17 January 2008

Imaginary Border-Crossing


Since I spent my out-of-Russia time in California to enjoy the weather and visit family, I missed a chance to renew my ties with the большое яблоко. So as I was sitting in the archive waiting for the delivery of my documents—a sketchy proposal of Punjabi Gadarites in America to establish a collective farm in the Ukraine during the 1920s—I dreamed up a list of ten things I miss about New York, in no particular order. I can’t even really posit that it’s a top ten, just the first ten things to pop into my mind.

Here it is:

10. Perusing the 99 cent books outside the Strand and grabbing old, unappreciated Barbara Deming fiction or beat-up copies of Christopher Isherwood books.

9. Watching McFly woo the barkeep at Grassroots Tavern into a free Jameson’s, and then heading off for Japanese at the weird place across the street with the panda statue and cotton-candy machine outside.

8. Dim sum at Diamond on Eight, Brooklyn Chinatown.

7. Reading back issues of an obscure English conservationist journal at the Bronx Botanical Gardens Library (because a former Congress Socialist lefty took over the editorial mantle of the journal for a few years in the 1950s).

6. Halal No Pork Chinese Kitchen on 4th and Dean, Brooklyn.

5. Enjoying my first coffee/beer while waiting for elwood el encanto to show up (always fashionably late) for banh mi sammiches or a show.

4. Sitting on the N/R running local, late at night while an eighty-year-old woman across the aisle, all of her stuff on a wheely-cart, reads the Monthly Review with a pen in her hand.

3. Sneaking off to a midday movie at the Sunshine Cinema with me and the senior citizens.

2. The main reading room of the NYPL, where the guy next to you just might be working on what appears to be a history of late-nineteenth-century upholstery.

1. Finding out when I come home what weird new liquor lizzie b has found at Greene Grape this time.

If you happen to be in New York, take advantage of these things while you can.

Recent Listening: Los Crudos, Discography; Merle Haggard, Bluegrass Sessions; Navio Forge, As We Quietly Burn a Hole; The Ex and Tom Cora; Lungfish, Talking Songs for Walking; Please Inform the Captain this is a Hijack, To Defeat or Humiliate the United States of America; Siouxsie and the Banshees, Peel Sessions.

Recent Viewing: Lucky You; The Brave One; Rescue Dawn; In the Mix; Butterfly on a Wheel.

4 comments:

elwood el encanto said...

I suppose I'm late to defend myself too.

McFly said...

On the topic of the Japanese restaurant in the village: what about the indelicate drawings on the menu? Stop pretending that's not the real reason you like to go there.

BusterPh.D.Candidate said...

Elwood, You're also late in convincing lizzie b to move to California. So get on it.

McFly, We all know that I didn't even notice the drawings as I was busy discerning what items of offal I wanted battered and fried and delivered to the table. You on the other hand, seemed especially taken with the busted bodices after your second Ichiro.

BusterPh.D.Candidate said...

Oops, by Ichiro, I meant Ichiban. It was late.