Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Eat Your I ♥ NY Out

You know how sometimes, though you've eaten enough, and maybe more than enough, you just can't help but go back for more?   Even though you are already really, really, really full, and whatever else you intake is just going to make you feel sick? 

(If you have no idea what I am talking about, you clearly are not Jewish.  Not even a little bit,  three generations back, on your father's side)

Well, that going back for more even though you have clearly already had too much—that's what I did last week.

With the whole city of New York.  

Yes, I (swine) flew back from the Big Apple in May, then turned right around in June and took another bite.

And lest you think gluttony was my only indiscretion, I also am guilty of balling students. Plural, I know, how bad is that?  Older.  Younger.  Male.  Female.  How can MacaroniManiac do such things?

I'd like to blame it on the Martinis, and the Mets.

The Martinis being the Pink Martinis, who were playing Carnegie Hall.  And the Mets being the baseball team that even though I grew up thirty miles from Shea stadium, I'd only gone to see twice in my entire life, until a certain Joey Smallwood-wannabe convinced half of Portland to trek across the continent to celebrate his birthday.  

And while we were in the neighborhood, I figured we might as well have a knish.

(for those of you who do not order your meals with a side of Maalox, let me just explain that knish is a two-syllable word, beginning with a hard "k" and ending with the most nostalgic case of heartburn)

So between attending the swanky concert and the soggy ball game, I took a passel of Portlanders and their stray pals on a nosh n shlep of ethnic eats across lower Manhattan.  

It was a light midday grazing, at least by Jewish standards:
  • three flavors of falafel    
  • north Asian dumplings  
  • arepas (for the Maalox-swillers in the audience, arepas are like an Andean hamantaschen.  Except they're made with corn meal instead of white flour.  And savory rather than sweet filling.  And not meant to be reminiscent of chewing anyone's body parts.  In other words, nothing like hamantaschen)
  • kasha knish 
  • the world's greatest doughnuts (listen, when you live with a Canadian, doughnuts count as ethnic food)
  • and the piece de resistance: takoyaki, just like Mama used to make.  
Provided you had the kind of Mama who'd whip up octopus balls whenever you needed a nosh.

Perfesser, will this be on the test?

Only on the taste test, Joey, only on the taste test.

I did enjoy the food.  And the concert (despite lack of martinis in liquid form).  And the fact that the baseball game ended early due to rain.  

Still, I was glad to get back to Portland.  Where, while you can't just walk from arepas to octopus balls, you can bike to almost anything, (including to the annoyance of snobby New Yorkers, who can damn well kiss my hot knish).  

And so, home from having octopus ball-ed Joey Smallwood,
 I proceeded to hop on my favorite two-wheeled conveyance to seedball the city.

Seedballing being not, as the picture on the right might suggest, a chocolatey snack,  albeit still a quintessentially Portland pursuit.

in which a woman who proudly boasts of wearing vegan shoes (you can always tell a Reed graduate) instructs a gaggle of do-gooders in the ins-and-outs of guerilla gardening.

Because while we may not have anything as fancy shmancy as New York's new High Line way out here in provinces, we do have a bunch of high on life along with, well, let's just say that what that vegan shoe trods upon is not the only grass to be found in Colonel Summers Park young persons, willing to flout the law just to make the flowers bloom.

So yes, I've been balling my students.  

And spreading my seed.  

But still, there are worse crimes to commit.

Like having that second donut.  

Forget the Martinis and the Mets.  I'm going to blame it on the Canadian version of the Twinkie defense.

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