About a week ago, the New York Times published a cute feature called “The United States of Thanksgiving,” which profiled a signature dish for the Thanksgiving table from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Today I introduced Terry Gross to (the real) Klaus Nomi by sharing this video.
She says “(the real) Klaus Nomi” because her cat is named Klaus Nomi. (Not, I quickly regretted asking, “Claws Nomi”?)
But that Facebook post is amazing for two reasons. First, Terry Gross has interviewed so many people, it seems impossible that, in all that studio time, not even a passing reference to Klaus Nomi came up. Not only that, but she’s from New York City, and she was like 30 years old when Klaus Nomi was at his peak.
Second — Klaus Nomi. I mean look at him. This is the video my colleague Christine shared:
After a depressing encounter on a Greyhound from New York to Philadelphia, I resolved to find a more reliable, less-nauseating mode of mass transit between the two cities.
On my first attempt, I found myself sharing the only seat left with an old woman who was digging to China through a large polystyrene clamshell of buffalo wings. Each of about three dozen wings was an adventure in lip-smacking, bone-snapping exuberance. Every morsel of flesh squeaked repugnantly in her mouth. I could avoid most of the sounds with my headphones, but the vile, eye-watering stench streaming from her lap was inescapable.
Then, having no napkins, she spent a good five minutes licking her hands clean. I didn’t have the nerve to see what she wiped them dry with.
I was living in Philadelphia and working in New York, and I knew that I would have to start making some smarter choices about my twice-a-week commute. I settled on Bolt Bus. Continue reading ‘Just-go stories’
The importance of fixing our oven lay not just in the Thanksgiving dinner we had to host, but also in the unbaked DiGiorno pepperoni pizza and the box of Mrs. T’s jumbo fish sticks in the freezer just waiting to be consumed.
During a visit in the spring, my mom treated me and Jeff and a couple of our friends to some serious Polish-lady cooking: golabki, chicken stew and biscuits. The huge baking dish full of stuffed cabbage boiled over. We had a baking sheet on the lower rack, but it wasn’t placed well, and tomato soup spilled right on through to the gas valve and shorted out the electronic controls. If you’re going to go out, go with a bang, I guess—and a sizzle and a pop.
Sooner or later you reach a point where you have to sink so much money into your car to make it sellable that it’s worth just as much or more as a trade-in. And even if that’s not precisely true, it’s worth something to have someone else take it off your hands.
So Jeff and I drove to a suburban car dealer in a 1997 Jeep Wrangler, and we drove home in a 2011 Honda CR-V.
When Jeff bought that Jeep in 2002 he joked, “It makes me look 30% sexier.” And he was right. It was true for anyone. It was a hot little number. Now we’re lulled into a need for reliability and comfort, room for groceries and, one day, room for a kid. Sturdy. Sensible. Soccer mom.
From spring through autumn, sidewalk fruit stands are rampant in New York City. It’s great, because warmer temperatures seem to convince us to eat lighter and fresher, and I like having the options. A couple bucks can get you a light and relatively healthy lunch. I should know, I passed by enough of those stands on my way to Chipotle.
However, you can never be sure of the quality or the flavor. And you should really wash that stuff off before you munch on the go. So it’s a good idea to have some alternative reliable sources.
I could always find the best oranges at this little deli on 46th near Broadway, a couple doors down from my office. I don’t work in New York any more, however, and those oranges are among the things I miss most about my routine there. They were consistently easy to peel. And unlike the typically dull, pulpy monstrosities of grocery store fare, these had an intense flavor every time without fail. I don’t know what voodoo those shopkeepers were working. I have no idea where the fruit came from. But no matter the season, they were always awesome.
Having them there kept me from defaulting to a bagel with butter or a two-egg and cheese on a roll. (Though I miss those things dearly, too.) If they didn’t have any oranges in on a given day, I would walk right back out of the store.
So now that I work in Philadelphia, I need to find a new routine, a new source. I don’t yet know where to get a good bagel near the office, and that’s probably for the best.