Enjoying a Day in the Neighborhood

This past Saturday reminded me why I’m fortunate to enjoy living where I do. Sometimes living in NYC can be a challenge and I find that it’s always nice to have one of those days that makes dealing with the all the challenges worthwhile! Saturday was that kind of day for me. The sun was out and it was starting to feel like spring, so I’m sure that helped a lot too!

For the first time in a while I really felt like I was rolling off the clock this past Saturday. My wife and I each did our own thing in the morning, then headed out into the neighborhood around mid-day, with the dual luxury of having some free time and no plan to constrict it. This is a very rare opportunity for us and one that I’d like to figure out how to let happen much more often!

(Haven’t done one of these asides in a while. I’m finding it hard to refocus back into my weekly schedule this morning. Maybe I should have switched things around a bit to write in the afternoon and give myself more time to ease into the day…)

The afternoon started with a quick stop at Ride Brooklyn, the local bike shop I go to support my ever growing cycling habit. I’m lucky to have them up the road, as they’ve been a big help since I started trying to break into the sport about a year ago. It’s really nice to be able to stroll a couple of blocks up the street to ask a question, check out a new seat, or drop off my bike for a quick repair or adjustment. Being able to do this during the week can be especially nice, since the crowds are usually nonexistent and the guys there are always glad to help, especially when they aren’t occupied with renting bikes to tourists ☺

On Saturday, I was hoping to drop off an old seat I had to a donation bin I had seen there a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, the bin had already been picked up, which means I’ll have to find somewhere else to donate the seat. Although I didn’t necessarily accomplish what I set out to do, it’s always nice to stop in and be surrounded by all of the shiny new bikes and gear!

The next stop on the trip was a nice surprise. I’ve written before about Leeds Electric, a radio supply store that’s been in the neighborhood since 1923! I’m pretty sure that makes it older than the combined age of any four skateboarders that may buzz past it on any given day. OK, or maybe two or three skateboarders in this neighborhood, but that could be the topic for a different post ;)

I was nicely surprised because I’d thought that Leeds was only open during the week. The main door was open and the garage door was open just a little bit less than half-way. My wife and I went in and I was immediately astounded by the expansiveness of the place, which I never imagined could be so large, after passing by the outside so many times. I was hoping that I could bring an old Radiola model 61-3 from the 1940's over to Leeds for them to look at and tell me how to fix. They unfortunately don’t “deal in gear” anymore, according to the owner, which means I’ll have to troubleshoot it myself. The owner was very helpful in explaining a few very basic points to get the troubleshooting started and offered to test the tubes in the radio for a small fee and waive the fee if I end up having to buy a replacement tube for him. So while it’s not going to be as quick a fix as I thought and I probably won’t get the radio running for opening day of the MLB baseball season, I am excited to have a new project on my hands! My new goal is to get the radio restored before MLB’s all star break.

Ha! So I started writing this Monday with a burst of enthusiasm. Sitting back down, or actually standing at my makeshift standing desk, to the post on Tuesday afternoon, I’m not feeling as motivated to finish the post in as great a level of detail as I had started it yesterday. Suffice it to say that the rest of the afternoon was really enjoyable without anything extraordinary happening. We stopped by some familiar and unfamilar places, had a few really nice interactions and conversations with people we ran into as we wandered along, and came back ready for a nice dinner and evening at home, after having enjoyed the sun and fresh air for the better part of the afternoon. One thing I’m pretty sure allowed me to enjoy the day like I did was that the stopwatch I usually feel floating in front of me just above eye level, counting down the minutes and seconds until it’s on to the next thing, was nowhere to be found on Saturday afternoon.

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