domingo, 8 de junho de 2008

Is the “New” in New York Taking Over ?

My passport was stamped and the guard said, “Welcome home”!
Sometime during our childhood it was written in stone I would be
the man standing to her left, witnessing the most memorable day of her life. A well thought out guest list, a fantastic DJ and lots of family who flew in from Ireland, it was sure to be a perfect NY wedding!
After a few days of non-stop all around fun and laughs while celebrating with Diana and Osman-it was time for them to row along the canals of Venice while I caught up with some old friends and visited some familiar locations…or…“the once familiar”.

Was it easier to get around? Was it easier to get a table? Was it easier to get a cab?
For as long as I can remember, there is always an annoying person/s blocking the side walks
whenever you are running late, it has always been difficult to get a table unless it was during weekends
like Memorial Day and taxi’s, nothing has changed. It’s always been difficult to get a cab during off duty periods, when it rains or when it comes down to the corner to corner “wave battle” with a fellow NYorker.

Traveling to far places, not knowing the language, where to eat and finding it difficult to get around reminds us of what it feels like to be a minority. In the end though, being stimulated by the “very first time seeing something” compensates for the occasional “never ending expensive taxi ride” we some times have to deal with getting there!
On the other hand, when we travel to familiar places over the years, strolling through some of our favorite neighborhoods on a bright Sunday afternoon can also feel like “I’ve just been robbed”- not from a nutty cab driver - but of some memorable moments!

The cost of living has become even more difficult, long term leases are coming to an end and some small businesses have become so small they simply go poof!
I would turn a corner and another of my favorite “spots” has a
hand written sign on the window saying, “thank you for all the years of continuous visits, we are going to miss you”. It’s a sure reminder of reality!
Mentally, I’m not sure what makes the finish line first-the fact I will never be able
to sit at my favorite table or the thought of “what’s going to close next”? The sad part, both have an unhappy ending.
The flip side; as many closing- the double are opening.
Change can be good some times, but it’s always a bummer when we can’t get “grandmas cooking” any more.

Chef Guerrieri

2 comentários:

Sofia Rocha disse...

Please do remind me to call you before going to NY! Every time I go away, I make all kind of plans to see all those "must see" things mentioned as mandatory. Every time I go away I find my self walking slowly in the streets instead. Going to small coffee shops, buying a newpapper and staying there for ever. I like to talk to people, trying to understand how they live. I like to eat their food even if it is just to tink it needs more salt!I run like hell from crowded places. So, sometimes people ask me if I went to see this or that, and I can see their faces when I say I didn´t. One thing I know for sure: I took my time and, at the same time, I took something of that country back with me. Even if I didn´t take one single picture - which I usually dont.

Manuel S. Fonseca disse...

Sofia, me too, I never do photos, God knows why. But sometimes I love crowded places, restaurants, parties, even the LA mall culture. One exception: museums. I hope to win the Euromilhões, to get the MOMA just for me for one day.
Chef Guerrieri, I had that "missing Grandmas cooking" concept when I came back to Westwood some years after my first visit. Quite a change in that neighbourhood: what was once so jazzy, cozy places to eat, students crowd every night in the middle of the 4 or 5 streets close to the UCLA, was now soulless, cold, uncharming. The riots, the 1992 LA riots, are the ones to be blamed.