It was kind of a fun day yesterday. In the morning, I went with a class to tour Google and listen to a panel of interns and young women in tech there. Afterwards, we came back to the site, ate lunch, the teaching teams and I talked about approaches to next week’s lessons, then went back up to the classroom, where the girls wrote thank you notes. After that, I showed them my girls’ classroom cheer (here) from last year, and watched as these girls came up with their own. It was a hilarious process that, for some reason, not even known to the girls, involved a whole lot of that Italian chef kiss hand gesture where you bunch all your finger tips together, kiss them and sweep your hand into the air in front of you. Crap, I was hoping not to have to research this, but I am failing to describe it accurately, so I’m going to have to find a visual representation. The reason I don’t want to research it is that I’m sitting on my bed where I can’t actually see my laptop screen very well, and I don’t have my mouse over here, so I’ll have to get up and move over there for a bit. I find that writing goes much faster here because I write write write, then correct it at the end, rather than keep correcting as I go along.
Who can understand teenagers? All this started before Scaramucci was appointed, so it has nothing to do with that. It’s a mystery.
As I left the site at the end of the day, I decided to take a longer route home. I knew the 4 train would be crowded and SRO at rush hour, so I decided to walk across town and catch the 1 train. My path led me past Bryant Park, where there was a picnic in the park going on, with people playing with hula hoops, juggling, acrobatics, just laying there (you could borrow a blanked from a booth if you wished). They also had a couple of food vendors, so I bought dinner. I had okonomiyaki, which I would liken to a Japanese omelette. I chose it mostly because I had no idea what it was, but it looked good. After dinner, I wandered toward Times Square to catch the train, but it seemed to be awfully busy in that direction, so I instead turned south on 6th Avenue, with the idea of catching the train a few stops earlier, so I could get a seat (it’s a fifty minute ride if everything goes perfectly, and I knew the train would be crowded).
As I wandered south, an idea floated into my head. I remembered getting ice cream last Friday, and thought, “Hey! Ice cream could become my Friday tradition!” I’m going to try to visit a different ice cream parlor on some list of New York’s best (there are many lists, I’m going to hit the ones that are common to all of them). This has the side effect of getting me to new neighborhoods that I might not otherwise get to see.
I pulled out my phone and found the closest place, Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream, and it was only a few stops south on the 1 line, so getting home would be easy. I noted the stop, St. Christopher’s, and hopped on the train.
When I reemerged from underground, I had no idea where I was, other than I was in Lower Manhattan. I soon found out. I chose not to use my phone, but to just wander around trying to find the parlor. I had a vague sense of where it was, within a few blocks, and it’s much more interesting to explore, rather than go right to my destination.
You may know the city better than I do, but it quickly became apparent that I was in Greenwich Village. I walked about half a block before passing the Stonewall Inn, site of the beginning of the Gay Pride movement in 1969.
The streets in that area are not laid out in a grid – it is an older part of the city, so the streets are a little haphazard, It’s kind of like when a little kid started coloring a big patch in a picture – first they focus on one part and color in every direction, then they figure out that this is going to take some time, so they switch to a more organized way of coloring that fills in the space faster. I think Manhattan was colored in that way.
I wandered around, and soon found myself faced with a dilemma. I was walking in front of Snowdays which was a shaved cream store. I have never had that before. Shaved cream is made from a block of frozen (usually 1%) milk which is shaved to make a the dessert. So, do I have this new thing, or do I stick with my plan to go to Van Leeuwen’s? Which is one the best list? Or maybe do both? Both seemed a little extreme. Two things helped me decide. First, Snowdays was not on the best ice cream list (I have since discovered it is on the best shaved cream list – hmmm, Tuesday evenings may need a thing), and, second, the smallest size was a regular which cost nine dollars. I decided to press on, or I’d have blown my ice cream budget in one shot.
About a block later, I found Dominique Ansel Kitchen, promising something different. They served soft serve ice cream at a walk up window, and I was actually in line there. I still didn’t know what I was getting – no one in front of me had walked away with any product. One of the choices was some weird thing with milk foam on it (Update: It was a coffee flavored ice cream with an anise biscotti and milk foam dusted with cocoa powder – I may have to go back). I just wasn’t sure. Plus, whatever it was carried a $7.25 price tag. I stepped out of line and pressed on.
I finally found the place. It was really small, and I had already passed within a block of it twice. The spiral method of locating a place can be inefficient, but that is part of the point. I ordered a small sorrel blackberry jam crumble. It was the day;s special flavor.
OMG. It was unbelievably good. The jam had just enough tartness to complement the rich creaminess of the sorrel base. I have to look up sorrel (did it). I have a weed in my yard at home called sorrel, which is edible and is a great thirst quencher when you are mowing, I wonder if they are the same thing (Pause.) Yes, yes they are.
I did manage to get a seat on the train on the ride home. It was a long ride – signal problems. The trains are really messed up here. Thankfully, I have lots of time, so it doesn’t bother me. I was another game of train station roulette. After we passed 72nd Street station, the train began stopping at about every third station. I was in the front car this time, so I could hear the announcements clearly.
After yoga today, I plan to head to a farmers market. I can revisit the 79th street market, or go way downtown to the Union Square market, which is supposed to be one of the best. Which will I do? Only time will tell.
I didn’t finish editing in time for yoga, and, now that I’m back, time did tell. Union Square. Was there ever really any doubt?