New York, Nu York: A Brooklyn Blog B'Omer

Lag B'Omer just passed and I could not resist writing this corny pun, coupled with my hometown. I wanted to reflect a bit on how parts of Brooklyn, New York celebrated the joyful minor holiday of Lag B'Omer and how this year it dovetails into the secular and somber traditions of American Memorial Day.
On erev Lag B'Omer I drove around my neighborhood of Midwood, Brooklyn, looking for bonfires. If I lived in a New York suburb such as Port Washington, Long Island, I might have been poking around for fire because I was a member of the local volunteer fire department. But no, I was merely a nosy Jewish lady, looking for Hebraic-themed photo opportunities.
And I did get some. I found bonfires, accompanied by Hasidische pop music, some dancing folk, and a lot of curious onlookers, in three spots: East 27th Street near Avenue K, Avenue K near East 35th Street, and Avenue L between Coney Island Avenue and East 12th Street. I could smell the smoke and hear the loud music each time prior to eyeballing the actual fires. I did smell and hear a few other partying spots but couldn't find them or good parking spots.
Jews of all ages were drawn to the festivities and their promise of light-hearted fun. I enjoyed the spirited action. As I drove home I thought I was happening upon another party but it turned out to be...late-night road and elevated train track repairs! This made me laugh. Here it was Lag B'Omer and people were walking around in the warm darkness, and there was a team of repair workers tackling infrastructure woes. The subway train on Avenue P which is elevated in that section, was being worked on by MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) laborers. And they also generated loud noise and used bright lights, as did the Jews partying for the chag.
Thursday during the daytime I saw people walking around, some with kids who held plastic toy bow and arrow sets. Ahh, another holiday tradition. But another tradition could also be seen: American flags, placed on houses in anticipation of Memorial Day.
An interesting juxtaposition of the religious and patriotic.