Monday, August 20, 2012

Sundays in New York

Yesterday I played in New York's parks.  I had made myself a delicious brunch of an omelette of sauteed onions, mushrooms and spinach with cheese and jalapenos, then headed out into the city.  I took the train to Union Square to sit and read in the park.

I arrived, and headed over to find some coffee.  Starbucks was packed, so I popped in next door to McDonalds.  $1 for a cup of coffee, any size.  New York is always good for deals.  Throw in two apple pies for a buck.  What could be more Americana than apple pie?  I heard a great American gastrodiplo story from my lecture about an FSO who went on a morning tv show to bake an apple pie.  Good American gastrodiplomacy indeed, she said people would come up to her and refer to her as the "apple pie lady."

Anywho, I made my way into the park and read A Storm of Swords.  I poured through it like a Valyrian swords through silk.  I sipped my coffee and fed pigeons pie.

Things I don't miss from Iraq: 1) Hauling pianos up flights of stairs.  

After a bit, I headed into Washington Square.  There i stumbled upon a phenomenal pianist.  His name is Colin Higgins, and he sits in a corner of the square, playing the ivories.  He played all sorts of beautiful brilliant pieces by Liszt, Chopin, Rachmaninoff and others.   And more recent, like The Piano of the Piano.

And the beautiful rain drops of Amelie.

A perfect afternoon of a piano serenade and a game of thrones.  I picked up where I left off in Istanbul and poured through the twists and turns.  I don't think anything has ever taken me on such a story.  After Colin was done playing, I told him about hauling pianos in Iraq.  We chatted for a bit about music and American Music Abroad.

I wandered away, and to happy hour for some wine.  After finishing Game of Thrones I felt I needed a glass of Dornish red.  I chatted with the bartender, who had also read the book.  He had not read a book of which he had a part in: Man of La Mancha.  He was playing the priest.  There is no coincidence.

I wandered my way through Greenwich Village, looking for a humuseria.  Those are always in short supply.  I found a block of falafel and kathi rolls.  I had a first roll of Calcutta flair.  A delicious potato onion curry roll.  It was good but I was still hungry.  I popped in to Mamoun's falafel and had some incredible falafel.  For only $2.50.  Amazing.  And they had some hot sauce that utterly lit me up.  Impressive hot.  My lips smoldered for 45 minutes.  No joke.  Tingly burn for almost an hour.  F'ing right.  It takes a lot to impress me with hot sauce, but this was a champ.

I was on my way back on the subway.  I transferred in Brooklyn and was waiting in the hot depths for a train.  As i was waiting, a Chinese family was babbling, a bit loudly but nothing out of the ordinary.  Suddenly, this fat white decrepit guy sitting near me starts saying loudly, "ching chong chung chong."

I turned over and growled at him to stop.

He continued.

Then I snarled at him, "SHUT UP."

He slunk back off into the depths.

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