By Nathania Zevi
Rain pours on 13th Avenue and the children are hungry and restless. A tall woman pushing a double stroller urges her three older children to walk faster.
“Ari, please hold your brothers’ hands and stop playing with your hat,” she says, wearily. The boy keeps pulling his wool blue hat in front of his eyes.
On the other side of the street, in front of the Eichler’s bookstore, a teenage girl in a long black skirt bites her nails and checks on her younger sisters as they wait for their father to complete his purchase at the bookstore.
It’s lunch time. Children are coming out the yeshivas, walking in groups, sheltering their books from the rain under their jackets. The wind blows rain in their faces but they seem not to care.
The windows of the pastry shops are already filled with hamantashen, the three-sided cakes baked specially for this weekend’s festival of Purim. A group of four stop in front of “Oh Nuts,” the candy shop, which is filled with chocolates and jellies of all sorts, as well as with hammantashen.
“We shouldn’t eat hamantashen before Purim,” says a boy one guy with red hair. But he and his friends have already opened the door. Their eyes are shining, but no one wants to be the first to go.
Finally a blond boy who seems to be the youngest grabs a plastic bag from a shelf. The other three quickly do the same.
They start to reach for cookies, chocolates, rugelachs, candies and artificially flavored bubble gum.
A couple of women shopping in the same store look at them. They shake their heads with disapproval.
The boys pay and walk toward the door.
“Bringing it home is crazy,” says the boy with red hair.
The others agree. Standing in the rain they look at each other, and then they start to run. They turn right at the first corner and try to take refuge in the stairway of a brownstone. They can’t stop laughing. They stuff their mouths while rain falls onto their heads and soaks their candy bags.