Pleasant Valley Sunday
Today involved no public transportation at all. Visited the two nephews (4 and 1, respectively) out on Long Island. Packed them both into their car seats in the back of the old family truckster and ferried them out to the same community park playground that I frequented back in the 1970s and '80s.
My old stomping grounds on Long Island remain of interest in the news. To date, my old high school has produced the following eclectic trio of noteworthy individuals: a George W. Bush Cabinet member married to a Senator from Kentucky; a disaffected Tony award winner who has nothing complimentary to say about our common alma mater; and a popular young actress who's gleefully bucked Nassau County's old-school Republican trend and endorsed John Kerry on the United States' political program of record (David Letterman).
Visiting the playground itself, where I haven't been in years, triggers the usual display over-dramatic nostalgia. The entire playground of my youth has been dismantled, and replaced with a few of those big metal jungle gyms (which itself replaced the old wood-and-rubber-tires jungle gym that went into and out of vogue in the '90s). Even the swing set was moved to a different part of the park. Also, the walk to the snack bar got a lot shorter. The ice skating rink that, in summer, used to hold miniature golf, is fallow this August.
Driving back from the park was another exercise in nostalgia. Just about every business I remember from that particular stretch of Jericho Turnpike has turned over at least twice since I graduated high school.
Tomorrow night I will return to Brooklyn, which will be another exercise in despair. I already miss the W train, with its express ride from Bensonhurst to Union Square. I have come to dread the D, which evidently stands for "Duh...whenever", at least when it comes to getting home during rush hour. And this is not nostalgia for the '80s, either. This is nostalgia for six months ago, when we still had the W.