shivery's guide to new york #4: junior's deli
i've said it before, and i'll say it again: Who knows how to make love stay?
1. Tell love you are going to Junior's Deli on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn to pick up a cheesecake, and if love stays, it can have half. It will stay.
--tom robbins, still life with woodpecker.founded in 1950 by harry rosen, junior's deli is a brooklyn landmark and a local legend. frankly, it's so well known that there's not really much i can say about it that you couldn't find on a dozen other sites inside of a minute. but i can tell you this much:
be sure to try the cornbread. trust me.
their sandwiches are always and without fail the size of your head, so be prepared to get it wrapped up to go. either that or fast for at least three days before your visit.
be advised that the devil's food cheesecake should only be attempted by professional chowhounds: it's a cheesecake INSIDE a chocolate cake. not for the faint of heart. but really, the original and unadorned version is so great that such a creation is really not necessary to get the proper experience.you can order a cheesecake from anywhere in the US and have it shipped within a day. so, even if you can't make it out to the corner of flatbush and dekalb, you can have a little slice of brooklyn (and heaven) sent door-to-door.
and there you go! a little cheesecake lovin' for your friday afternoon. if you want to know more about junior's but a plane ticket is a far cry from reality, you can also check this out, and dream...
picture credit little owl
writ at 11/21/2003 1:51:13 pm by shivery
dressmakers and dumbwaiters
on the street where i work, right on the dirty outskirts of the fashion district, there are many shops crammed full of strange things. my favorite is one whose name i can't remember (largely because it's obscured by scaffolding, and thus not burned into my consciousness every day), but its windows are full of strange and mysterious parts belonging to ancient sewing machines, scissors that date back to the victorian era if they're a day, and a number of old-fashioned dressmakers dummies in varying states of decreptitude. i love passing this place, where the sweat-stained light fixtures give the long, narrow room a feeling of otherworldliness, as though you're looking behind the scenes of your own mind. or perhaps someone else's.
today, it gave me a little tour down my own wistful primrose path, though all flashes and minutae. a painfully bright day just before graduation and the destruction of a mannequin by way of insertion into a dish chute (not entirely unlike a dumbwaiter) in the school kitchens. i remember the way the freshly cut grass smelled, i remember the way the sunshine clung to my clothes for a good ten minutes before being vanquished by the cellar-like air of the kitchen, i remember the feeling of abandon, of freedom, of glee in a little bit of mindless destruction. i remember the clover puffball that i'd fashioned into a ring. but i can't remember who i was with, or why we were there, or where the damn mannequin had come from.
i could paint you a picture in freeze frame, but the narrative is long gone.
writ at 11/21/2003 11:24:05 am by shivery
wait, the cauldron needs to bubble for HOW long?
now that it is both raining and approaching thanksgiving, i find my interest in cooking is waxing quite a bit. while nowhere near the epic proportions it had the summer i was a kept woman (who has the time?), it is definitely stepping up to a point beyond the typical rice-beans-peppers action of my usual culinary creative roster. i am of the opinion that in winter, there is something very pleasing about the notion of toiling over a hot stove, particularlty when doing so for other people. perhaps it's my maternal instinct kicking in, perhaps its my chronic propensity for cold, but i would like at some point to return again to hearth and home and restore my kitchen to a room of more purpose than a storage bin for my whiskey and coffee.
today i was looking at recipes for corn pudding, mushroom quiche and pumpkin soup; i have also dug up my recipe for flourless chocolate torte. and while my kitchenly prowess is nothing by comparison to the biscuit's
, i think i could tear it up with those dishes. or die trying!
volunteers interested in coming over for dinner?
writ at 11/20/2003 9:47:28 am by shivery
i sometimes find it difficult to tell if i'm engaging in a certain course of action because it's the right thing to do, or just because i'm stubborn.
writ at 11/19/2003 3:08:29 pm by shivery
can someone please explain to me why it is that as soon as most people reach the executive level, they lose the capacity for tact and courtesy? i mean, does it feel good to make underlings feel like stupid gits for minor oversights?
