Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Flowers and Fasts

Despite earning an "ugh" of disapproval from an anonymous poster, the celebration at the Walt L. Shamel Community Garden on Dean this past Sunday was a great time. The weather was perfect, the garden was verdant, and they had a kiddie pool full of rose petals. Allow me to repeat that--they had a kiddie pool of rose petals! The closest thing I've ever seen to an organic reincarnation of the Chuck E. Cheese ball pit, the pool of roses was a huge hit. Rose petals are soft, fragrant, colorful, and durable. You can wallow in them without a care, or do flying leaps into them if you're under the age of 12-ish. You can throw them in the air and let them come fluttering down all over you, and if you're the one little kid in attendance, you can command an audience of bemused 20- and 30-somethings for a solid hour by doing all of these things with great gusto while screaming "Waaaaaaaooooooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeee!" From now on, my answer to anything that includes the phrase "kiddie pool full of rose petals" is yes.

The event was excellent beyond this attraction, of course--food was cheap and tasty and the music was wonderful (I failed to get the name of a woman who put on a spectacular one-woman show with a violin, pickup, and delay pedals). I did get a chance to talk to the guys selling the beads pictured above, mushana, which are made from recycled paper in Uganda. Check them out here.

Along with UN Peace Day, Sunday and Monday marked the celebration of Eid in the Muslim world, which includes a sizeable portion of our own neighborhood's residents. Many locals gathered at Bedford and Fulton to break the fast of Ramadan, and you can get a feel for the joyous mood from this Flickr photoset, taken in 2008. Tony from Fisher's let me know that the holiday was this weekend, as did the gentlemen at Bombay Masala (if you like their food as much as I do, help them out and give them a great review on Yelp!), who were dressed in their finest for the occasion. Eid has been celebrated in Brooklyn for decades, of course, including at Coney Island, where this spectacular photo was taken years ago.

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