Thursday, December 2, 2010

A simple crunch to soothe the soul and swarm the senses with possibility...

Day 1 Manhattan........ 28th St. between 6th and 7th. 
    New York is all I remember, all I wished, all I could hope for it to ever be.  I am not so much a religious man as much as a spiritual one.  I believe in what I feel, it runs in the family as my mom told me the same,  I honestly feel premonitions or connections or what have you.  Stay with me people, seriously.  Not trying to get all Jon Edwards on you but admit to yourself that you have gone somewhere new and felt that you knew it or had some immediate connection to it.  The second I drew a breath of air in France then again in New York, forgotten memories stole my breath and pulsed through my veins.  They are so real, so vital it almost brings tears to my eyes as if some part of my soul lived and breathed these places and all the emotions came through.  The nostalgia, the magic of memory but also the heartache, the longing of things since past.  If I may quote Adam Duritz of Counting Crows correctly, "the price of a memory is the memory of the sorrow it brings." 
     But I love New York.  As we speak I had to take my headphones off to see if the TV I muted in respect for my sleeping family spiked 1 thousand decidels  from a poltergeist or the NYPD was blaring by.  Strangely the later is calming to me, sirens as well as church bells at all hours are welcomed disturbances to the unrest of silence. 
    So we are here.  I did my usual.  The sense of it all never really peaks until you get up above ground and breath that first breath, hear the first sounds, and dodge the the first New Yorker silently screaming "seriously tourist A hole, get out of the way." Then I walked a few steps and muttered, "God, I love this town!"
    We ate lunch at Carmines, a wildly successful family style italian restaurant that's been here since who knows when.  My wife and I don't fight about much foodwise with the exception of spaghetti and bolognese.  This is her the risk of horribly misspelling the word.  She grew up eating NYC bolognese and spaghetti.  Mine will never suffice.  So we go to Carmines.  In all truth, it's good.  Real good.  But to my constant torture, 1 portion is $24.  It will eat up 3 adults.  This is lunch people.  First day in NYC.  I'm frikking starving but I've tasted the bolognese.  I want to taste three more dishes, their antipasi both hot and cold, the roasted peppers with anchovies, the saltimbocca, but much to my torment, I don't have a football team with me or Donald Trump. 
So I sat in contemplation last year, watching my wife, mother in law, and friend grub on bolognese as I dissected one of their limited lunch options, a hot or cold italian cold cut sub.  This is where you say either take the hit and order a bathtub of penne with spicy sausage and greens for myself or eat the bolognese cause it is by all standards delicious.  And this is where I tell you to eat real italian cold cuts on great jaw cracking bread with roasted peppers, aged provolone, a dash of vinegar and salt, dwell on the majesty on your pallet, and then tell me it's not one of the greatest things you have ever eaten.  If so, wait calmly as I try to figure a way to punch you in the face via the web:)
As much as I would have dared take a whole plate at Carmines I actually spent much of the last year debating whether or not to get the cold cut sub hot again or try it cold.  I went for cold one, they added prosciutto.  My wife is not one to get the balance of the sandwich and how critical these choices truly are.  Bread is life, cured meats are God's intervention on how to best honor and preserve His creations.  The combination is the closest to heaven man can long as heaven has pickled bits, cheese, and mayo.
Then off to Grand Central with my sister to people watch over beers for too many hours.
Then a revelation of the most me kind.  Three ravenous women in a hotel room.  My old buddy who I visited every night last year for a Gyro half a block away.  Same truck, new guy.  Two chicken gyros, one lamb.  Those with mild appetites need not share after reflection so I ran back for my own.  The vendor made his own tabasco/cayenne sauce and used raw cabbage/broccoli with the standard lettuce, tomato, onion.  They were great.  They had crunch.  The crunch spoke subtly to be.  It said to write.  The other half of the cold cut sub from Carmines said hurry up and be done so you can eat again..... for all sake,  it is New York.  Eat and drink and let the world be well.  Till next time....  PS sorry for typos..will revise

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