This, too, is New York.
I had an excellent time meeting David Reina yesterday, and going over every feature of the beater with him. He said that very few bronze ones were ever made, and that a sculptor fabricated the tubs. Likewise, I had a fine time meeting Shannon at Carriage House; they are both warm, funny and wonderful folks.
The two businesses are now on Kent Avenue , and I was kind of sorry to not have seen David’s old shop on Guernsey, because I’d heard it was festooned with strange old toys and other things (not that this one wasn’t still fascinating, because of the equipment being built. I took no photos, sorry – I was working too hard to hear in the shop noise).
When I added my info to David’s client book, I knew (or knew of) every single person I saw on the previous pages. Likewise, in conversations with Shannon, we already had a rich community. The papermaking world is a small one; and bits of my story had preceded me, which was both comforting and odd.
Equally odd was being back in that part of Brooklyn, however briefly. They’re not at all far from where my family lived in Greenpoint (they’re just a bit over the line into Williamsburg). I haven’t been there since I was in my very early twenties. I wasn’t there for two minutes before I got into an angry shouting match with a cop, while I was banging on the shop door (Shannon was at lunch, and David, back in the shop, didn’t hear me; beaters were running, music on). I had my car’s flashers on and I was obviously making a delivery, but the bastard gave me a ticket and a whole lot o’ attitude anyways. I instinctively, immediately returned the latter.
Something about that roused some bad, vague, creepy memory-emotions, and I didn’t want to stick around, once I was finished. My theme became, as it did decades ago: Escape From New York. Getting out of Brooklyn was intense. Yeah, I remembered the street names, but not where they went. Fortunately, Abby had lent me her portable GPS. I’d have been dead without it, probably still driving in circles in the (admittedly interesting, vaguely remembered) Hassidic neighborhood I got stuck in…though it refused to take me back to the Taconic and my relatively pleasant drive into town, and sent me through freakin’ Paramus instead. Traffic was every frustrating thing you might imagine. There were no fewer than six ‘disabled vehicles’ blocking lanes and jamming things up on the various freeways and bridges (including a bashed white stretch limo festooned with pink chiffon on the Kosciuszko). I had to keep the windows closed to hear the GPS (which I only heard enough of to tell me to look at it). Bleah. It was a ten-hour round trip to go like 90 miles in each direction. Bleah!
But my beater is now in the excellent care of its creator.