This morning Mark and I drove Clive, a Mini Cooper, out to Bensonhurst to mend his front windshield.
A couple weeks ago, we'd driven down the BQE (Brooklyn Queens Expressway) when a big piece of gravel dinged us, cracking the glass. Clive had to have his windshield replaced.
If you've never driven on the BQE, please don't start. It is riddled with potholes and uneven terrain. There are concrete dividers marking the median, which shifts constantly since they're 'repairing' the road. Mark will frequently drive and curse at the roads and drivers because it's downright dangerous.
Bensonhurst is 20 minutes away from where I live in Park Slope, Brooklyn. It's best known for a period in 1989 when a racially motivated murder provoked riots and protests. I think to most New Yorkers, the name connotes strife and danger. Mark and I found it to be quite benign, with large avenues and freestanding houses. Everything had an old timey look to it and it was hard to believe we were in New York.
According to Wikipedia, a motley bunch of well known people grew up in Bensonhurst, including Scott Baio, Carl Sagan, Harvey Fierstein, Elliot Gould, Larry King and Marisa Tomei.
The neighborhood has large populations of Russians, Italians and Hasidim. Mark and I ventured into a huge supermarket with many Russian items. The sheer amount of sausages in one aisle and Russian beer in another was amazing. There was a separate caviar counter. There was a aisle full of chocolates and candies, wrapped in colorful and cryptic paper.
We could have walked out with armfuls of sausages, but Mark and I are trying to cut down on our red meat. We opted instead for a whopping bag of mixed candies, gathered from the open bins. Yum!