A brisk morning, the third day of a four day weekend for me, I’m going into Manhattan to see the Juan Miro’ exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art and take some pictures. The next few weekends after this will be spent cleaning and decorating for Xmas, which is right around the corner. So I sit on crowded LIRR train and I imagine “Black Friday” has spilled over into Saturday because of the people crammed into every car like a can of peppered kippers. Like always I listen to the people around me, a good artist/writer has to take in everything otherwise your missing out on good material that’s free!
A girl across the aisle goes over the details of allegedly unwanted male attention the night before to her two friends. She sure seems to be happy to tell the tale of fingers being run through her hair and close talking…I can imagine the rest. The guy apparently didn’t cross the line into creepy…just horny. Behind me a couple from Jamaica on vacation is studying a map of New York City and discuss the details of their trip in low tones, they are well dressed and call friends on a cell phone to check their info. There is a little tension in the air because of the bombings in Mumbwai. My oral surgery that I mentioned in a previous post went well (see Mouth To Mouth for details as I am catching up on writing after the holiday season) a longish recovery though, but I can eat normally now.
The sun coming in through the train window is warm and I take off my hat and scarf and coat as I get too hot. I wish this was a express train. Next week I begin a search for a second job, I hope I can find one close to home.The girl is going on about dancing with the awkward horny boy and how he bumped into walls and offered her a condom and explained it’s use! I think she is lucky she wasn’t raped and cut into pieces and put in a dumpster myself, when will these stupid girls learn. I won’t go over the details of my exit into Penn Station, sufficient to say that I found myself on the E train to 23rd St and went topside and began to walk in a zig zag fashion to my destination. I’m looking for 1st Ave but find myself on the NW corner of 6th Ave and and Tenth St, there the Ansonia Pharmacy uses two of thier four windows to show the artwork of various artist. They have been doing this continuously for years, they sponsor and sell the works of painters, photographers, etc. This is a good thing, I haven’t been here in years so I am glad that some things haven’t changed. I walk on and am puzzled to see a strange sight on the ground which led to this poem as yet untitled.
A cigarette and a surgical glove lie together on the ground.
One used to give life, the other to take it away.
There was pleasure in the smoke, I remember it well.
So now I wonder when I will face the surgical glove.
Do those that wear them find pleasure in what they do?
As we find pleasure in what keeps them wearing them?
Copyright 2009 Glen Henley
Well, anyway I think it’s good. I’ve overshot my destination by a few blocks by taking pictures and being drawn to things by curiosity. I got a shot of the Jefferson Market Court House as well as Lafayette St, so being denied last time I was in NYC this time I will be having brunch at Prune, where Head Chef/Owner Gabrielle Hamilton presents with an eclectic menu of childhood favorites with a twist or two. Located on 54 East 1st St between 1st and 2nd Ave, I double back till I’m there and put my name in with the cute red headed hostess. Armed with a free copy of The Villager to read I stand outside and wait for my table, leaning against a pole I relax. This is a quiet neighborhood… I like it here, across the street is the back of a school playground, next to Prune is a club for young girls with arts, crafts & performance space. A nice place for young girls to gather and feel safe and be themselves. I almost regret leaving my post when I am called in to eat at the bar after about a twenty minute wait.
Being a big and tall guy I am a little cramped at the bar but at least I’m in and happy to finally be eating here. I order an egg “En Cocette” ,which is a coddled egg, (served in a ramekin, kinda like soft boiled) and greens on the side in a light vinaigrette accompanied by thick country toast with butter, coffee and orange juice. Next to me a young girl tucks into omelet with hash browns; bacon; lamb sausage; stewed tomatoes; toast and tea. It looks good, the place is alive with people, small and noisy but I read my paper and sip my coffee and wait for my order. My plate arrives it’s not alot of food but it is every bit good and cheap by NYC standards. The egg is peppered and flavorful served over a bed of juicy chicken, tender white and dark meat. The greens are crunchy and cool in a tart vinaigrette, a generous portion. But the toast… unlike any you’ll get in the supermarket, crispy and buttery and delicious. The girl next to me marvels at the bartender, a girl who works non-stop making bloody marys, all different kinds. There’s one that has pickled Brussels sprouts and radish, another has string bean, olives and lemon, a dozen different kinds of em, I didn’t know that any others existed except the standard brunch issue at eateries in the boring suburbs.
So I strike up a conversation with this girl about the food here, she tells me she comes here for lunch during the week and has tried almost everything served here. Marina is a beautiful girl (about 25 I guess ) and she tells me the burgers here are the best in the city, but sadly only served on the weekdays when I’m usually at work. She also suggests that I expand my small meal and order the garlic lamb sausage like she did. I find out that she came from Russia and has been here a long time, we talk briefly about the advantages of city life vrs suburbs life but after finishing her tea…she leaves (the story of my life) while I wait for my sausage. I pick up the empty stool to my right and place it on my left in the spot by left by the lovely Marina when she departed, people have been trying to squeeze past it all day. It’s jammed between me and a seated guest at the bistro table behind me. I sit and when the sausage comes out I am glad I waited, it was so good I wished I had ordered two, the flavor of the lamb counter balanced by the garlic and Rosemary was so intense I thought that God must have come up with the recipe himself. I was saddened by the thought that it might be weeks or months till I came here again and could taste these flavors, I knew that I would be going to the butcher to try and get some of these beauties soon. I finished my meal and coffee, paid my bill, left a tip, and started down the street. I would have to get to a main avenue to get a cab uptown or perhaps I would just take the subway. I’ll decide whichever presents first I think as walk down the quiet street and enjoy the cold but sunny day.