The Great Plotnik

Monday, September 02, 2013

Labor Day Party

Gettin' ready for the Labor Day party -- cutting flowers from the back yard, making sure the bbq has been washed off, moving furniture around, figuring out where people might sit or stand -- but in the end what you do is plan whatever you can and then move out of the way, hoping everybody doesn't bring three-bean salad. 

The Snowy Valley Voice crowd has been meeting at Great Plotnik World Headquarters on Labor Day for close to all the twenty years the Plotniks have lived here. Once, it was because we were one of the few families who actually owned a house, now most Snowy Valleyans have moved out, including Sal, the Publisher of the Voice, who got priced out years ago.

The Voice itself used to be the best small newspaper in the city. Interesting articles, stories, poetry, even a yearly literary contest. Then, hard times hit. Now -- well, it looks like it's put out by the Real Estate Council. It's all about ads - you can read it in five minutes. But the paper is still in business, and that is truly saying something in an era of bookstores closing and newspapers disappearing. 

The lead article this month is about Phoenix Books being for sale -- the last Noe Valley bookstore on the avenue. What a pity this is. We've all been buying books there for decades, then taking our old books back to the store for credit, that we use to buy more books. Most of what we bring goes into the Free Book bin on the street. When Phoenix Books goes it will be replaced by another real estate office or financial broker or poofty home furnishings store. In some ways, 24th Street is going the way of Brooklyn -- death by popularity.

Our houses are worth a bundle, though, so they say.

Plot made green curry for the chicken and two kinds of pickles. Ducknik made a coffee cake, the kind that goes really well with three bean salad. There are soft drinks, that go into the cooler, and then after the party come back out of the cooler and back into the pantry because nobody drinks sodas anymore. People bring cheap wine and it all gets consumed in plastic glasses, except for whatever Bill L. brings, which he and Plot will take over to a corner and drink in proper wine glasses. 

It's too bad Labor Day doesn't fall in May, when the garden looks so magnificent. By September, things are dried out. This year has been hotter, so there are tomatoes and peppers still out there, but as for flowers -- pocas. Not many. A few purple agapanthus, the eternal fuscia and, up until a few minutes ago, white roses on the ancient bush that keeps giving every year, despite receiving no fertilizer, little sun or proper pruning. Ducknik has put together a pretty rose bouquet combining white roses with the wild pink shrub rosesfrom the pant that Plotnik gave up on fifteen years ago, so his ex-neighbor Dana just threw it in the corner of the backyard. Didn't plant it, just threw it in the ivy. It gets bigger every year, especially now that we have so much more heat. Looks like lavender in that bouquet too.


At 1:03 PM, Blogger mary ann said...

and you had nice weather!


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