May 30, 2024
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May 30, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

In our daily lives, since we moved here, we have made the effort to try new and different things that will not break the bank. There are so many exciting and beautiful areas that surround us that almost make it difficult to choose what to do. We were fortunate this week that the weather turned warmer, and with the sun shining and temperatures soaring we decided to visit DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). For those who do not know what we are talking about, which would probably identify your age group, this beautiful area was created similarly to the Highline in Manhattan. It takes advantage of waterfront property owned by the city that lies directly below the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Great walkways, and a beautiful carousel for children and children at heart, offer pedestrians the opportunity to close their eyes and dream of being hundreds of miles away.

During our trek along the water we were approached by a group of four men and a woman who introduced themselves and explained that one member of their group was from Albania and had come to the States to be honored as a Righteous Gentile, a status he already held at Yad Vashem. He had been honored at a recent ceremony, which was attended by the Israeli Consul General. His family rescued 32 people in Albania during the war. They were eager to tell us their story, and we all emphasized the need to care about each other. It was an unexpected pleasurable encounter. As a result of our meeting they will be writing to us shortly to explain the circumstances of exactly what happened during the war that triggered their family’s decision to do as much as possible to help the Jews. They have now returned to Albania.

We meandered through the streets and found ourselves in Brooklyn Heights. We walked and talked (yes, we still have things to talk to each other about) and commented on some of the street names. Love Lane seemed very appropriate for the two of us and as we were getting further and further from where we had parked our car we looked up and saw that we were on Pineapple Street. We wondered what had happened there eons ago that resulted in the fruit with exotic tropical connotations being deemed fitting as the name of a street. As we stood trying to determine the route that would get us to where our car was parked, a lovely gentleman came by and asked if he could help. Not only was he helpful, but he was also a historian. He told us the history of the neighborhood, the changes that have taken place and his own journey of being a young boy leaving Savannah at age 17 for the Pratt Institute. Yes, he does live on Pineapple Street. Our new friend, Craig Meachen, is a successful realtor and hopefully will soon be visiting us in New Jersey.

All we did was make a decision to go for a walk in a new and different area. Along the way, we met two completely different sets of people. The experience provided us with hours of conversation, new acquaintances that we never would have met who have already reached out to us, and the idea of writing an article about how easy it is to meet and greet newfound friends if we allow it to happen. For many of us the cocoon with which we surround ourselves includes the same people that we are accustomed to being with. Perhaps because of our major move, we are excited to meet new people who are from different walks of life and have their own interesting tales to tell. We teach our children to beware of strangers but as adults we need to be more open about meeting and greeting those around us. We will definitely return to DUMBO and will be on the lookout for other free and wonderful places to visit. We are open to suggestions at any time.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

 

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