Park Slope, revisited

Can you go home again?
This afternoon, I did.
I lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn for 15 years, right before I started what’s proven to be the most recent nomadic path between two coasts.
Hadn’t been back for, oh, 5 years.
Wanted to see if it had changed as much as I have.
Nope. Not really.
The streets were just as green and leafy, the bakeries and coffee shops were unchanged, and the early afternoon strollers seemed just as relaxed and mellow.
And the dogs! Almost as many as in California–Labs, little French bulldogs, and chubby mutts.
On the way back from my friend’s house, I stopped in at the copy shop on Flatbush Avenue. Almost 10 years ago, I’d helped Gloria, a local waitress I’d befriended, get a job there–Jay needed someone and Gloria wanted to quit waiting tables.
On impulse, I went in.
Yes, Jay and Gloria were both there, behind the counter.
“Remember me?”
Yes! They did.
We chatted–I told them I lived in California now, they asked about my son, I asked about their families..it felt good.
“I’ve gotta go,” I said, “But I’ll stop in again.”
And I meant it.