Not New York Yet, But Thinking About It, The Lovely Edie, The Negative Nellies and The Juxtaposition of It All

With the Olympics fast approaching my mother sent me an email that displays the country flags in food that is representative of that country’s character. I looked at it the other evening and it made me hungry. So, I am going to share it with you. Now, you can be hungry with me!

 

Here are a few examples for you!

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I am getting ridiculously excited for my trip to New York and I went to one of my favorite websites epicurious.com to see if there were any new restaurants in Manhattan that I wanted to check out. I could lie and say it was purely for research for my blog, but you know me too well. It is for my love of food.

 

What I found and I may have to do when I return from my food fest in New York is the Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse. I have heard so many people talk about this cleanse and that cleanse and the thought is appealing and repulsive at the same time, but to do discover a cleanse that I might actually enjoy. BRING IT ON! How cool is that? I could potentially do something good for my body and like it. I LOVE IT!

 

I sent a list of the places I am curious to try to my NY friends and said, “Let me know if any of these places appeal to you.” I realized after I sent the email that the list looked like a cholesterol bomb.  Let me explain. I want to go to Daisy May’s and try their BBQ. I hear it is amazing. I heard that a joint, name escapes me, THE RED CAT, down on 10th in Chelsea has tempura bacon. I have heard of tempura shrimp but not bacon. Aren’t you curious? I know I am. And then Max Brenner has a chocolate pizza, Sant Ambroeus has a chocolate mousse, Bar Boulud has a croquet monsieur. Holy mackerel. I just don’t know where to begin, but it looks like a cholesterol bomb.

 

So, I made my itinerary and did it by days and times and it looks like I am a MAD WOMAN going from one eatery to the next. I wish I could take two bites of this item, and two from that and bring everything home in a doggy bag! Oh it would be so great! They wouldn’t let me on the plane with it all. So, you know what I would do? I would park my tush on the nearest chair, right before the x-ray conveyor belt and eat it ALL before I would throw it away! Like I could ever throw away leftover Nobu sushi. That is like throwing away a strand of Mikimoto pearls. Leaving a piece of bacon on your plate? That would be equal to leaving a robin shell egg colored box with TIFFANY written across it unopened. Who does those things? NOT ME!!!

 

In rethinking the size of my stomach and the necessity to follow the rules of my fitbit, I will tell you I am going to behave but READ: that will go out the window when I land at LaGuardia. There is no way in H-E double toothpick that I am NOT going to eat nonstop in NY. I can’t do it, but I sure as heck will try!

 

Back to Cincy, I went and met my cousins for lunch at a new restaurant and winery in Cincy called Cooper’s Hawk. That sucker popped up out of thin air. One day it was an empty corner, the next a winery. The wines are not stellar so I have heard, but they are new and they are young and time will tell. The ambiance was lovely. I felt like I was in a chalet in Aspen and I felt as if I should have had a view of a mountain.

 

I ordered lobster crab bisque, which was good. I have had better, but I enjoyed it. Then I ordered tostados with BBQ pork belly, scallions, sesame seeds, radish and cilantro. It was really yummy. I hate cilantro, but I didn’t even notice it! I had three Arnold Palmers. They were so tasty!

 

We had a ball sitting there gabbing. I love my family. My mom was adopted. She found her birth mother’s family. THEY ROCK!!! My mom found most of the missing pieces to her puzzle to explain so much about herself. Well, the irony is that I did too! I wasn’t expecting it, but what a wonderful and unexpected surprise. I wish I knew these people many years ago, but just so happy to know them now. Every time after I see them, I call my mom and say, “I LOVE YOUR FAMILY! They are SO cool!”

 

I left there and went to visit my friend Stacey and her family. I was showing them my books. Someone in Florida told me to keep a set in the trunk in case anyone wants to see them and that was a brilliant idea. Thank you!

 

Her son Grant was giving me great ideas, insights to his age bracket. It was fantastic.

 

Then Stacey started to tell me about her chicken breast in the refrigerator. I suggested she do a “Thomas Keller roasted chicken”. I saw Keller in an interview a few years back and he stated that his favorite meal, was a roasted chicken. I thought with all the amazing foods he creates and combines that is his favorite? A chicken? What is wrong with you, man?

