The week of Thanksgiving I was greeted by elmo on the sidewalk. It was a cheerful way to start the week.
Tuesday I got invited to a metal shop in Greenpoint to go check up on a status of an outsourced job from work. I was led though a long walkway, courtyard to end up in a massive cave with sky lights into a metal workshop. It made me think I found batcave where Batman would do his repairs.
Tuesday I had a work Pot Luck so we got our indonesia hardwood tables together, two of them in a L shape and sat close to 18 of us that were there that day. We had jamaican oxtail, jerk chicken, drunk(beer) chicken wings, roasted yukon gold potatoes, beef chive dumplings, roast duck, pico de gaillo relish salad, cucumber cashew salad, radish ginger soup, homemade carrot cake. It was really nice to actually experience the tables that we sell to see what all the fuss is about for the demand of large tables that can sit 8-10 people at a time.
Wednesday I fed myself breakfast and lunch from the potluck leftovers with the other staff members.
Wednesday Evening, I was able to make it into the Lower East side to see my friend coworker Sophie and her mother visiting from Seattle Sophie's mother is a professional Viola player and she and Sophie's brother Robert made cornish hen, beef wellington, cranberry relish, string beans and pumpkin pie. Robert is a chef somewhere so all the food was fabulous and the pumpkin pie was supposedly made from a pumpkin the size of a microwave... and handmade butter crust.....
I took chestnuts as a gift and to experiment roasting chestnuts. It took some labor of love to crack those open after being thrown into the oven for 30 minutes.
Earlier that week, I got invited to go donate prepared food for a food drive on Thanksgiving so I put together the tomato meat sauce I made on Sunday and layered it together with ricotta cheese and zucchini and the par boiled lasagne layers so that I could bake it again for another 50 minutes in the oven.
I couldn't stay that late Wednesday for I had to wake up to be in Harlem by 11am. My commute was the L train from Brooklyn into 6th avenue and transfer to the 2/3 express until 96th street and then to the local 1 train up to 157th street station. The destination was the Church of Intercession on 155th street and Broadway for a "gobble gobble give" food drive that collected prepared foods to make hot lunchboxes and sorted clothing clothing donations to all be delivered by volunteer drivers to I assume designated destinations and shelters.
My friend Daniel who invited me up there found me doling out portions from the 'starch' table (mashed potatoes, pasta dishes, macaroni cheese and marshmallow yam bakes) where the other volunteers stood in a cafeteria line getting one portion from each station (meat, starch, veggie, dessert) into paper lunchboxes and packing them up into groups to be delivered. When there was a lull in the prepared food donations coming in, I found myself in the church basement kitchen there the wise ladies where taking the donated turkeys and hams and deboning them and cutting them into serviceable portions. There were turkeys hanging out on table, so I found myself a cutting board and knife and went to work on the incoming birds. Drums, wings, breasts sliced, and the church ladies had their own bags going on the side collecting all the bones and gizzards to take it home to make more gravy and soup as their reward for the day's work.
As the food drive wrapped up for the day, I got an opportunity to meander through Harlem from 155th street all the way down to 96th street to catch the train again. I got to see public signs for playtime street closures for schools with no playgrounds, and the impressive Church of St. John. The sculpture in the yard behind St. John was unexpected anthropomorphic collage of awesomeness for me.
For Thanksgiving evening I found myself at Daniel's parents house to see his sisters and brothers, siblings in laws, parents, nieces. At least 13 heads, and supposedly that's only a portion of them in a family that grew up as 11 children and two parents. I'm told that was the most tamest version of Thanksgiving that ever witnessed in that house. I can somehow believe that statement. There were not food fights or anything spectacular in that sense, but the ability for everyone to talk over each other all the same time was definitely an experience to behold.
And in between all this with my short stops to my apartment, my roomie and I were without heat in the apartment from Wednesday night through Friday afternoon. Then I got greeted with the contractors painting tar on the roof to seal something. Magically I heard on the radio that now there is an app for 311 to report these cases, so I allowed myself to download one more app to take up space on my phone than be that person to make a real phone call. But hey, I made real phone calls to the landlord, this is something to document a case easier if any disputes were to arise later.
Friday I dragged myself into work to mostly take a call from my 77 year old boss who is unstoppable and works harder than I do everyday for his company while, I got to catch up with my co worker Franchesca who is fighting over the phone with a disenchanted city worker to get her food stamps for herself and her daughter all because the aid worker didn't scan the renewal application legibly enough for them to process it, and didn't notify her that the illegibility was a problem. Supposedly being a out of pocket full time college student, single mother, and full time worker does not qualify for foodstamps unless you are Unemployed. Bureaucracy bottle necks just because they couldn't make electronic PDF application in the transition to be come "a digital" registration process.
We stared at expensive Black Friday shoes while we were the only two working in the unusually peaceful office for the day.
The end of the week was celebrated by me with some Sake at home.
Saturday was the first time in a few weeks that I feebly got my bottom to the gym, but only to result in grocery shopping in the polish neighborhood and stock up on the heavy winter groceries, sunflower seed bread, hams, scallion cream cheese, creamed herring in onion, tea biscuits.
As if I couldn't get enough groceries on Saturday, on Sunday I found my feet taking me to the Lower East Side when I see this caricature hanging of characters to represent the residents of New York. The most uncanny part of this is that these caricatures represent many versions of what I have seen in real life. The African American in resin frame glasses and Starbucks, Asian lady with infant and child, Caucasian male with cap, tattoo and soda, Latin American woman with infant, Asian man with red shopping bag from Chinatown, Abuela (grandmother) with shopping cart, Caucasian blonde skateboarder, Hasidic Jewish man, Italian baker.
I ended up in Chinatown to take advantage of the cheap bakeries. Then it hit me that I was short on chili and cooking wine so I made sure I stocked up on those.
Seeing this caricature of snow white eating her famous poisoned apple, it made me wonder if it had something to do with the closed restaurant underneath....
I indulged in my baked goods on the way back over the Williamsburg bridge. I was impressed when I got to review my spoils and realized how much weight I carried on my back. More reason to be hungrier and eat.
Sunday Lunch I got to make a hot dog my way, veal wiener, hoagie, sofrito and spinach.
If lunch wasn't enough, then dinner had to be even better, I finally got the team assembled to do the marinade on the thick cut pork chops and bust out Noble Ms. Brown and do another magical braising session. The gravy that resulted from the braise was sinful.
With an intense week full of new journeys and revisiting familiar paths, in I am grateful, I am thankful, especially for my shoes that accompany me everywhere, and have carried me tirelessly.