We've all heard the snarky "three important things in real estate...location, location, and--" POW! [Sound of real estate agent getting socked in the jaw while reciting this to poor potential home buyer] Yeah, whatever. But seriously, folks [dusting off fist while agent moans on ground], the location of the CrazyStable--like so many other things about it (its size, condition, etc.) has been an ongoing invitation to Look on the Bright Side of Life...or look into the abyss of woe.
Sometimes it's the abyss of woe--truck traffic, soccer-player post-game madness, and (until the blessed resurfacing of the Parade Grounds) an endless succession of dust devils from the playing fields. We're in a very exposed locale, and sometimes I envy those whose houses are tucked into peaceful cul-de-sacs.
But sometimes, it's the bright side--like when a storm blows in across Prospect Park and we can smell the wet earth scent on the wind...or when I'm feeling blue and isolated, and am cheered by the sight, visible from our upper windows, of the ever-present soccer players floating up and down the field in a joyous improv ballet. This weekend, it was the Bright Side, big-time. Shown below, in a satellite shot from outer space, are the Happy Rays emanating from the Child's and my first joint bicycle ride through Prospect Park, which, since it is virtually across the street, will be seeing a lot of us this summer.
Bike-shopping excursion diversion: Got my bike at the estimable Mr. C's Cycles, where the nice man was very patient with a nervous lady pushing 50 who hadn't ridden a bike in nearly 20 years. Shopping for one made me feel like Rip Van Winkle; last time I rode, 12 was a lot of gears, and I'd never heard of a "mountain bike" versus a "road bike." As I waited for the nice man to get me a "hybrid" ready for a test drive (that's a bike sort of halfway between Lance Armstrongy 'road' and X-sporty-dude "mountain"), I flipped through some of the catalogs. Time was when a fancy bicycle accessory was a bell or some streamers. But here were mostly slick ads for fancy bike parts...nothing but parts, which wonks (many of them apparently legendary athletes with sponsorships from scary power-drink companies) choose with obsessional care and then assemble into hot, flamin' Frankenbikes. My personal favorite? An outfit that promised "one bitchin' fork." (To go, presumably, with bitchin' derailleurs, a bitchin' suspension, bitchin' brakes, and perhaps a bitchin' water bottle.) The nice man did not make me choose a fork, bitchin' or otherwise, but rather matched my middle-aged and penurious self up with a fine and nimble $300 park-circling Trek, an impressive-looking chain lock, and a Bell helmet that doesn't make me look too dorky. (I hope.) And the good news is: The cliche is true...you really never forget how to ride a bicycle.
So our "parkside location" has a whole new dimension, as the park beckons to Child and me on wheels. (Spouse is not a cyclist, sadly, but cheers us on.) And the bikes--including that of Nice Tenant--are now stabled in the formerly underused and sad "Tool Room," giving it a new raison d'etre. Yesterday we made it around the 4-mile park drive with the real cyclist types--the ones wearing zippy Spandex jerseys, and undoubtedly bestride bitchin' forks. Wheee!