happy juneteenth (nyc day 27)
(May I suggest some Bortkiewicz while you read? He's not very well-known, but he gives off strong Rachmaninoff vibes.)
Happy Juneteenth! My company doesn't give us the day off, but I hope yours does. I don't understand why you wouldn't give someone a federal holiday off. Would it kill you to give your workers an extra day of rest? Working while most your friends get the day off feels as exhausting as working two extra days.
I've been lazy with my writing recently. After I missed one day I thought, well what's another day since I've already missed one, but I shouldn't fail with abandon. So here I am, trying to stem the tide of indolence. I'm tired, depressed, and busy, but hopefully writing helps me feel better.
I want to say that I haven't been writing because nothing interesting has happened but that would be a lie, because just yesterday I watched dumbstruck as my friend helped his college friend remove a pigeon from their walkup's stairwell with nothing but a paper bag and latex gloves. You might be thinking, how hard could it be to get a pigeon out of an apartment? The answer? Very.
For starters, even the one-legged pigeon we had to deal with was flapping around and defecating everywhere (probably literally scared shitless). It's scary to try to pick one of those up, because you have no idea where it's going to go, and those things are filthy!
I thought getting the pigeon out of there would have been as easy as sweeping it down the stairs with a broom, but the pigeon didn't want to budge. And once I looked at it I knew I couldn't bring myself to hurt it, because I saw in its beady amber eyes even more fear than I felt myself. It's easy to think of them as mindless shit factories when they're fighting for breadcrumbs on the streets, but it's a lot harder not to empathize with an injured bird trying to hide in the corner.
My friend ended up stuffing the poor bird in a paper bag, running down the stairs, and dumping it unceremoniously on the street outside. After the pigeon got its bearings, it took off, flying across the street, only to crash-land into the sidewalk across the street.
After the initial hilarious absurdity of the whole fiasco wore off, we all looked at each other soberly. In the process of taking that pigeon outside we probably killed it. Would it have fared better if we just left it in the stairwell where we found it? (In case anyone is wondering, yes, we did call 911 and pest control, both of which declined to help us.)
After we "took care" of the pigeon we went to the hardware store in search of rope to tie down the open fire escape door with a broken latch that the pigeon presumably used to get in. I helped tie the door shut, and in doing so realized that I'd forgotten just about all the useful knots I used to know. They're one of the more important things I learned in Scouting, along with first aid and fire safety, so I'm a bit ashamed at how little remains in my noggin. I'll get some paracord this week and brush up on the basics.
I spoke with my parents this weekend about potentially moving to New York City, and they pushed pretty hard for me to stay at home once my time here ends in August. Of course I'd like to stay in New York, but I have to admit that they have a point. What reason do I have to be in the city, outside of hedonism? In any case, I don't have the emotional energy to argue with them right now. I think if I really put my foot down and insisted they might let me, but I don't even know if I feel strongly enough about moving to do that. But that's that—I'll be coming back home in the beginning of August and staying in Georgia. Am I sad about it? Sure, but it's dwarfed by stress and grief and other more pressing matters.
One of my friends is coming to visit New York next week! We bought tickets to see "Gray House" on Broadway. I'm excited, and I know I'm going to miss these kinds of serendipitous New York moments, when friends drop by the city and make plans on a whim. Now that I know I'm not going to be back in September/October, I feel like I'm in a race against the clock to do everything I want to do before I leave. There's still so much left on my bucket list I haven't touched.
I appreciate you for reading this far! I know the quality of my writing has been dipping of late, and I wish I could spend more time to improve it. But right now I just want to sleep for a long, long time. (quisiera estar en el mar / que me lleven las olas / quiero dejar de respirar / no me despierten)
(maybe the most intriguing sight i've seen in new york to date? so many questions...)
(sorry, no photos today because 1. i haven't taken many and 2. i'm too lazy to post the ones i do have)
- ⭐ Kazu Nori (125 University Pl, New York, NY 10003)
- This location at Union Square is relatively new and thus has the shortest lines. I really enjoyed my time here—eating sushi right as it's made and feeling the contrast in texture between warm sushi rice, crispy dry nori, and cold fish is a game changer.
- Taiwan Pork Chop House (3 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013)
- I went here to fulfill my grass jelly craving (please don't clown me) and— the $8 bucket I got here was okay? I would rather have gone to Meet Fresh but this worked in a pinch, I guess.
- Anytime Kitchen (23 W 32nd St 3rd floor, New York, NY 10001)
- Small serving sizes, pricey, and ultimately the food underwhelmed. They use the term 'japchae' very loosely...
- 10% discount if you pay with cash
- Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao (39-16 Prince St #104, Queens, NY 11354; floor 2 of One Fulton Square)
- Come with more people if you want to try the different fillings! Though I must say, I think the original was the best.
- ⭐ Followsoshi (135-24 40th Rd, Queens, NY 11354)
- My favorite place to eat in all of NYC—$5.5 for the original which is hot, crispy, salty, and filling.
- ⭐ Peking Duck Sandwich Stall (135-33 40th Rd, Flushing, NY 11354)
- $2.50 for a small duck bao, but they're delicious! I always grab one from here everytime I'm in Flushing.
- ⭐ Flushing Ice Cream Factory (135-15 40th Rd, Flushing, NY 11354)
- This is a new outpost of the Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory in Manhattan Chinatown, and from what I can tell this one's slightly less busy and carries fewer flavors. They give much bigger portions at this location, though, so if I had to pick I think this one is better.
- Highly recommend the lychee rose and black sesame flavors.
- ⭐ New Flushing Bakery (135-45 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11354)
- Never been somewhere with this many types of egg tarts! They have the traditional Hong Kong style custard egg tarts, the Portuguese ones (these are no Joey Bat's, unfortunately), apricot ones, and "melted cheese" (a lot like naigai—salty melted cheese). I recommend the traditional and the melted cheese; the apricot ones didn't taste like anything.
- Some of the best pineapple (bolo) buns I've tasted, and I don't even like pineapple buns.
- CheLi Manhattan 浙里 (19 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003)
- Food was alright; my friends and I agreed that the pork belly was not braised long enough, since it was not as tender as it could be. Eel was just okay too, but the 糖醋排骨 (sweet and sour ribs) were tasty!
- Decor inside is very nice and we suspected the two diners at the table next to us were on a Tinder date? Seems like a good spot to take someone.
- Meet Fresh (37 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003)
- We have these back home, so I was surprised to see it as a chain in NYC! Probably the best place I know the get grass (herbal) jelly.
thank you for reading; write to me at
yourstiramisu 🐌 proton dot me