writ at 11/19/2003 9:17:01 am by shivery
all i want for christmas is a rhyming dictionary
i've said it before, but allow me to reiterate: writing lyrics is the bane of my existence. seriously. it's one of the few aspects of my life where i allow the inner perfectionist to take over and make my life a living hell. i refuse to perform mundane and predictable lyrics; none of this 'oh baby, you done me wrong, i just wanna love ya' bullshit for me. no. i must use words like 'acquiesce,' and 'absolution.' i want words and phrases that stampede across 32 beats without missing a step. i like my lyrics to adequately convey the complexity of the emotion or story i am discussing. as such...it's a struggle.
has pointed out to me, i'm a victim of my own propensity for cleverness. it's become expected of me. and while if i'm going to live up to standards set by anyone, it may as well be those set by myself. but really. it's a bit of a mindfuck when i fall short.
as such, i've developed a complex about lyric-crafting, and my new song is making me want to commit ritual harakiri.
that is all.
writ at 11/18/2003 2:25:19 pm by shivery
i guess you could call it superpowers
this morning, cruellittleman asked me what my superpower was. not what superpower i would choose, but which one i actually have
. for me, the answer was easy: siren scream, able to shatter glass when the wind is blowing the right way. (quite an improvement over the superpower that the englishman ex bestowed upon me--mix tape girl, always prepared with the right song for any occasion. a great skill, but a severely pussy superpower) clm's superpower is drinking coffee in mass quantities. wang's, apparently, is masturbation.
what's YOUR superpower, the one you already have?
this is legitimate market research, people.
writ at 11/18/2003 11:04:54 am by shivery
hurr hurr, oi does loikes warmff
at last, at long, long last my apartment has heat!
in what has become a yearly tradition, we have been without the joy of water-based radiation since the weather has started to get cold, well past the october 15 turn-on date mandated by the city of new york. as such, the apartment has not been terribly comfortable. fortunately for me, i've been such a busy little ninja that this lapse in livable temperature hasn't affected me much; i just haven't been home. that does not mean, however, that i was not working on remedying the problem. after all, it's going to be a long winter, and i have only so much furniture to feed to the inevitable barrel fire i'd be huddling around in the living room.
so phone calls were made, and at long last, my landlord dropped by yesterday to help me sort this out. needless to say, however, just because he was there did not mean it went smoothly.
"so, i've checked your boiler, and the pilot light's on, and your thermostat's okay. you should be getting heat."
"yes, i completely agree"
"maybe we should call a plumber?"
so, after much rigamorole, the plumber appears, descends into the basement and emerges moments later to the sounds of my whooping and hollering because hot water has begun to course through our sad, freezing pipes, suffusing the apartment with long overdue ambient heat. the problem? the switch that enables the connection between the heater and my thermostat? yeah. switched to 'OFF' since mid-may.
according to ockham's razor (or whatever the hell agent scully calls it), the simplest explanation is frequently the correct one. so, why is it that we never, ever think to check it first?
but anyway. old man winter, bring it on: i'm so ready for you.
writ at 11/17/2003 9:24:45 am by shivery
shivery's guide to new york #3: the manhattan bridge
by and large, it's the bastard stepchild of the east river crossings--the youngest of the suspension bridges that straddle the river; not nearly so iconic as the brooklyn bridge, not so rough and tumble as the queensborough and lacking the indie cred of the williamsburg (by pure virtue of its end point)...but if i were to recommend a bridge to walk over (because crossing the river on foot is an essential experience), this would be the one. starting at canal street in manhattan and ending on flatbush ave in brooklyn (just down the street from junior's deli), the manhattan bridge is 6855 feet of pure suspension bridge hot action, carrying pedestrians, subways and vehicles across the great divide. i love it because it disgorges 100 yards from ross' place. i love it because its supports look like the eiffel tower
. i love it because it's always under construction. i love it because nine times out of ten, you could walk faster over it than the trains seem to go.
i walked over it on the day of the blackout; i walked over it two days after my heart was last broken. i like to walk over it when there's too much noise in my head to process things. it helps me grow quiet, because it's difficult to feel confusion when surrounded by sky and river and home. but most of all, i love it because when you look south, you see this
writ at 11/14/2003 8:21:33 pm by shivery
double cookies for the big man this year.
oh, and for those of you who aren't tapped into the hive mind gulf stream? all we wanted for christmas was to have our kate
come home again. and it looks like we must have been very good little ninjas this year, because she's coming back in just over three weeks.
writ at 11/14/2003 6:31:50 pm by shivery