Autumn Equinox and the Many Constellations of Brooklyn
"Stars! They're just like us."
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Bags of snack-size Halloween candy may have been on display at my local CVS since August, but based on the change of temperature, overall mood, the bouquet of ornamental flint corn hanging on my door, and my trusty chore coat coming out of the closet and back into rotation, this weekend in Brooklyn truly felt like fall. Autumn is the official Season of BTP and I welcome once again closing the windows at night, reaching for a sweater or light jacket, and switching up my cortado order for the occasional hot chocolate or hot apple cider.
While I’m not a Pumpkin Spice fanatic (did you know there’s actually a limited-edition Pumpkin Spice-scented cat litter?) I do welcome the arrival of autumnal baked goods. I stopped by Ciao Gloria on Saturday for the return of their terrific Pumpkin Nutella Bread and a Maple Latte. Other fall-minded sweets on the menu included an Apple-Cranberry Crumb Bar and an Almond-Pear Crumb Torte. The same day Gabrielle Scelzo was hosting a pop-up bake sale at The Six Bells, a country homewares shop in Carroll Gardens. My friend Amy and I met Gaby and purchased all three offerings on display: a Caramel-Apple Cinnamon Bun, an Upside-Down Pumpkin Crumb Cake, and an Everything Bagel Scone. And on Sunday I made, as I do every September, Erin Jeanne McDowell’s Apple Skillet Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting (recipe below).
My cat Louis always reacted to that first dip of the thermometer every September when it fell below sixty degrees, suddenly seeking out a bit more comfort, warmth, and companionship by adjusting his napping perches closer to me and for longer durations. Louis did love fall and one of my favorite traditions was letting him gnaw on the dried husks of that year’s ornamental corn for a half-hour or so before hanging them up outside of my apartment door. In the last photo I have of him, taken just a few hours before everything changed forever, he’s inspecting the last decorative corn of his 18-year life. This weekend was especially bittersweet as Saturday marked a year since he passed away. I raised a glass to his painting hanging in the Lombardi Room at Long Island Bar and paid tribute to his legacy in other ways on Saturday, sad as ever but forever grateful to have spent so many years together.
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