Editor’s Note: NYC Dads Group member, Gregg Jobson-Larkin, does an amazing job describing our invigorating “stroll” over the Brooklyn Bridge last week in celebrating the final four of the NCAA “March Madness” College Basketball Tournament.
“Growing up, spoiled a lot of things.” Author Betty Smith’s esteemed introspective commentary found in Chapter 28, pg. 214 of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn rang true on this year’s warmest day so far, at least in the hearts and minds of twenty NYC Dads Group meetup members and their children, celebrating the NCAA Basketball Tournament and participating in the BOB Motion Madness Brooklyn Bridge event.
Sultry R&B Diva Alicia Keyes, waves from a black ghost-proscenium multi-screened multimedia mecca of Jumbotroned light wizardry, to a packed 19,000 fan capacity Barclays Center Brooklyn New York audience. She shouts, “Brooklyn, I Love YOU!” And of course, the crowd goes LOUD, uproariously. The band strikes the introduction for “This Girl Is On Fire,” one of her latest releases, and in that moment, all my mind’s-eye can envision is the troupe of NYC Dads Group members.
About half of the NYC Dads Group community includes fathers who have the esteemed charge of daily raising the wee-one(s), while the significant other is away at, other work. Dennis and I are of such honored pedigree, such is our lineage, our fatherly station in this form of metropolitan family lifestyle choice, we (NYC Dads Group), are a growing trend of parentage and members of a nearly 750 New York Metro area member-based group.
Dads of all stripes in the NYC Dads Group met on the Manhattan plaza of the “The Great Bridge” just like the opening ceremonies on May 24, 1883, and in homage to that grand pomp and circumstance opening day, the BOB Motion Stroller Madness Armada of Dads pushed on across the wooden bridge path atop the bustling East River.
These Brooklyn bound NYC ‘Baby-Dads,’ some twenty strong, and their toddler elite, were elevated and suspended on a grand Programme of Exercise, by chief engineer Washington A. Roebling’s engineering marvel, built by 1,000 workmen.
That day’s past, and this day’s present are reminisced by this 1883 vintaged description, “a holiday for high and low, rich and poor; it was in fact the People’s Day. More delightful weather never dawned upon a festal morning. The heavens were radiant with celestial blue of approaching summer; silvery fragments of clouds sailed gracefully across the firmaments like winged messengers, bearing greetings of work well done; the clearest of spring sunshine tinged everything with a touch of gold, and brisk, bracing breeze blown up from the Atlantic cooled the atmosphere to a healthful and invigorating temperature. The incoming dawn revealed the twin cities gorgeous in gala attire.” This excerpt is from the book titled, Opening Ceremonies of the New York Brooklyn Bridge by The Brooklyn Eagle Job Printing Department.
It was a day for paparazzi photographers, sightseers, onlookers, passersby and the just plain curious, paused; taking in the vision of fatherly-stroller loveliness. Dads Group members attempt to quell inquiring-mind queries with informative banter and quaint repartee, as the well-practiced PR-friendly troupe posed at the Manhattan tower, doling out snacks to their chauffeured mini-elite passengers, and then pressed on to the Brooklyn terminus of the marvelous bridge.
The downward bridge slope towards DUMBO presented excellent velocities for kick-scattering scooter kids, free-wheeling cyclists and rapid-rate stroller dads, all the way down to the, stairs. This portion of the ‘Iron Dads BOB Stroller Lift Competition’ presented challenges to some, but obstacles to none. We safely arrive in DUMBO, an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.
Dumbo, go figure.
Cobblestoned roadways amidst modern renovations of turn-of-the-century architecture placed surrounded our crew with hip stores of merchandising destinations, and more importantly, restrooms; we headed to the Brooklyn Bridge Park playground, which disappointedly was still closed for construction. No worries, it was time for paparazzi-free photo ops, anyway.
“Growing up spoiled a lot of things,” except rekindling memories of my first Jane’s Carousel ride. “Two Bucks To Pony Up!” advertised in typical Big Apple style. Many fathers used the excuse of kid popularity to ride twice or three times themselves on this wonder wheel of dreams, pristinely encased in glass. Wondrous! Strollers were parked like limos at a Lincoln Center opera opening along the length of the mechanical equestrian glass parlor funhouse.
We, like grass-eating bovine lounged on the rolling hill of green grass partitioned only by concrete promenade river views and quaint park restoration structures. Our bundles of joy sprawling, running, scootering and eating from our fatherly bento, zip locked, lunch wrapped preparations. It really doesn’t get any better than this. Priceless!
Alicia Keys sings a New York anthem, and unlike the chairman’s version Frank Sinatra proclaims, “If you can make it here…” well we made it, up, over and under the Brooklyn Bridge…only Alicia sings, “In New York.” And just like that, I’m back in the concert moment, head-nodding to Jay-Z, which all just happened to have occurred on the very same day!
The entire experience was another point of growth. The Alicia Keys concert? A close second to the Brooklyn Bridge excursion.
Bio Credit: Gregg Jobson-Larkin is a proud father of three children and active member of the NYC Dads Group, living in New York with his family.
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