Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday Afternoon in Williamsburg: The First Day of Spring at Jaime Campiz Playground

After a harsh winter - our last, we hope, in New York - along with a lot of folks, we're delighted with the unseasonably warm weather at the start of this spring.
Leaving Brooklyn College around noon after teaching stories by William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor to our wonderful BMCC class, we spotted the first buds on a cherry tree. Our hands were full so we didn't get a pic, but there were definitely red flowers starting to form.

Soon after getting off the G train in Williamsburg, we got into our T-shirt and shorts and joined the crowds enjoying the outside. After getting a copy of Dante's Inferno at the Leonard branch library, we got a soda on Metropolitan Avenue and took our book to the Jaime Campiz Playground by the BQE.

The playground's named after Jaime Campiz, a Puerto Rican athlete - who played baseball in some Puerto Rican leagues and as a boxer was a finalist in the Golden Gloves in the 126-pound division - and Williamsburg civic leader. A Korean War vet, he was active in Williamsburg as a baseball coach and then as president of many local baseball leagues (Canella’s, Pedrin Zorilla’s, Collazo’s and the Pan American) and organizer of the La Calsana Social Athletic Club.

The playground was hardly crowded; the chess/checkers tables and benches were empty.

But a few little kids were playing on the swings or sliding pond;

a couple of skateboarders zoomed by; one group of guys was playing basketball;

and a few of us hung out on the benches. That's the Church of the Annunciation in the background.

We read about eight cantos of The Inferno but the warm sun on the day of the vernal equinox made us feel more like we were in heaven.

Walking back home,

we spotted this sporty convertible on Metropolitan Avenue in front of the laundromat.

It was another welcome sign of the warm weather to come.

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