Friday, January 7, 2011

Two Women, One Neighborhood

by Meredith Cole

As soon as I heard about our topic this week, I looked for a photograph that showed the contrasts in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where my books are set. Very recently there was a clash between hipsters and the Hasidim over bike lanes. The hipsters wanted lanes, and the Hasidim did not. They said it was because scantily clad women and men would be encouraged to cycle through their neighborhood. The city put in the bike lanes, and then took them out.

This photo was interesting to me, especially since the two women looked like they were similar ages. So what do they really think about each other? I couldn't interview them, so I pretended to dive inside their heads.

Hipster woman on bike:

Did I just get a text? Darn. I'll have to read it later.

I think that's a new store. Wow. It looks cool. I wonder if they sell scarves. I need a green one. But there's nowhere to lock my bike. And I have too much stuff in my basket. I'll come back another time.

I can't imagine having to wear such ugly clothes. Or a wig. So scratchy and weird. I like to feel the wind in my hair and on my arms. She probably has eight kids already wrecking her body. What a life. And wearing wool. She must be miserable.She must wish she could be free like me to go wherever I want, do whatever I want to do.

I really want a latte. I think there's a cafe 10 blocks from here. Ugh, it's hot.

Hasidic woman on street:

I have so much to do before Shabbat. What is on my list again? Oranges. Cucumbers. Asparagus. There are so many new stores around here, but none that have anything useful.

I used to ride a bike when I was a girl. It's odd she doesn't feel ashamed flaunting her body like that. Look at her arms! And those tight pans. How embarrassing for her. I like her scarf. I wonder if she got it at Macy's.

What is on my list again? I have so much to do before Shabbat. I must get it all done so we will be ready in time.


Rebecca Cantrell said...

Great post, Meredith! And what a terrific picture of two cultures overlapping!

Meredith Cole said...

Thanks Rebecca! It was harder than I thought it would be to write. But it was a great exercise in POV.