Jim and I moved to Brooklyn, New York in late June 1957. His internship at Kings County Hospital was to begin July 1. We had come to Brooklyn earlier in June to find a place to live. We were thrilled to find 682 Argyle Road because we could afford the $68 a month rent. Mrs. Geiger had advertised it as an apartment. Actually it was three rooms on the third floor with the bathroom on the second at the foot of the open stairway. There was a small back yard. She would accept a couple with a nine months old child - many places would not rent to children - and she would let me put our washing machine in her basement. Tree lined sidewalks, walking distance to neighborhood shops and the subway. There was enough that felt familiar - the old houses, tree-shaded streets and sidewalks - that I hoped it would be easier to adapt to the BIG city. We snapped it up. Our new home - 682 Argyle Road.
We have never been back. So when the Washington Post printed a review of a B&B at 667 Argyle Road in Brooklyn - it seemed a gift. We could re-visit our past. And, bring it up-to-date - I wasn't thinking about that part - but up-dating is what happens - and in our case it turned out to be a bit unexpected.
The drive up from Maryland was easy. Taking Hwy 278 through Staten Island into Brooklyn really simplified our re-enty. Not to mention having the Tom-tom GPS was added icing on the cake. We turned off Ocean Parkway at Avenue H - which became Foster Avenue - the cross street for Argyle Road. We recognized it at once. Only difference is that now it is a one way street - so we had to go around the block.
We pulled up in front of the Lorelei at 667 Argyle Road. Lovely and peaceful - this block of Argyle Rd looked just like it had when we lived here fifty years ago.
We looked ahead toward Foster Avenue. Those were the same tall red brick apartments with small store-front shops on the first floor. "Jim, it looks the same. Its so familiar. I recognize it all." It was like stepping back in time.
And - across the street - 682 Argyle Road.
Looking a bit different - but unmistakenly itself.
In 1957 there were white wooden posts and white wood railings and trim. With typical wooden basketweave under the porch. Jim kept saying, "The yard was bigger ." He is right. The driveway on the left is an addition which narrows the front yard.
We went into the Loralei where we met Bob, our friendly and welcoming host, and settled into our second floor room. The Loralei is beautifully restored and comfortable. Its easy to feel at home immediately. Jim and I unpacked quickly so we could get out to walk around the niehgborhood.
Jim stopped to take pictures.
We walked onto Foster Avenue. The buildings were the same with different shops - a changed multi-cultural atmosphere. I don't remember KEY Groceries but I know that's where I shopped for food. I had a blue metal Taylortot stroller for Jimmy. We walked all around this neighborhood.
Jim and I reached the Subway stop three blocks away. I stepped back to take pictures.
Once we reached the subway stop I had to find a seat. My right leg was really hurting. It was painful to put weight on it.
The pain was in the back of my knee. Jim said there was only one way to know what was wrong - have a doctor look at it. I don't believe we did this, but we stopped at one of the store front medical clinics next to the subway. An elegant elder doctor examined my leg. "I can't really rule out DVT, madam, without a doppler." Translation - DVT-deep vein thrombus. Oops. Not a good thing.
He wrote out a prescription. "This is Saturday afternoon the only place you can get a doppler is at the hospital."
My jaw dropped. "No.No. We are travelers. We just arrived."
"Madam, it is up to you. It is the only way to rule out DVT. The only way to be safe."
Jim was not smiling.
I knew that I was on my way to the hospital for the doppler.
The doctor wrote the prescription. "take this to Coney Island Hospital."
"Why not go to Kings County Hospital?" I asked. Jim shook his head. "Its too big. I don't want to take you to a big city hospital."
Coney Island Hospital was about a twenty minute drive - a straight shot down Ocean Parkway. No problem finding it with the GPS. We arrived at 2 pm - which we learned shortly was thirty minutes after the sonogram lab closed on Saturday afternoon. What no 24/7 sonogram lab? No.
The senior doctor in the Emergency Room advised - "the only way to protect you is to keep you here until tomorrow morning when the doppler teehnician will be back. Until then we will give you blood thinners and watch you."
"No. No. We are travelers." I looked around the bustling, crowded and very noisy Emergency Room where uniformed NYPD policeman stood guard at the entrance doors and one out of every two patients was screaming. " oh, no."
"You can sign out, Madam, against our advice, if that is your decision." I looked at Jim. He shrugged.
I knew the trip had just changed. I was in Brooklyn allright.
I was in Coney Island but this was not the beach!