shivery's guide to new york #6: the chip shop
in honor of my impending voyage to old blighty, this installment features park slope's own little slice of greasy british heaven, the chip shop. smack on the corner of 6th street and 5th ave, brooklyn's answer to the local chippy is heaven for (and fully staffed by) displaced british and the british at heart. i was first made aware of the chip shop because the biscuit
used to live a block away from it, and dragged me there in horror the instant i revealed that i'd not been in. since then, it's been a perennial favorite for me--the top choice on those late summer nights at the gate, when we've been drinking for hours but don't want to move, as well as a great place for birthdays and first dates. the menu features what you'd expect--cod and chips, steak and kidney pie, meaty mac--all done up simply but perfectly. the desserts are where this place really shines though: if you are of the temperament that believes that everything is made better by deep frying, then you're in luck. because this is the home of the deep fried twinkie, the deep fried mars bar, the deep fried peanut butter cup and deep fried anything else you can think of.
for the more health conscious (who should really know better than to come here), all fishy things are available baked or steamed, and potatoes are also available mashed or boiled. additionally, for those missing a proper english curry, the folks at the chip shop have annexed their own dining room and turned it into the park slope curry shop, where you can get some killer korma, some mad fab masala and some thrilling tandoori, all served with your choice of naan or rice.
also, they do killer hangover brunch.
the decor is pure swinging london meets down home brooklyn--pressed tin ceiling, creamy yellow walls (on one side; spicy red on the side of the curry shop) with british pop memorabilia tacked up all over the place. if ever you were missing your old bunty book or blue peter poster, this is the place to go for a small sigh of nostalgia over a proper english beer.
call (718)CHIPSHOP to make an order, for more information, or just to get a fix on hearing that delicious accent. which, let's face it, you know you're seriously a sucker for.
chicken and mushroom pie. cod and chips (obviously). deep fried mars bar (only to share, unless you're really gunning for that coronary). scotch eggs. salmon and cream cheese omelet. chicken tikka masala. plus, they have IRN BRU and young's double chocolate stout! and very cute quasi-mod staff.
writ at 12/18/2003 1:56:42 pm by shivery
they say that you can read someone's past in their face, if you know how to read between the lines. i'm inclined to agree, though i think that if you want to read my history, you don't need to go much further than the eyebrows.
i was once told that i can be described in the point of my chin and the angle of my brow, and it's true. my left eyebrow is slightly higher than my right, the result of years of cocking it jauntily, in disbelief and incredulity, to express surprise and make a point. the lopsided brows (unlike my lopsided ears) show that i am an expressive girl, an animated girl who has had a lot of experiences worth cocking a brow over.
my eyebrows are also telling of more carefully hidden mental sensations. i had my eyebrows waxed on monday, and the aesthetician (waxer) was aghast at the state of them: sparse, fine, full of patchy holes. she asked me what i had been doing to my poor defenseless brows to bring them to such a state of destruction. to which i said: nothing but years of abuse can create that kind of lasting impression.
the story goes like this: at the ripe old age of sixteen, it came to my attention that my eyebrows took up as much facial real estate as groucho marx's did his. i'm not kidding. ask ross. he's seen my driver's license. anyway. at the time, having fallen victim to the ugly duckling syndrome and all the low self esteem that entails, i decided to take matters into my own hands and tame the savage beasts above my eyes. which i did. and they looked great. until i started getting a little extreme. i soon became obsessive about pruning the brows, to the point where it became a nervous habit. this is why i had only half of a right eyebrow during college. while i have calmed down some (resigned myself to a life of letting the professionals do it-- i will permit myself this luxury), the damage has been done. there are holes in my brows where nothing will grow anymore. these scraggly bits are almost like battle scars, proof that i have settled some scores with a few of my demons. i'm still crazy, but it's a different brand of crazy. and proud of it.
