Dennis and I were lucky enough to spend the afternoon in Brooklyn today, celebrating the 100th anniversary of The Tablet, the weekly diocesan newspaper, but, even more impressive, the 50th anniversary of Frank DeRosa, director of public information, with the Brooklyn Diocese. I cannot even imagine working in one place for 50 years, but if you know Frank — and I feel privileged to know him in even the most minimal way — you know that he is a gem of a man and exactly the kind of person who makes a commitment and stays with it for half a century. And, as he said today, “I’m not hanging up my cleats,” which is good news for the Diocese of Brooklyn.
The anniversary Mass was beautiful and the celebratory luncheon was a feast, which is to be expected of the Brooklyn crowd. Dennis is used to their fine hospitality since he is frequently in the diocese for work reasons. I, on the other hand, have had the opportunity to travel to the borough on official business on only two occasions. Still, my DeTurris and Picarelli relatives hail from — and many of them still live in — Brooklyn, so I am definitely no stranger to that go-all-out Brooklyn-style star treatment that is shown to any and every visitor. Great food, great people, great borough.
As if all that weren’t enough, I just enjoyed soaking up the New York atmosphere for a weekend. Every time we go to NYC for a visit, which we don’t do often enough considering we’re only about three hours away, I say we should make the trip more often. As Dennis and I rode the standing-room-only 4 train from Manhattan to Brooklyn this morning, two Mariachi players armed with an accordion and a guitar serenaded us with joyful music that had some of the children at the other end of the car cheering and clapping. On the way home, while waiting to transfer to the 6 train, a lone saxophone played a sorrowful “O Danny Boy” to the subdued crowd on the platform. Perfect end-caps to a perfect day. To me, this is New York at its finest.