Monday, September 13, 2010

"I wasn't prepared for the poverty."

That's what my downstairs neighbor said when I cheerfully asked her how her trip to India was.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Bucketful of Frogs

Miss me?

I certainly have.

But I'm back.

Back in Brooklyn. Back in the saddle. Back to the drawing board with this blog.

Tomorrow I plan to go (back) to Chinatown. Chinatown on Easter Sunday. I can't think of anything less lovely to do on Easter except maybe go to Bushwick.

Here's a quaint picture of what is actually a super scary junk shop I've seen on Elizabeth Street. I've never been brave enough to go inside. And I'm not sure I could fit inside. And I'm not sure anything is, in fact, for sale, but if it is, it's broken. I just think the guy who lives there puts some of his belongings on the sidewalk when his tiny storefront home overflows with the discarded junk he finds. Then tourists wander by and think the stuff must be for sale (because why else would an assortment of three-legged chairs, an ironing board, an alarm clock, and some soiled neckties be arranged on the sidewalk), and he says, Sure, what'll you give me?

When I lived in Park Slope, I used to go to Chinatown regularly to buy all the food I could carry for a dollar. By "food" I mean apples, oranges, mushrooms, snow peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, bananas, berries. I don't mean orange hanging ducks or stinky dried shrimp or whatever is next to the shrimp or anything with eyes. No deer antlers or live blue crabs that have been running around on the filthy New York City sidewalks. I have no problem admitting I'm very timid and conventional when it comes to buying groceries in Chinatown, although I do love to go look.

And I never minded if they left their finger on the scale as they weighed my produce.

One day I noticed a little girl standing by herself in a fish stall, staring intently into a Rubbermaid garbage can nearly as big as she was. I had no idea what could possibly be so mesmerizing. So I crossed the street, went up to the garbage can, and looked inside. The garbage can was filled almost to the brim with hundreds of squirming, bobbing live frogs in water. But pretty much more frogs than water.

I love Chinatown.

Happy Easter to all those who celebrate.