it probably sounds silly to you, that i consider my grooming habits to be telling signs of my own emotional fortitude, points in which i can take pride. but, when you consider the fact that many of the other ways i tried to destroy myself back in the day didn't leave any marks...i mean, a girl's got to be able to point to something when she talks about surviving herself. for some girls, it's a slash scar on the wrist. for me, it's my eyebrows.
writ at 12/18/2003 11:10:15 am by shivery
i have a confession to make.
i find hard-core pornography unsettling.
i don't know why this is; as a liberated young woman of the twenty-first century, i feel as though i should be embracing porn with open arms, as though i should have my own collection. i'm certainly okay with it conceptually. i don't have a problem with people, en-relationship or otherwise, having collections. i don't have a problem with people appreciating or working in porn. i don't have a problem with buying it or selling it (or, at least i'd imagine i'd have no problem selling it; i've never tried). but there is something...
i've got to be honest. walking into XXX dvd and video on 8th ave today (office field trip, best not to ask), i just felt out of my depth. walls upon walls of video cases, each featuring a cleverly punned title and a pneumatic actor/actress, smiling or pouting in an approximation of seduction. an army of coiffed exhibitionists daring me to watch in awe as they shake their collective groove thangs.
really, though, i think what it is is that hardcore porn makes me feel like i'm fifteen again (kindly refrain from boorish comments, thanks), lost and bewildered in the jungle of human sexuality and jumping at all the shadows of lust. things lurk behind those cases that i can only imagine, that i can barely fathom, and that i am nowhere near bendy enough to accomplish. i know there are some who find innocence of that sort beguiling, but i don't relish going back there. and while i'm no longer quite an innocent in the world of sex, i am certainly an innocent in the world of porn; and having fought damn hard to be the jaded prat that i am, i am unsettled when reminded of how much there is left for me to learn, should i choose to learn it.
writ at 12/17/2003 4:02:18 pm by shivery
in the command room, we are bracing ourselves for war. ostensibly, next week is the week that bosslady deigns to grace us with her presence and deliver the annual reviews. how she plans to do this remains a mystery, as she's been missing for the four months she would ostensibly be reviewing, but prepare ourselves we do, nonetheless. and we don't fight cleanly aroudn here, no matter what the stories say.
in a way, i feel almost bad for bosslady, in as much as i can feel bad for someone who clearly has no conscience. when she walked in last week, 45 minutes late, to sit in on our meeting, the temperature dropped palpably. she knows we're not happy, with her, with this office, with anything. our conjecture is that she's going to adhere to the 'best defense is a good offense' school of thought; we're preparing ourselves to be mightily attacked. because she knows we're going to come right back with it.
so it's going to be an interesting time. i wonder who is going to come out the wiser; we've certainly got an advantage, three paeons against one overprivileged and underprepared quasi-manager. hardly a fair fight, really. but that's what we've been reduced to.
this isn't work, it's war.
writ at 12/17/2003 11:19:28 am by shivery
the mysterious bedside box.
some unidentified benefactor just sent our office an erotic toolkit. edible vanilla-flavored massage cream
that's an EROTIC toolkit. not an erotic TOOLKIT. abandon all fantasies of penis-shaped wrenches right now.
it wasn't addressed to anyone in particular, and we have no idea who it's from. it contained:
two bottles of "oil of love" massage oil (spice flavored and raspberry flavored)
a feather tickler
lube (oh, excuse me, "Love Liquid")
massage oil, unscented.
so that appears to be our office's lone christmas gift. it's not chocolates, but, you know. it'll do. interesting gift choice with an added enhancement of mystery.
i took the edible massage cream. i have some calluses on my elbows that need some attention.
writ at 12/15/2003 2:49:44 pm by shivery
dreaming, dreaming is free
it's amazing the power a dream can wield over the person who conjures it in the night. the right dream can wake you with a smile or a laugh, while the wrong one can leave you nervous and jumpy all day.
