Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Brooklyn by the See

On Sunday we trekked to Brooklyn to look at a used car, eat breakfast out, and go to the New York Aquarium. In truth, it wasn't nearly as much as a trek as I expected; New York City has a reputation of being pretty quiet over the July 4th weekend (despite the hundreds of thousands that turn out for the fireworks), so the journey there took less than an hour. This is very unusual. But it was also at about seven in the morning, so surely people were still sleeping. I would have been, but Miss M was up at six.

After Taxman test-drove the car--which we now own--out by Coney Island, we hopped over to the Flatbush area of Brooklyn to eat breakfast at Cafe K. There are a lot of Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn. Far more than in my particular borough. And there are the facilities to support them, including lots and lots of restaurants. Every time I'm there I remark on it, and how if I lived there I'd eat out all the time. (Although we certainly didn't eat out all the time when we lived in Jerusalem, despite having the option.) Which isn't strictly true, because many of the places have names like Burger Hut or Pizza Time and serve up a lot of grease. Plus, kosher restaurants, even the cheapie ones, are more expensive because the cost of food staples is higher.

But I digress. Miss M was spectacularly well-behaved at the cafe, even though there were no highchairs, as she set to devouring her share of an order of scrambled eggs & toast and another of pancakes. We're frighteningly coming to the point, as I noted to Taxman, that we can no longer order two entrees for the three of us.

We doubled back to Coney Island, known as "Brooklyn by the Sea," according to the street signs, and made our way to the aquarium. It was crowded, but Miss M had a good time watching the fish, the walrus, and the seals and sea lions. The weather was incredibly hot, so why we elected to attend the sea lion show at the outdoor Aquatheater, I can't tell you. Oh, wait, I can. Baby AM needed to nurse, and rather than sit in the hot car to do it--or find a place inside--why not sit in the bleachers and unobtrusively nurse while hundreds of spectators (Taxman and Miss M included) watched the show?

My plan was fine, in theory. I had a big cloth diaper and a floppy baby hat that I used to shield AM from the blazing sun. We were all settled in when the sea lions appeared. And then...I noticed that the narrator of the show seemed to be screaming. He wasn't; he was just miked from earth to the moon. It was loud. Don't get me wrong, I am all for wildlife conservation and species interdependence, but does it have to be touted at 4,000 decibels? Especially considering that probably a third of the audience was under five?

Then the starring pinnipeds began bopping to piped-in dance music. And my poor baby latched off and started writhing on my lap. In my frantic desperation to save his relatively virginal ears from damage, I clapped my hands over them. That's what I did instead of pulling up my bra flap as I normally would have. I belatedly noticed that my entire breast was exposed to the world at large...and I had mistakenly created my own kind of SEE in the fair borough.

So I hope Otis and Osborn didn't mind me hanging out. I don't think I created a diversion. At least I hope not.

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