I was looking at a video of old subway and el (elevated) lines of the Bronx, where all of my grandparents lived when I was born, and where I lived at intervals, and where I visited often. I thought of the trains I used to take, and a poem I wrote about the el station serving one set of grandparents. I thought of the stately apartment buildings, many of them art deco.
Mostly I thought about how the large kitchen opened itself to seat us and feed us and make us feel wanted and happy. One of the most satisfying parts of this experience was, believe it or not, being able to look straight across into our neighbor's window (it was a big building!) and see them sitting down to dinner as we sat down to dinner, and to see the lights from their kitchen as they saw the lights in our kitchen through their window. Neither they nor we pulled down the shades or blinds. We were happy to let the light filter in so we could be lit and warmed by it, as they were lit and warmed by our lights.
I dream about this building and the kitchens at times, and the dream gives me a deep feeling of peace and belonging, as the reality did.
This feeling, more than anything else, is what I wanted and want people to feel when they think of FatLand.