i dreamt last night that i accidentally detonated a nuclear bomb in my friend's parents' basement. i have no idea how i obtained said warhead; all i know is that i set it off. i believe it involved putting it in the washing machine. anyway. this is after surviving a horrible fight with another girl, one which involved chains to jaws and broken windows (and me mysteriously developing serious kung fu powers). the explosion was a small one, fortunately for us in the dream, who were all bound by that mysterious sleep ailment of not being able to run in the dreamstate. as such, we couldn't get far. though the actual structural damage was minimal, i woke up wondering just how much radiation we had just released, and what it was going to do to us all.
of course, it's an improvement on my typical anxiety dreams, which are a recurring miasma of losing my teeth and crashing airplanes. this one at least had some serious cinematic value.
writ at 12/15/2003 11:27:20 am by shivery
i was told the other night that i seemed like the kind of girl that should have tattoos, that it was surprising that i hadn't yet gotten one. i'm not going to refute this; i also think im' the kind of girl who should have a tattoo, and i plan to get one as soon as it's feasible. but, as for why the moment of feasibility has not yet arrived? well, i have my reasons, the first of which is the most obvious: tattoos, at least GOOD tattoos are expensive. and every time i save up the cash to get a respectable job done, some sort of catastrophe befalls, such as a three hundred dollar gas bill, and i have to squander my savings on practicalities, instead of indulging my frivolities. alas.
second: tattoos, from what i understand, are rather SEETHINGLY PAINFUL. especially if you're getting it done on the small of your back, just over the spine, as i plan to. so it's taken a little bit of psyching up, as well as the development of some pain circumvention plans (which right now involve some combination of chocolate and gin, but i'm still exploring my options).
third: tattoos are, as far as i'm concerned, forever. while they can technically be removed, it doesn't sound like a fun process and as such i'd like to avoid it. no, i prefer to do it right the first time. which means i've been terribly picky about the design i've chosen to transcribe to my skin. what i have settled on is a roos original, that he designed specifically for me. a printout of it has been hanging on my bedroom wall, placed strategically placed so that i had no choice but to stare it down every morning. so i could determine if i was going to one day regret being emblazoned by it.
two years later, it's still up there, and i still look at it every morning with as much enthusiasm as i did the first day. wouldn't you?
writ at 12/14/2003 3:50:26 pm by shivery
i have it on good authority that hearing british idiom falling comfortably from american lips is a disconcerting experience.
can i get corroborations or refutations on that?
writ at 12/12/2003 10:47:50 am by shivery
turning into our addled deco alter ego
it's hardly uncommon knowledge that gotham city is just a nickname for new york, though you don't always catch the resemblance between gotham's eternal darkness and the mercurial sway between seething brightness and slinking shadow that is the living new york. but sometimes, sometimes you really see it. and looking out my window right now, they may as well be twins. the clouds are heavy and purple, like a forming bruise, but not so heavy that they lose their distinct contours. the wind is high and causing them to slink across the sky, occasionally scraping their underbellies on the buildings. the sun will be set any second, but now it still illuminates the windows with an ethereal glitter, only a short hop from the brilliant shades of crimson and salmon they wore only moments ago.
...in the time i've spent writing this, the sky has turned to slate and the lights are slowly popping up piecemeal. it's summer evening light filtered through a charcoal lens, through an icy breath, through a canopy. it's shadows and angles and voluptuous shades...
the buildings are not so much standing as lurking. just as gotham should.
writ at 12/11/2003 4:55:45 pm by shivery
festivity slinks in slowly
there is something strange in the office today. i'm not sure exactly what to call it, but i believe that it's closest in scope and size to...holiday cheer. early afternoon hennessey and cokes have left us a little giggly, and soon we will be huddling in the warm glow of the aussie's laptop to watch the british phenomenon known as 'the office.' it's really almost...it's the way school would feel about three days before class let out.
of course, despite all this festivity, i am distracted. because i am leaving this godforsaken hole for blightier climes in less than a week, to catch up with this one
, and this one
, and this one
, and maybe even this one
and i'm literally keeling over with excitement.
writ at 12/11/2003 4:04:15 pm by shivery