Brooklyn Boy

Williamsburg last night, the streets were teeming with Orthodox women and children, as in a a ghetto dream

Men too, smiling and engaging with (mostly) beardless seculars like me (and for all they knew, I was a shagetz).

The thickly bearded and the bearded gray danced in crowded chambers on the far side of windows and joyous song emanated from ramshackle structures in every direction. Women and their babies on the sidewalk looked through the windows to watch the papas and the zaides dancing in their yontef-go-to-shul long coats. I felt as if I’d stepped back through time, to the Lower East Side of a hundred years ago or somewhere in pre-Nazi Europe.

Of course, Williamsburg is far bigger than your average shtetl, so it was, for a vast (in context) moment, a little like walking though an alternate 1900, where Jews were, rather than diasporic, I don’t know, maybe…

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