The Lower East Side Ecology Center had a fishing happy hour and I decided to go partly because I’ve always wanted to fish and partly to support my friend who works there.
As I was heading towards the East River, I had to walk down Grand St., and it brought back soo many memories of my elementary school years when I lived in Chinatown.
The block that the Doughnut Plant is located on feels oddly different and the same at the same time. I’m pretty sure the Doughnut Plant had expanded and swallow the store that used to be next to them. That Bialy store is still there (i’m pretty happy that they are still around!). I remember getting a Bialy in class (not sure why we were having Bialys) and just loving it-partly because I just love bread in general. I knew I picked one that had some flavor in it but I don’t remember if I could taste it or if I couldn’t taste it. Additionally, I remember going on a class trip to a pickle place to learn all about pickles! They weren’t located in the place I originally remember them being-if it’s the same guys, then I think they’ve expanded and now have a much bigger storefront but if it’s not the same guys that’s a shame.
Walking even further down Grand St. towards the East River, I passed by the Henry Street Settlement. It used to be one of those places where our school took us to often because it was so close and probably cheap (or maybe not often-my memory’s not that great). It was in there, climbing the steps of the place that my very first boyfriend (he didn’t become my boyfriend until Middle school but I had such a huge crush on him) told me to spell ICUP and taught me that childish joke. Ahh, such fond memories… lol
Past that was the first building that my elementary was in-our school shared that building with another public school and moved to another building around middle school. Those very iconic blue windows were what I’ve always sorta associated with that building and passing by it made me tear up because I just thought about how it looks pretty much the same-it still had the same blue windows. I thought about how every morning, I would pretend to go get breakfast and once I knew my family left, i’d sneak back into the auditorium to hang with my friends. All these memories just came flooding back, a time where everything seemed so simple and carefree and I was soo stupid that I thought I knew everything.
I thought of the park in Middle School where I sat with two of my friends after school. We shared fried rice together and just talked about life- general girl talk. I couldn’t remember which park it was but I knew it was one of the parks near the school.
It felt like such a long time ago-some of these memories I sort of forgot about- like the Bialys or the Pickle guys. There were still so many things that were different though, so many apartment buildings and gates that weren’t there in the past.
This experience was literally a walk down memory lane and I loved it but it did make me feel sad because of how different things have changed
Random memory while writing this:
I remember walking to school on Grand St. when I was in elementary school with my grandfather. I was young and very active so I would normally walk ahead or rather, run ahead. There was a road blocked and once day a police officer came up to me and ask me if I was alone, I said my grandfather is with me. The officer proceeded to scold my grandfather for letting me walk ahead but he obviously didn’t understand and just nodded. Thinking back it was funny but I also feel bad cause I don’t want him to get scolded.