"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world." -Richard Dawkins

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Kid on the Block

In the past three weeks, my life has been in high upheaval. The reason for this being the long awaited and much blessed event of finally moving into my own place. If this seems to you like something every adult should do, you're probably right. The past two years have been a finance-stabling, get-back-on-our-own-two-feet type sojourn hosted by my mother. Needless to say, it's nice to be out on my own. (Again.)

The move has taken us to the heart of South Troy, right here in Little Italy where "Community" has totally become a buzzword for me. I have been gobbling up every new experience, every nook and cranny and corner "shady-mart" as my husband and I like to refer to them, with their ubiquitous opaque black plastic bags. We haven't much gone exploring yet, as our priorities are generally still revolving around unpacking and catching up with work. But there have been a few moments that encapsulated that small, young family living in the inner city feeling for me.

Last week we walked up to DeFazio's pizza, this itty bitty woodfire family operation churning out the most glorious pies this side of Naples, I'm sure of it. The place, which only has five tables, was packed full. We'd planned to sit down, but clearly barring that, we were left with takeout. It was one of those recent spring-warm and gently breezy evenings, and my daughter and I stepped outside to wait for our pizza to bake while my husband scooted across the street to hit the ATM.

We sat down together on the stoop of the row house next door, (which the guy who lived there had just been inside DeFazio's, picking up his own pie, and awkwardky crossed paths with us as we were usurping his stoop. He gave us a big smile and said we were welcome to have a seat on his steps, and to have a great night.) I smiled, my daughter skipped up and down the stairs, golden in the light of the sunset.  I grinned to myself as a few indie kids walked in with a few bottles of wine to meet their already seated friends. People went in empty handed but eager, came out with fragrant, gorgeous pizzas, went away happy. Eventually, my husband was among them. We walked home together, the block and a half, hand-in-pizza-hand.

My community is falling together for me in shards of discovery, like a puzzle. A coop here, a playground there, and right here, a pizza place, where the guy behind the counter treats you like family. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Originally written for Kids Fun Plaza magazine on 4/15/2011. Yes, I own my content.

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