Tom's Restaurant, a Brooklyn institution for the past 70 years, is nestled obscurely on a street corner in the Prospect Heights area of Brooklyn. A small and unassuming store front but a favorite diner for locals is evidenced by the line extending not only out the door, but down and around the block. A Brooklynite himself, Haran has wisely ushered us here as the doors are opening, so we are immediately seated at a tiny table for four.
An older gentleman walks up and down the line of hungry patrons awaiting tables, and through the restaurant, providing us with hand wipes, slices of orange, vinegar french fries and other tempting morsels. Tom's is a popular breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner spot, and while there's not a lot of room to maneuver when seated and tightly tucked up against your neighbor, the historical articles and artifacts gracing the walls and counters makes for a feast for the eyes.
I want to wander and read the many articles posted, but the crowd is thick and getting thicker and there's no room for me to do so, so I'll come back another day and prowl about.
I enjoy a waffle with strawberries and Haran digs in to pancakes and grits. With full tummys, we don't sit for long in order to make room for those waiting, and we venture out in to the cool day.
A short walk just a few blocks down the street, Haran shows me the school where he teaches and then leads me to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, where cherry blossoms are just beginning to explode, painting little splashes of color up and down the still mostly brown Cherry Walk.
When Haran heads off to work, I wander the gardens, soaking in the sunshine, the chorus of bird songs and the saturated pinks, whites and yellows of the cherry blossoms and the magnolias.
Living only in northern climates, I've never experienced spring with such brilliant, intense colors. It is a visual feast for my eyes, my heart and my spirit.
As I make my way up and down the blocks, finding my way home, I pass by cherry tree-lined street after street, pink, white and yellow blossoms bursting forth and magnolia flowers opening like hands in prayer.
I put my key in the door to the house and give thanks for this day of sustenance that has filled my body and my soul.