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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, August 09, 2004

My First Trip to Boro Park

I spent this past weekend in Boro Park, which for me is quite a monumental event, considering that I had never before set foot in Brooklyn. I spent the weekend meeting new people, seeing new sights and having new experiences. All of this was wonderful and interesting, though I have to admit I am exhausted. I think I still have a lot to absorb and reflect on, but what I found interesting was something my friend said to me right before I left. He made a comment about how different my Shabbos must have been, because the people I had interacted with were so different from those I typically spend time with. The truth was, that was the thing that I thought the littlest about. I saw a lot of different sights and modes of dress in those I met in Boro Park. But everyone I sat down to talk to acted very similar to those I already know. Yes, they had some different views and many different experiences from those I was accustomed to hearing, but at the core, they were people, and they were the same as everyone else. I have to say, it was a comforting feeling. In preparation for my trip, I was concerned that I would feel completely out of place and like a visitor of a foreign country. Or like a rare specimen that no one had ever seen before - some weird girl from the strange state of Alabama who has never before seen Brooklyn. And I felt it in a very small way, in the fact that the dress and accents were different from what I usually experience. Several people I met were surprised by the fact that I had never before been to Boro Park. But the way I interacted with everyone and how they seemed to react to me was with very little variation from my typical day to day experiences in Baltimore. I guess what I am saying is, at heart, it doesn't matter where you grow up - Boro Park, Baltimore or Birmingham. People are people and if you can see beyond external appearances, then you can feel comfortable anywhere.


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