Brooklyn Swingers

There are a number of odd things about this photo -- first no one knows whose wedding that bride and groom piece is from, and second why am I posting it on my blog while Yani is out on the porch describing his theory about aliens in ancient Egypt, but most confounding of all for me was the book of matches. I just puzzled and puzzled over it when my aunt sent this picture which was taken in this apartment about a month ago. La Villa. It sounds familiar. I've heard of it before. But I kept running through the name of every Italian place in New York with any meaning that I could think of: Birrichinos, Buon Gusto, Osso Bucco -- there were lots of them. But La Villa, La escaped me. For three days. Was it something from a fairy tale? From an ad I saw somewhere? It felt important, like a missing piece.

Then today walking on this dark and suddenly cool afternoon in Park Slope to my sister's for Rosh Hashanah dinner it hit me in one swoop -- La Villa, on 5th Avenue, steps from where we were walking, but ages and ages ago. It made me wonder if I ever actually did live in Park Slope, if we had the band there, if we took pictures by that poisoned canal, if any of that happened, or if those were stories I told, something from a fairy tale, or like Kaiser Soze, from an ad I saw somewhere.

We're drinking ridiculously sweet wine now and setting our sights on the day of atonement. Maybe this time, four years--so many sleepless nights and bleary-eyed mornings--later, we finally won't be judged, and mostly not by ourselves.


  1. Ahh, to judge yourself just the right amount, avoiding sociopathy and meanness, while allowing the normal flow of errors, oversights, bumps, carelessness and stuff that doesn't even rise to that threshold for which so many of us hold ourselves accountable.

  2. So strange to think of you back in our old neighborhood . . . As for atonement, just today in Park Slope I was asked at least seven times if I was Jewish, and finally it crossed my mind that I could say yes (but I read the same Old Testament and wouldn't lie). So no one would play his shofar for me, and I must continue seeking my only hope of redemption. I'll never forget sharing Rosh Hashanah dinner with your family, was that 1999? I can picture it now. And now here we are, the ninth anniversary of that day we'll never forget, when we walked the streets of Park Slope, not even attempting to atone for the sins of our forefathers, knowing we never could, but still not fathoming how real it was that our last American childhood summer was so far gone under those bridges separating the broken land from the blood-stained canyons we had pined for in winters past, two thousand miles away, with the snow falling down.


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