The Great Plotnik

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It Doesn't Work on the Phone

The Great Dance-nik came over on Sunday afternoon and we all took a ride into Bed-Stuy to try the pizza at Saraghina's. It looks like a midwestern outbuilding from the 1950s from out in front, but once you walk inside and pass the Latino guys making up one of their eight or so pizzas, to be cut into slices by either the MEAT pizza cutter or the NO MEAT pizza cutter, you come out onto a lovely outside patio with room enough for everyone to sit and take their time drinking a carafe of house red and eating mussels, zuchinni flowers and pizza. The margherita is not as spectacular as DiFara (nothing is), but the cappacola and artichoke pizza is another story. Yum. Unfortunately there was only one of those and Plotnik had to pull rank to get two slices.

But heck, it was his and Duck's 40th. Plottie deserved those two slices. Ducknik and he drank wine and ate pizza with their kids and old friends Dance-Nik and Mo-nee, and Plot cannot think of anything he'd rather have done with the day.

BZ took an early train back to Providence Monday morning and Plot bought two tickets on the Megabus to ride down to DC Thursday morning.

The bus costs $30 for two tickets. They could take a train for $160. Or a plane for $266-$480. Fifteen bucks each on a fast bus, and you only have to be there fifteen minutes ahead of time. Add it up. Why would anyone NOT take the bus? And why don't we have cheap Chinatown-style buses for travel between cities on the West Coast?

Monday afternoon the Great PD had off so Plot, Duck, 5H and PD drove up to Jackson Heights in Queens, which now appears to be 99% Indian. They walked through a rain storm and into a small cafe for chai, masala dosas, samosas and mango lassis.

Is there anything on Earth that is not available in a store in Jackson Heights? Probably not, but you won't find a tree to sit under unless Dr. Gupta has one in his back yard. Every other building in Jackson Heights has a sign out for a Dr. Gupta.

Today was a museum day -- up to the Photographic Institute to see the long-lost Spanish Civil War photos of three photographers who all died taking them. The photos were interesting but not as interesting as the show downstairs on the Cuban Revolution. You look at young Fidel and Che and Camilo Cienfuegos and you see a bunch of really young guys with thick beards and guns and romance and lots of girls to adore them and a brand new country of their own to figure out what to do with. You really can't help envy them, nor blame them too much for trying out a new idea, even though, like all political ideologies, it turned into a personal ego-fest after awhile.

A gloomy afternoon. Even the Empire State Building was fogged over.

At Duck's urging, Plot and she tried out the NEW Second Avenue Deli for lunch. The old one, in the East Village, was Duck's very favorite pastrameria (Plot has always preferred Katz's), but after the owner was murdered taking out the night's receipts, the Second Avenue closed and remained closed for at least five years. Now it's back, but it's not near Second Avenue anymore and the pastrami is, at best, a pale imitation of the old days. It looks good. But you don't smell the meat and pickles when you walk in, and, trust Plottie, you don't taste it either.

Plot and Duck then walked over to Teddy Roosevelt's birthplace, a mansion on East 20th St. Teddy is the only American President to have been born in New York City.

New York. It is starting to feel like the Brooklyn Plotniks are going to stay awhile. Tomorrow is the start of the third year on the job for The Great PD and they and Dance-Nik happen to live in one of the coolest neighborhoods in the five boroughs. It usually takes people five years or so to have the fun/shithole scale switch from one side to the other. It took Plottie six years, but then again he and Ducknik moved away as soon as she was pregnant with The Great PD.

Isabella is certainly thriving here. If she starts school and makes friends then PD and 5H will make friends with her friends' parents. Life starts to get a little easier. Plot and Duck take more frequent trips and stay for more time.

But Plotnik looks at those old brownstones in Bed-Stuy and he starts to feel --- just a little bit -- the building fever again. Four floors? Two for the family, one for Plot and Duck and BZ when they come to visit and one to rent out?

And more nights like this one -- PD and 5H go to the John Stewart Show and Plot and Duck pick up Isabella at day care, bring her home, give her some sushi and put her to bed. Her parents get home. They all shmooze. What did you do today? How was the Daily Show? What did Isabella have for dinner?

Plotnik is no talker on the phone. You can't do this on the phone. You can't.


At 12:46 PM, Anonymous HankyGirl said...

"And why don't we have cheap Chinatown-style buses for travel between cities on the West Coast?"

But we do:

The run takes about 8 hours and, in theory, there are two trips daily (noon & midnight) from SF to LA, for about $50. I haven't tried the shuttle yet, but reviews on Yelp etal are both good and bad. I think Plottie should try it and report back.

At 7:27 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Investing in a Bed-Stuy brownstone is a really good idea.

At 7:36 PM, Anonymous jj-aka-pp said...

The floor you rent out, you rent out to tourists so that when family comes to visit you can have a floor for them :-)
and can you imagine the NYC theatre blog? :-)

At 7:51 PM, Blogger mary ann said...

Happy 40th Anniv!


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