Monday, October 26, 2009

Hot Dogs and Ghoul Masks and Books – Oh My!

I am never so glad to be a Brooklynite as on a Sunday. There is such a panorama of possibility in terms of diversion and delight, its hard to know where to start, especially on a spectacular sunny fall day. This Sunday we started at Bark, the eco-friendly haute dog joint on Bergen Street. Pork and beef blend dogs with all sorts of fresh, tasty toppings (oh, chili cheese dog, wilt thou be mine?) are so good you won’t mind paying the high prices (six bucks for a dog? Seriously?). Primo polished off a biscuit with cherry jam which he highly recommends and Seconda quite enjoyed the piping hot and greasy salt-and-pepper fries. And the best part is the whole place is green – from the wind power used to keep the lights on to the reclaimed wood communal tables to the compost receptacles. Hey, green is the new black.

Then off to the feature presentation of the day – Ghouls and Gourds at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Best damn October-fest I’ve been to in years. And the recipe for success is simple: huge, Julie Taymor-like masks and puppets that kids can crawl into. Check out my kids in these puppet pieces of art:

Icing on the cake was meeting the author/ illustrator of Primo’s favorite book: The Field Guide to Monsters. Johan Olander was delightful; he talked to Primo for a while about his process and inspiration, and let the kids draw their own monsters, some of which he’ll include on his website. Primo was really thrilled. His monster was the Zookalak, who lives in the air, eats trees and plants and looks charming, with 10,000 teeth. Then we hit the story-telling tent and heard Javaka Steptoe read a few of his books, like Rain Play and a funny collection of tongue-twisty puns he helped to illustrate called How Much Wood Could a Woodchuck Chuck? Oh, literature! Oh sunshine! Oh Brooklyn!