Thursday, February 05, 2015

Done in again... {NYC redux}

Well, NYC did it again.
I think the most strategic mistake I made was not to bring 
my red cart with me.
I had the loveliest of breakfasts...Mr. Husband had fruit and yougurt
but I had baked lady apples, turkey sauce cakes, scrambled eggs,
strawberry yougurt with granola with some old fashion peanut butter on the side...
Those baked apples were so very warm that I think
I need to learn to make them at home.
A warm winter cooking revelation.
My perhaps biggest accomplishment in NYC was that:
I found BOOKS.
A Christmas Recipe book with stories from the bakers;
a book on Chocolate. 
I think three or four kids books,
and the book I came there looking for:
Madeleine L'Engle's
A Severed Wasp.
And I bought 2 postcards and a magnet. 
All for about 22.00 I think; most of the books were on the sale rack
and the L'Engle was less than $6.00.

I have just had this deep gut longing to read that particular L'Engle's book again.
The Strand bookstore said they had it
before and did not and this time they had it, again 1 in stock,
and it was found and I bought it.
The book is set in NYC and it's almost surreal reading it
in the city where it is set....
On my way I found a food store;
I was thinking that I am so busy the rest of this week,
I must get these things now, it will be perfect and 
no more worry about them.
Well, that worked, kind of.
I got sunflower oil for the cake, a large one that was 
not that costly and only one they had, 
1 L size and some heavy cream and some special chocolate
that will be chipped at for making the ganache..

I would of gotten eggs too, they make them in doubled packaging 
but did not as Mr. Husband thought they would break.
So we ended up going to the store at night after going out to eat
at a restaurant back home
and it ended up being a long and tiring day.
And then I realized I already had bought sunflower oil earlier;
I did not have to carry that heavy 1 L bottle! :(
So I admitted a bit of disappointment in what seemed
such a good idea at the time and that store was so lovely.
But the mistake really was not having that cart!
Meanwhile, in NYC I did not know that I had
sunflower oil and was relieved to find it,
and that good chocolate and cream as well...
So I carried those items, the food items and new books,
along with my purse and other bag and it was much too heavy.
I had forgotten how bad it could be in Ottawa
carrying groceries home without a cart or suitcase...
and well, I should of had my cart with me to bear the weight.
So muscles not used to being used got sore,
I was tired....
it's funny how even the best of meals, full of protein and greens 
and some great carbs, when faced with NYC,
winter sidewalks and not having my cart just does not protect
one from the weariness of the day,
though they were delicious.
Mr. Husband was surprised to hear that the L'Engle book I got
is out of print; I am afraid that many of her 'adult' novels are
which is a shame, they should be read; they would help us
process a great deal.
I can't tell you how greatly I had suddenly been wanting that L'Engle book.
And that it was worth the tiring day.
I began reading it already...

I took the other book I am reading along and read that one a bit as well...
there is so much depth and, frankly history of cultural losses in
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
that I will have to write about it at another time.
I am not sure how to make myself learn the subway;
I find subways dark, way too hot and mostly oppressive,
esp. if full with people.
My husband compares them to a cattle car
when they are full of people like this.
It can be quite difficult.
But the city sometimes is so large,
it is NYC after all, that I guess I should learn;
I just have dreadful memories of me getting totally turned around,
not understanding that I went the wrong way and
being an exhausted mess calling Mr. Husband that I would be late for lunch
and where in the world am I anyway.
Really, I should just take cabs; that would make it a much 
better experience;
except that miserable day in NYC when I was there and it was raining
and everyone I talk to in NYC says when it's raining,
you'll never get a cab.
And I was lost...again...that time in the rain...
I've had a few good NYC experiences and my times
when I am there with my cousin who as a clear sense of direction
have been quite nice.
But I must try to be better prepared next time.
I need my red cart.
I really need to understand subways.
It makes me miss my Aunt and cousin and her son,
being there without them.
But thankful for them too, all at once...
And, lest it sound like I totally dislike or even hate NYC,
that's not it; it's just so unconquerable and I have yet
to learn to tricks to survival in it; or
even more, how to flourish.
I had this quotation in mind as I was carrying 
the heavy food items to make desserts that
could be called
frou frou or as my cousin would say, 'posh, posh':

How will it be with us in the future life, when everything that has gratified us in this world: riches, honors, food and drink, dress, beautifully furnished dwellings, and all attractive objects — how will it be, I say, when all these things leave us — when they will all seem to us a dream and when works of faith and virtue, of abstinence, purity, meekness, humility, mercy, patience, obedience and others will be required of us?

St. John of Kronstadt, “My Life in Christ”
I don't know how to answer this question yet by St. John
other than it was a perfect one to have suddenly upon me
in this week of the Publican and the Pharisee
where humility is the thing we are to learn this week...
I am so glad that the day after NYC was a day 
that I would be alone during the day....
I am realizing in new ways how I need 
time alone to recover from things and if I get that time,
I can regain strength much more quickly.
And so that was how NYC was this time....
I got the book I wanted plus more;
I never made it to the knitting store but
today ordered the needle I needed online via amazon.
I wish I could say it's always a fun or easy city
but for this introvert, 
it's just not so.
I actually find often it a city that is more fun with another
or at least with one's red cart.
Well, NYC, you may had did me in for the moment but
I know I will return...


E Helena E said...

Now I am intrigued about that Madeleine L'Engle book! There's much in this post. I do know what it's like to overestimate one's carrying capacity and the way home seems awfully long, shlepping everything back, when one hasn't planned. Each time in NYC may get small doses.

Matushka Anna said...

Yes, that red cart would have been so helpful! :( It sounds like a rewarding day even though it was exhausting. You have my admiration, because I've never been to NYC and I would be terrified!

T.J. said...

unconquerable- that's a perfect word for NYC! Well said. I feel a bit out of whack when I am there too. I think it's because my life is slower paced and with less-well everything!- and so there it takes me some time to acclimate and by then it's time to go home!!!