I was on a mission, an advance party charged with finding a restaurant. I had several criteria. Since we would be attending a 7 PM music event on the West Side of Manhattan immediately afterwards, it had to be in the vicinity of West 72nd Street, and since it was early September, which is technically late summer, we preferred it have outdoor cafe seating.
Normally I’d let my fingers do the walking and make reservations on Open Table, but since my train got in at 4-ish, and we planned to eat at 5:30, which is early by New York standards, I knew I’d have no trouble finding a place. I decided to walk over from Grand Central and take a look in person
Well, it didn’t take long for me to become totally distracted I had progressed but one block when all it took was one well-displayed sign in a store window.
I knew what a variance was, having sought the help of my friendly town building department in pinpointing the location of my septic system years ago. I was told a variance had been issued for it. That was all they know
“what’s that mean?” I asked.
“It’s an exception to the rule.”
Curious to see what was going on after hours, I turned the corner and proceeded to the next sign.
Of course I had to make my way around the entire building
Is the whole thing rat-infested?
I finally tore myself away and proceeded onward when total panic struck. My heart rate actually increased. Had I crossed the border into a parallel world? Into another dimension? I stepped back. Here I was on the corner of 50th Street and Fifth Avenue, but where was St Patrick’s Cathedral? Had aliens absconded with it? I mean where could a cathedral that took up a square block disappear to? I took a few deep breaths to calm myself, and stepped back to logically assess the situation. There had to be a logical explanation. And there it was.
I was on the corner of 50th Street
but not Fifth Avenue
So distracted had I been by the rat poison sign, that in my desire to explore, I’d turned north a block early onto Madison Avenue without even realizing.
But time was a-wasting, and I was on a mission. I gradually wound my way north and west when ……..what was this? It was a typical Halal food cart but I’d never seen so many people lined up at a pushcart.
I decided to research the matter scientifically and do some comparisons.
right next door
across the street
on the next block
Even an ice cream truck just as people were getting out of work on a hot evening proved to be no competition.
But maybe that’s because it wasn’t Mr Softee.
(If you’re not a New Yorker, you don’t know that after years of luring successive generations of children out of their homes for soft serve ice cream cones with its annoying music, Mr Softee raised such ire that a newer prissier New York City issued noise restrictions targeting the trucks during the reign of King Giuliani)
But oh my goodness, time was a-wasting.
Well I managed to find a few restaurants then proceeded on to meet my friends on our agreed-upon corner. They suggested a restaurant they’d passed on the way over from the Museum of Natural History, where they’d spent the afternoon. And what are the odds? Of all the restaurants on the West Side, it was the one at the top of my list!
End of story.
Well, not quite. A few weeks later I found an article about the opening of Urban Space Vanderbilt, a new upscale midtown food court…..
right down the street from the rat building.
Just when I found a way of facing the facts of life, the coming winter life, that is, I find things have been turned topsy-turvy. You see, I’d found solace in the thought that Mother Nature would be taking a well-deserved rest after blessing me with such a beautiful summer along with an abundance of vegetables, and bouquets of flowers, potential bouquets, that is, since I only picked flowers on two occasions.The problem, although it’s not really a problem, is that my garden doesn’t want to stop so she can rest, and she doesn’t seem ready for even a short nap anyway.
The tomato plants are continuing to furnish me with daily portions
as well as promises of more to come
Yellow Squash, though tinier than in the dog days of summer. get a bit bigger every dayWhile even tinier zucchini hope they’ll be big enough to pick before the first frost gets hereI don’t think any eggplant will emerge from these lovely purple flowers
But maybe I’ll pick a pepper or two tomorrow
Even my container annuals, which in other years I discard in August because they’ve grown leggy and sparse, don’t seem to know it’s October 15 and not August 15.But then I look at the deck from a different angle.
And I look up the road.
But still, with October temperatures like these……….
……the plants aren’t the only ones who are getting the most out of this summer that won’t quit. I’m still working in my summer office.
And as for The Mars, Marble, Marcel, & MarceauI don’t have the heart to tell them (or my outdoor green friends) the weatherman is warning of frost on Saturday night, and temps as low as 29 Sunday night.
As is my wont, I was cozily ensconced in the recliner one morning a couple of weeks ago, sipping my coffee and watching the Today Show, when a movement straight ahead, through the window of the spare room, and up in the woods caught my eye. At first, judging my the heft of its hind quarters I though it was a bear, bears being in the news so often. But no, although it was a hefty figure, it was the wrong color so the second thought flashing through my mind was that it was the Golden Retriever down the road who, on a couple of occasions, has escaped his yard to explore my woods. Then I noticed the magnificent antlers, it was a young male deer. But it was gone before I could right the recliner and grab my camera from my bag in the dining room.
I forgot about it until that evening when I went into the driveway to get a 30 lb bag of cat litter out of my car.
There he was.
Then I realized he was getting closer to the decorative grasses I’ve been nurturing for five years, so I proceeded out to the cat littler. It had little effect on him, but at least he changed his direction.
The next day, I took a look at the grasses, and decided they must not be his cup of tea.
Friday evening I had just parked the car when I was discovered I was being observed from the driveway next door.
Maybe it wasn’t my grass he’s interested in. Maybe he’s looking for a set of wheels