Friday, September 4, 2009

home away from home

morning of my third day.

the first one went from energy fueled highs to jet lagged lows. red eye flights never sit well with me--who does like them? i met up with cf at the luggage carousal at 6.30... we sat and talked and waited for my luggage (packed an hour before i left--not always the best idea since i left meds behind) to arrive. while waiting, i continued my conversation with the guy who had sat across the aisle from me... he and his partner were in the city from denver for a job, then were going to long island for the weekend. they were both young and in love and vastly entertaining.

luggage in one hand and coffee in the other, we found a taxi that was more than glad to earn $45 to take us out to brooklyn, out under the 'f' line near avenue u. upstairs, collapsed on the sofa, we talked for a few minutes, then, she was back into the city to work. i was selfish and took an hour nap.

lunch was with miss r's nephew, whom i met back in the days when i was full of woe and being a teen. he was then, and is now, funny, dear, mannerly and kind. he lost his partner a year ago, and is just coming out of the black pain that brings on. we had greek food... and i was in heaven.

picking up the kids at grand central, we made a tactical error, and instead of walking over to bryant park and taking the 'f' directly, we wove our way underground via the '4' and the 'a'--finally sitting on the 'f'. the old 'f'... the one with stuff written on it, and crappy seats and it smells as bad as it looks. some of the trains on the line are new and spiffy... more uptown trains than the 'f'... these we were on fit the history of the line.

yesterday, it was shopping on 86th and bay parkway. i love the stores there... dark and crammed together and full of stuff. lots of stuff. 6482 shops and 8746 languages. one store's owner was arab, his manager was italian, and the two clerks were spanish and chinese. the common denominator was none of them spoke very good english.

i saw a sweet little jewish lady in the italian grocery store... she was trying to reach baked beans on the shelf, and was just too short. i asked which one she wanted, she pointed and we chatted. she had those little old lady whiskers, that begged to be plucked... i was sorry she obviously didn't have a daughter to do that for her. no woman with a daughter would be allowed to go out like that. she leaned over to me, and spoke sotto voce, "darling, don't buy the knish here. they have lovely chickens, but, the knish? not so good."

i took her advice.

we wandered into a newly opened chinese food store, connor and i did. i love the smell of oriental food stores, it's magical. odd spices you don't know, dried everything, fresh vegetables and meats. we looked at all the interesting labels we couldn't read, and pondered the use of chicken feet in a dish. the meat was so fresh, it was still bleeding. i said to connor that i'd not be surprised if there was a cow behind the shop, providing the beef. at that point, we were in front of the fish, the fresh fish. the very fresh fish. there, on the ice, was the biggest carp i'd ever seen... flopping all over the place, knocking over other calmer fish, fish who had accepted their fate and died already.

with a look of disgust, the butcher picked it up by it's tail, put it on the wood table, and banged it twice in the head.... reminding it that it was supposed to be dead.

he nodded in satisfaction, and went back to his work chopping and wrapping... connor and i both broke into laughter on our way out the door.

i cooked a nice meal, and ended the day the way you want to in brooklyn... on the front stoop, in comfy clothes, sitting there, talking to a good friend.

and smelling the fall air.


Solomon said...

What an end for that poor fish. :(

Walking the streets of the city sounds like great fun, though.

harrietv said...

So glad you're enjoying the City -- all of it!

coastrat said...

So happy that you are happy, Quin.

murat11 said...

Jacqueline Kerouac cut loose in the city, this was a tasty treat, glad you're having one.

That carp story (and commentary) wuz hysterical.

High time you wuz on the blogroll.

Dee Martin said...

the fish story IS hilarious. Glad you are having this time, stoop and all :)

Bill From Gainesville said...

Carp? pretty sure those are not really fish you should eat anyways. the guy should have let him live.

Anonymous said...

I am not going to be original this time, so all I am going to say that your blog rocks, sad that I don't have suck a writing skills