May 25, 2018
Culture
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New York
Seven Random Delights

Small joys in the big city

By Caitlin Van Dusen

One. 167 Concord Street, Brooklyn

White picket fence, white birch tree, red shutters, red car, and red “No Standing” sign. Perfection.

Two. Clothesline poles, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Few people use these poles — or clotheslines — anymore, but still they climb into the sky, rusty pulleys and scraps of rope still clinging to them.

Three. PUSH

Door handle on an art deco building on Fifth Avenue in the 40s.

Four. Defunct subway-line names

On the platform at the Dekalb Avenue station in Brooklyn there’s an illuminated (and still working) sign listing the names of defunct subway lines. Recite them out loud and they roll off your tongue: “Fourth Avenue Brighton Sea Beach West End.”

Five. “Brown”stones on St. Felix Street, in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood, are colored like a box of macaroons.

Six. Arrow-theme wrought iron fencing, complete with fletching.


Seven. Construction workers’ breakfast orders

Scribbled on a two-by-four scrap: “Bagel Jelly Iced Cup French Vanilla Bagel Butter” for these hardworking men.

(c) 2011 Caitlin Van Dusen and City Lore

Caitlin Van Dusen is an editor and writer in Brooklyn, New York. Her articles have covered topics ranging from knitting in Nepal and bow hunting in Maine to a scent designer in Copenhagen and a lemon ice king in Corona, Queens. She is a copy editor at the Believer and McSweeney’s, and the art editor of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.

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