In My Mind's Eye vs. Real Life: The Brooklyn Kite Festival


Writing in Real-time:

So I am at the Brooklyn Kite Festival finally! For years, I would see the signs up a day or two after it was over.

Well, I am here. And it is not what I expected. I blame the illustrated black and white graphic images of kites static in the sky and all getting along, all equal and giving each other space- all different in sizes and shapes and probably colors- but that was left to the mind's eye.

Looking at the sign and snapping a pic with my phone I thought, that will be relaxing and good for my soul. Although I do have a rather unique kite (with a complex story)- I have only flown it once. And so, I thought it would be best to leave it at home rather than wreak havoc and chaos on the idyllic event pictured on the sign.

It took a bit to reach Pier 1 in the hot sun and family crowd mixed with frequent fast riding cyclists. Everyone knows space is limited in NYC and that particularly rang true for the grassy area where shade was limited to 3-5 feet around the perimeter outlined by trees. Blankets were spread out and I found a small space for myself.

I get settled and see a few successful kites high in the blue while a number of other kite-grounded parents are trying to convince their kids how easy it is as they are running into each other with their eyes to the sky.


Suddenly something loud starts up a few yards behind me and I see a mini stage (really a two-person waist-level podium) and two twentysomethings with puppets begin this musical sing-along.

Three things I do not like: puppets, musicals, sing-alongs/audience participation.... How did I not see this portable stage? Perhaps they swooped in seconds before they started performing. I took a short video of it (and the singing families) before I moved on. [I am learning to say- "Not for me" or "Its okay, not my space/or time, etc."]


Found another spot across the way although I had to carefully step over and duck under kite strings. (Have remote control kites been invented yet?) Sitting on a shaded incline out of earshot of the singsong- I witness people tripping over strings and getting wrapped up in them. Moments after his successful launch, a dad next to me is already poking a stick in the tree trying to dislodge his kite.


Oops! A girl running fast with her pink pony kite somehow wraps her string around the neck of a woman and her outstretched selfie stick.


How could I have forgotten about the humans on the ground attached to the other ends of the kites?


I breathe deeply. Guess I need to shift out of my expectation of relaxation and find the humor in this unfolding human chaos.


Such a different picture than the posted sign.

Afternote: If you too are seeking more of the idealized experience- I later found the view from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade is pretty close with the almost still kites in the sky and the quiet.