Today it felt like a crisp clean Autumn day. The sky was blue with spotted clouds and the wind was wild. I left the apartment around 3:00 for a late afternoon stroll. I am in the process of slowly eating all the foods from my childhood and teenage memories, and things I could not get in New Mexico.
Two Boots, my husband Jim's favorite pizza joint
Pommes Frites on Second Avenue has been there for years, and I've always wanted to try it, but there was always a line out the door so I never stopped. Today of course, I had nothing but time, so I walked in and waited my turn. This joint is a one-man operation. He has an old stainless chest freezer which he uses to hold the hand-cut, skin-on potatoes (medium thickness). Then he has 2 fryers which he alternates between. Next there is the counter with a funnel strainer and the table top is lined with clean dish towels. When he takes the fries out it shakes them really well and seasons them. He puts your sauce into a little soufflé cup with a lid and then he takes your money. You have a choice of about 30 sauces — I choose the Indonesian peanut sauce served warm. I can not describe how delicious these were. Just $4.50 for more then I actually wanted, served in a paper cone. I really enjoyed watching this guy run this operation. Then I went on my way. A homeless guy asked me for some money for food so I gave him half the fries, he blessed me.
I then went into Moishe's Bake Shop still run by Hassadic Jews. The window has so much graffiti on it you can barely see the baked goods. When I said to the shy young Hassadic woman what a shame it was about the window, she said it had been like that for years and it least it's done and it never gets any worse. I told her I used to come to this bakery 30 years ago when I had my first apartment in the village and she smiled. I asked if they still made raisin pumpernickel bread which is on my list of long-lost loves and she went to talk to the old baker. She came out and said he would be happy to make me one special. Then she said he was such a kind man especially because it is some Jewish holiday (I can't remember which one) and so he is extra kind. Next week after the holiday he will bake my bread.
Next I wandered through Alphabet City which is so much nicer then when I lived here. It was a area I never wandered in. Tompkins Square Park is a amazing — lush and lavish and there is always music, usually jazz which I love. Then I came across a series of neighborhood gardens which were open so I had a few nice strolls in the garden escapes. On the way home, about 3 miles into the walk I stopped at Mamoun's Falafel and picked up a cup of Baba Ganouj to have for dinner along with my veggies from the Union Square Greenmarket — which seems to be open every day lately. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.