surreal, like the whole park was full of people who were happy to not be inside. Kids throwing balls. Kites flying. Someone with flags to twirl. Everyone happy to be out, but also, very conscience of keeping our 6 ft.

The next weekend I ventured out a little further and hit the beach. I live on an island, so the beach isn’t far, but without the usual traffic, we made it there in record time! It was May so the beach wasn’t open. But it was very pleasant for strolling and sitting and, again, feeling blessed to have a place to go outside that felt safe. We actually went 2 days in a row because we loved it so much!

A few weeks later I has another social distancing picnic at that same park in Brooklyn. This time it didn’t feel so surreal. Instead, it was just nice. Nice to catch up with friends I couldn’t see for awhile. Nice to be outside. Nice to find parking so easily in Park Slope. Also, the city has closed down streets to vehicle traffic during the day to give pedestrians more places to walk without running into each other. It’s called ‘Open Streets’. That’s very nice too.

The adventures continued with an exploration of DUMBO and the Brooklyn Bridge on Memorial Day. Memorial Day, you know, the official kick off to summer in the city. My friend and I walked the Bridge and got Eggs Benedict to go from my favorite dinner. They weren’t that pretty by the time we got the the promenade to sit and enjoy them, but they were still delicious. Please let the emptiness in these photos sink in.

The following week was the last week before my COVID adventure buddy Bekah was moving home, so we got creative with picnics and we had our first in person church thing, a walk by farewell.

So, that was Brooklyn in May. I was very intentional then about who I included in my ‘inner circle’ and those people became my social lifeline. We are social creatures, created for relationship, and I will forever be thankful for the relationships that showed up for me during this season.

Come back tomorrow for the final Quarantine Chronicle, a view of Manhattan this spring.