Day 33 (Day): Brooklyn, the Bridge & Manhattan

The day dawned sunny and warm in Park Slope, so welcome after all the hail & gloom of the Midwest. We discovered we had a guest visiting the planter box outside Molly & Sean’s kitchen window.

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I dragged Tako out of the house as soon as I was able to get dressed, eager to start the day. We spent most of the morning just walking around Park Slope. I’m obsessed with how green this city is.

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And the doors/doorways. I’m in love with the old and the decorative.

Brooklyn is going through an intense period of growth, and Molly and Sean’s neighborhood is a pretty good example of that. Every block has new complexes going up, or an older building being torn down in favor of a more modern set of condos…

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…which inevitably look really out of place sandwiched between Victorian style and brown-stone buildings.

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I have yet to run into a place in NYC that doesn’t allow dogs at outdoor tables. I love that.

Wandering the neighborhood meant running into some interesting things on the street…

How long has this been languishing in someone’s apartment?

…and coming across many stores allow dogs inside. You either have to ask, or they have a sign up declaring it.

powerHouse let Tako inside, and I got to hang out with my three favorite things: books, coffee & Tako.

Plus they have an amazing hammered tin ceiling, art from local kids on the walls, and — NYC gold — air-conditioning.

D.Vino Wine & Spirits on on Parkside has a sign proclaiming they allow dogs on their door.

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They also had super affordable (nice) wines, some really tasty looking bourbons, and a very helpful lady who walked me through every single one of the light, summer reds they have. I managed to get a new thank you gift for Molly & Sean!

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They also do weekly tastings! I will be back, D. Vino, just you wait.

And pretty much every bodega is absolutely fine with you bringing your dog in. They do not care. (And this is New York; if they did have a problem, they’d let you know.)

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Prospect Park is my favorite park in the world. I like it more than Central Park, which I get is kind of controversial.

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But how do you not love a park that actually looks like an actual forest in places?

And it has so many nooks and bridges to just sit and hang out in.

The park is so huge, you can always find somewhere sans-people, which is nigh-on impossible in a city as crowded as New York. It’s very peaceful in Prospect Park.

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And if you’re looking for something specific, the city has a searchable map up for Prospect Park.

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The park has a “dog beach” that is an out-cropping of a larger pond. It’s not really beach-like. It’s more like granite slabs. So I didn’t think Tako was going to be interested.

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I was very wrong. He submerged himself entirely. That has only happened once before in his life, so I just kind of stared in shock for a minute before pulling him out, removing his leash, and letting him run.

Dog owners in NYC seem to be in one of two camps:

  • avoid all people and dogs at all costs
  • friendliest dog owners in the world

I really haven’t experienced anything in between yet. 

Molly said she’s literally had people yank their dogs away from her in the city, so I know it’s not about Tako. They don’t want their dog around any people at all, as far as I can tell. 

I thought maybe it had to do with bite laws. In some states, one bite means the dog can be put down. And “bite” is such a nebulous concept with a dog because when a puppy is playing, they gnaw on things, including arms, that get near their mouths.

Heck, Tako still does this sometimes, though he’s old enough that’s learned to only do it with me.

I’ve seen people freak out that a dog bit them when it was just a nip. But I’ve also seen a previously docile dog lunge at a human and not known what triggered it. So, to me, these should always be considered on a case-by-case basis…but that’s not how the law works.

All that said, though, NYC bite laws are actually pretty lenient:

New York is a “mixed” state, meaning that it has a dog bite statute that mixes the one-bite rule with a limited degree of strict liability. The statute makes the owner or keeper of a previously adjudicated “dangerous dog” strictly liable only for the victim’s medical and veterinary costs. For other damages, New York requires a victim to prove that the dog had the dangerous tendency to bite people, and that the dog owner knew it. New York does not permit victims to recover compensation on the ground of negligence.

source: Dog Bite Law

So…I don’t know what’s up with those people is the short answer. Maybe they just aren’t friendly in general.

When we were at the dog beach, not one owner let their dog play with Tako. I had the saddest pug on my hands, so we left and laid in the grass for an hour or so.

Walking through the park, I spotted people fishing…

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…and about a thousand things that were just pretty.

I had made a list of things I wanted to do, but it was so hot that I just couldn’t bring myself to care that we weren’t getting to it. We were having too good of a time just hanging out in the shade, watching the people in the park go by.

I had plans with Sean, Alex, and maybe Molly if she was feeling up for it, to get dinner and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I thought it would be a good idea for Tako to get a nap in the air-conditioning in before all of that, so we headed back to the apartment around mid-afternoon.

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On our way, I bought a popsicle from one of the bodegas, and Tako was convinced he deserved some of it. To be honest, if it hadn’t been pure sugar water, I probably would have shared.

I took us on the long route home. (Mostly on purpose.) So we got to see a bunch of new things. I discovered that in Brooklyn, you walk over the freeway in these pretty white tunnels.

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It made me wish there was ivy growing through the lattices. Brooklyn is just so green. It’s amazing.

I love that street carts in New York can be absolutely anything. Full produce stands, bootleg DVDs, newspapers, coffee, etc.

Continued in Day 33 (Night).


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