Brooklyn Summer Days

The wind is only a shade cooler than my scorched skin on this 103’ day in July as I cruise downhill on the Williamsburg Bridge at sunset. You can actually see the waves of haze over Manhattan. But that’s all behind me now. As the water beneath me turns to concrete, over the rumble of a passing J train I hear someone call out “Broooooklyyyyyn!!!” – as if signaling my arrival home, touching down from the neutral ground of the bridge and onto home territory – and I can’t even help myself but call out, too, my hand I turn the sharp corner at hi-fi velocity onto So. 4th street, past a building I lived in in 2008, and can hear Will Smith (the official herald of Summertime) on blast from a group of neighborhood locals grilling on the sidewalk. Far in the horizon, my vision mutes everything except the two most beautiful sights: a burning pink and violent violet sunset in the sky, and an even more beautiful miracle here on earth: an open fire hydrant shooting water high into the street. Ecstatic, I pedal hard to gain enough velocity to become a kid again, riding my bike trough the sprinkler like I did in carefree summers lost in memory. The cool water breathes life into my body and soul, an experience taking place both fiercely in the moment but distantly in my sunbleached memory. The familiar sights, the sounds and smells floating on the air, the tactile sensations on my skin fired neurons once tied to sense memories that cluster to form a nostalgia that, if it could have a name, it could only be called “Brooklyn”.

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