 

So, I googled his roasted chicken recipe. Now, I get it! I have been making it for years!

 

Off I went into Stacey’s kitchen. Unwrapped the sucker, rinsed it, and dried it well. I gave it a bath of salt and pepper and off the bird went to the oven. I left when the aroma filled the house and the skin was crispy and brown.

What a treat! A yummy, juicy roasted chicken.

 

I was greatly saddened by the death of the talented actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman. When I lived in New York, I saw him at least three different times in various restaurants in the Village. It was shocking and sad to see such a talented and gifted artist that strived to be an enormously talented actor and reached the pinnacle of his career and had a family, but chose a deadly substance over the career, the kids, the partner, his life. Tragic.

 

A neighbor and friend in the building hosted a Superbowl party for some friends in the building. She told me she chose people that would watch the game. That sad and pitiful game. She made three different soups. She had a sauerkraut soup, a 13-bean soup with chicken and a Mexican soup. I had a little bit of each one. I wanted to be able to tell you how yummy they all were! Far better than the game and the commercials.

 

There is a gal in our building named Mary. She is such a nice person. She is a talker, but with a heart of gold. Last summer she made these really yummy brownies. The night of the Superbowl party she said, “Those are my brownies, Erin, and I EXPECT to be in the next blog.

 

So……here is to Mary and her yummy, dark, rich brownies. I have no idea how the woman makes them, but I am a VERY picky brownies eater. If it comes out of a box, and yes, I am tacky enough to ask. I do not bother! You make them by scratch, I will taste them. Mary your brownies are yummy. I only ate THREE!!! I had one at the party and two more later. Yum!

 

I was meeting a friend for lunch the other day. She sent me a panicked email that said, “ I need to talk! Soon! Fast!” I wrote Trish back and viola a few days later we were heading to lunch. I asked her and another gal Lindsey if they would be willing to try Camp Washington Chili. I had never been and sadly will not go back. It was okay, but comparing it to the famous Cincinnati Skyline chili is like comparing a Maserati to a Plymouth Horizon (that was my car in high school).

 

Lindsey did give me the greatest description of a woman’s hair color and it will appear in a book at some point. Her hair was “cat piss blonde”….so descriptive. She told me she was going to go buy my novel. She said what is the title? A Little Slut in NYC? No, but I like it…bet that title would sell a lot of books!

 

I have been working on a new novel. I really am enjoying it. It is fun to get lost in another world with these new characters. They start out as your own invention and then take a life of their own. It takes place in New York, so it has been fun to walk the streets of the city with them. The novel starts in the 60s so it has been fun to learn some Greenwich Village history and the insane repertoire of famous people that lived in that neighborhood.

 

I sadly had to put my love story on a shelf, so to speak in order to attend a board meeting in my building. There is a glut of people in our building that are permanently mad. I don’t know if they have nothing else to do, so they nitpick on everything under the foot of the sun, or if they are just angry, negative nellies. The meeting that is usually an hour was THREE hours! The letters that were mailed to the board were significant. One complained about your truly. He was unnerved that I had requested the date of the meeting be changed because I was flying out to New York on business. The nerve of me. No one else had a problem, but he did. I think he is pissy that I beat him in the board elections. Grow up, get over it, and stop acting like you are in the fifth grade. He grunted at me the other day in the elevator. I said hello and he grunted like a fifteen year-old prepubescent child. The only difference is he is over 65! So, you will love this…my meeting in New York was changed from Superbowl weekend to the following one for obvious reasons. I had to ask if the board members would they be willing to change the meeting. They couldn’t have been nicer. So this bozo, writes a letter to the board that went something like this…

 

         Dear Board,

 

         I do not understand the necessity of changing the board meeting when ONE PARTICULAR BOARD MEMBER is unable to attend. Blah, blah, blah and THAT ONE PARTICULAR MEMBER blah, blah, blah AND THAT ONE PARTICULAR MEMBER…blah blah blah.

