Alex Massie Alex Massie

A Sunny Day in Brooklyn and the American Dream – Spectator Blogs

From Peggy Noonan’s blog which, unusually for a political columnist, is almost always lovely and generous and warmly-acute:

“Man needs less to be instructed than reminded,” Dr. Johnson said, but it wasn’t really a reminder I got yesterday, it was a sort of revivifier.

I was at the big annual street fair in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Big turnout, beautiful day, many thousands of people clogging Third Avenue from the 60s through the 80s, what looked like more than a hundred booths. The people filling the avenue were an incredible mix—young and old, infants and grandmas, all colors and nationalities, families, kids in groups, all kinds of garb—young Arab women in headscarves and abayas, Italian kids from the old Bay Ridge, elderly Irish women who go to the local evangelical church, young Latinos, tall blond Nordic-looking girls in black suede leather boots, Filipino families. In the beauty shop on 76th Street where my mother popped in to get her hair done everyone spoke Chinese, including a 5- or 6-year-old Asian girl so proud of her new bangs. One booth looked like a gold souk and sold Arab dress. Another sold Catholic saints’ cards, crucifixes and Rosary beads. At the Obama 2012 booth, some members of “Brooklyn Democrats for Change” teased me, gave me an Obama button, and posed for pictures. (No Romney booth, alas.) At another, evangelicals offered a free New Testament, and when I said I already had one, they asked if they could pray for a specific intention. I said yes, my back’s bothering me, and a white-haired woman put her hands on my neck and back, said a prayer and asked for a healing in Jesus Christ’s name. A Mexican woman across the way had a headset on and was telling everyone how to make the best salad ever with her Super-Hyper-Veg-O-Matic.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.

Or

Unlock more articles

REGISTER

Comments

Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in