Saturday, October 11, 2008

Seein Sights in the Heights

10:00 pm… men, women, and teens, roam the streets. From my little spot on the corner of Union I watch the happenings of kapparos night in Crown Heights. Girls scurrying up and down the avenue in a hustle and bustle of Erev Yom Kippur preparation. Chickens swinging all around me. Men hurrying to catch a minyan. Snippets of conversation in a vast array of different languages can be heard all around. Merchants selling lulavim and esrogim of street corners. And last minute shopping in preparation for the holiest day of the year.
I look around me and take it all in. wow. There is not a better place to live in the world. The sights. The views. The feeling. The smell ( Israelis!!!). I love this place!! I love livin here and I love every moment of it. Which other community can compare?? Which other community is so tight-woven, yet so diverse?? Or accepting, for that matter?
In which other community would you find throngs of people all heading to the same shul for selichos at 1:00 am? In which other community is there ONE live Simchas Beis Hashoeva on the main street of town? In which other community is there ONE shul where EVERYONE feels welcome? In which other community can you walk up the main avenue ( Kingston) at any time of day, to find or make a friend? In which other community can you walk in to your local shul and find it inhabited completely by foreigners? Which other community in the world is the headquarters for a world wide outreach network that hosts more than 2 conventions a year? Which other community would graciously offer their homes, time and food to an entire importing community for an entire month annually?? Which other community is made up of people who all feel a strong connection to ONE leader? Which other community is everyone welcome, despite sect, affiliation, or background?
I love Crown heights. And it’s not for nothing. This is where I belong. This is my home. This is where my past lies and my future stands. Although I know that these days of long nights spent hangin out with my friends in the hood will be long gone as real life takes its toll, my childhood memories will have this place forever embedded. And even if my move away and even if I move far, you will know that CH is always my #1 home.

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