Newkirk Plaza (It Still Looks the Same)
During a recent walk, far from home and with no particular destination, I came upon Newkirk Plaza. The shabby little subway station/mall in the middle of nowhere gave me more delight than would seem warranted by such a place, for I had passed this way before.
Twenty years ago, when I first moved to Brooklyn, I worked for my friend’s little two-man construction company and the job we were doing was in Midwood, renovating a couple’s basement (in a house on a tree-lined cul de sac, right next to the train tracks). And every morning we took the D train to Newkirk Plaza, which came to symbolize for me the dreariness of those sleepy early mornings and that work for which I was totally unsuited. The trip would register in my head like a tape loop of misery: “Newkirk, Newkirk, Newkirk, Newkirk.” Today, though, with the routine long behind me and trumped by the curious accident that summoned the memory, Newkirk Plaza just makes me smile.