There are several groups meeting in the atrium. One is for learning Spanish, another for figuring out how to make your home more neat. Although the neater home group is the one I should be signing up for, I've joined a discussion on streamlining business processes. It takes a while to get started. The host shows up late; most of the people who RSVP'ed don't turn up at all. (The conversation is interesting anyway.)
A mariachi band steps into the subway car with the suddenness of a channel change. Everything's bright and lively and loud for a couple of minutes. Later on in the ride, as the train stalls on a bridge, breakdancers appear, a hair's breadth away from head injury as they swing wildly from the poles and do backflips.
A young boy and his mom sit in the mouth of a blue tent that's backlit by the sun. They take turns blowing bubbles.
The different parts of Prospect Park feel only loosely connected. We explore a forest where a stream slips through tumbled rocks. We come to a dog beach where people wade ankle deep and throw toys for their dogs to splash after. A picnic area floats past us at one point, in a mist of smoke. We follow the tail of a larger body of water; it's serpentine and keeps changing shape. Clearings open up, criss-crossed with shadow, and large meadows suddenly spring into view, bared to the sun. These places don't feel like parts of the same park, only that they settled next to each other by chance the day we visited, so we could walk from one to the other.
In these narrow streets, a theme emerges of brick submerged in leaves. Trees screen polished windows, and plants spill out of window boxes.
A passionate sermon in a woman's voice resounds through a barred door. It's a storefront church that contains a cauldron of apocalyptic feeling.
The lower level of the museum is home to vintage train cars, one of them displaying an ad for cocoa with eerie children. The upper level shows a history of city transportation and its challenges, from overcrowding to extensive flooding.