I've been taking in a lot of Staten Island while going in between our new convent and the Sister Disciples' place where we are staying. Fall has just passed its peak here, so there are still some magnificent trees, and the streets are so full of fallen leaves it looks like the cars and trucks are playing in them as they roll by. One especially interesting thing about the Island (at least to me) is the number of small businesses. There are very few big box stores here: people rely on neighborhood stores and specialty shops to an extent you just don't see in too many places. Some of this may owe to the strong Italian presence: where else in America do you find "salumerias" (butcher shops that only sell pork and sausage products)? These are vibrant shops, not small, run-down little places. And so far I've only seen one Starbucks, but plenty of local coffee shops. It's almost a trip back in time to a different economic system.
The convent is located in a parish campus, with a thriving elementary school. I had to wait for a parking spot this morning, because parents were standing in the convent lot until their children went inside. Meanwhile, the schoolyard was buzzing like a tree full of starlings.
Well, break is over; Sr. Bridget is waiting for us! (Keep up the prayers for my voice; I sound awful!)