 

It sounded like the teacher in the Charlie Brown movies that is all gibberish. Then we have a person in our building that has apparently caused more friction in the last six months than anyone has in the buildings 45-year existence! The problem is the man does NOT listen. He hears what he wants to hear…you can say No and his response…is YES, BUT….and if you say you can’t do that because it goes against policy, and bylaws. His response is you are not my parent. I can do WHATEVER I want. Actually, if you didn’t act like such a child you wouldn’t need a parent. And no, actually you can’t do whatever you want. I know that sounds impossible to you, but NO!

 

I think what is so frustrating is that he and his cronies are trying to force people to be their friends. And it doesn’t work that way…friendship is earned. Friendship is a lot of things, but trying to create what we all already have is futile. If you want friends, be nice, be respectful, and be kind. You get what you put out there. No truer words spoken.

 

Here is where a meeting filled with such pettiness is juxtaposed against goodness, friendship, and loving kindness.

 

My friend Lynn and I were leaving the meeting when our friend Shirley came running down looking for Lynn and said that our friend Edie was passing fast and was asking for her. Lynn and I went running for the elevator with Shirley following us as Lynn ran down the hall.

 

Edie’s husband, Jack said one at a time to me. I felt like a crushed child, but I completely understood it.

 

Lynn came out with bloodshot red eyes and burst into tears. Edie had said goodbye. The three of us stood in front of the door and talked about what extraordinary people Jack and Edie are and I waited as patiently as I could for Jack to come get me so I could see Edie. He didn’t come.

 

I was beyond sad that I wasn’t going to get to say goodbye, but I really wanted to be respectful of the family. I knew the family had been so close to Shirley and Lynn, and for so long, and I didn’t get to know them till the last year or two.

 

We went into Lynn’s and talked. It was so nice. So refreshing. This is what those negative nellies in the building want. They want these types of friendships and caring. It is these moments that made those previous three hours seem so insignificant, ridiculous, immature and irrelevant. I wanted to scream. GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT. But they wouldn’t hear and least of all the ringleader, and it didn’t matter. THIS is what mattered.

 

I left Lynn’s and went home. I hadn’t been home for more than 15 minutes when Jack called. I held my breath. He apologized for earlier, which was so unnecessary and I can’t believe in the middle of his world being turned upside he would think to call me. He asked me to come upstairs and see Edie.

 

I was like a kid with a Golden ticket to Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory. I couldn’t get up there fast enough! I didn’t want Edie leaving this earth without her knowing how much she meant to me.

 

When I was going through breast cancer and my head was as bald as a bowling ball, my boyfriend for all tense and purposes had abandoned me and this sweet, little old lady that was a spitfire would get in the elevator with me and tell me how beautiful I was. She had a smile that would light up a room. She was a breath of fresh air. It meant the world to me.

 

One day, Shirley took me to Edie’s and we stood and talked to her for an hour. After that, I went to regularly visit her. Edie and her hubby Jack told me stories about living in Canada, Michigan, Florida. They showed me pictures of their kids and grandkids. They both were so easy to talk with and so obviously still in love. They adored one another! Sixty-three years and their eyes still sparkled for each other. It was magical. THE WAY IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE!!!

 

I wanted to tell Edie how much those elevator talks meant to me, how she lifted my spirits, how I appreciated her care, how much I loved coming to visit her and hearing all her stories, how much I loved her. I told her she was beautiful! I kissed the top of her head. I started to leave. I went back and kissed her again. The Edie smile was on her face. She is such a wonderful human being.

 

Jack walked me out through the kitchen. He would start a story about one thing and end up saying how lucky and blessed he was for the amazing life he had with Edie. He showed me their Kosher kitchen and told me about being in the army and unable to eat pork and various foods because they weren’t kosher. Then he would tell another story about Edie. His eyes would well up. My eyes would well up. He is such a good soul too!

 

Life is funny. You have all these crazy juxtaposition of things and if you notice them and appreciate them you can see so many beautiful things. If they are lost on you, you may miss it.

 

 

Until we meet again…

 

Enjoy! Eat, travel, laugh…often….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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