I began my route yesterday again in East New York, heading to Spring Creek. Walking southeast on Fountain beyond Flatlands, the entrance to Recreation National Gateway seemed to be only a deserted road next to an inlet with a field and trees on the side opposite. I set the goal of seeing the road pass under Shore Parkway in what seemed about 3/4 of a mile distance. On the curb, near the water, I found decaying stuffed animals piled high on to the blockade. It was a memorial that I imagined was for a person killed but likely not by a car as no one was driving on this section of the road. A signal to turn around, I found Best Buy and civilized traffic patterns quickly. The scene haunted me for good reason. Apparently the Gateway shopping development has improved the area somewhat during the day with a constant flux of vehicles.
Venturing farther on Flatlands Avenue, I found myself in a mindset hazy but focused on paper acquisition. I stopped a few times for water, a cup of watermelon, jerk chicken and to purchase the tenth anniversary issue of The International Journal of Kurdish Studies from a thrift store.
The sensation of being sweaty and dirty all day reminded me of summer days in Virginia spent at baton twirling camp. The physicality and monotony of practicing those eight hour days prepared me for what the remainder of this week will be and my walks when I return in August.