Monday, August 21, 2017

Ain't No Sunshine When He's Gone

I rode the subway the morning of the solar eclipse to work.  I was getting off early to finally break my sweet Dave out of the shop.  I had dropped him off the Tuesday before.  Brooklyn shops are morphing from generic kid bike stores to cool hang spots with art galleries, organic food and drinks, general hipster breeding grounds.  I've always liked young, slacker type guys.  They tend to be kind and like good music.  This might be the natural progression job since the music stores have closed.  The new dream job for life-avoiders.   I came in a little nervous, reluctant to give my guy over to them.  I've been burned before.  Although usually super friendly and seemingly well meaning, they aren't the most reliable kids.  And this was a relatively new shop to me.  I recently broke up with Red Lantern after they forgot about me, never ordered a necessary part, neglected to call me back after several promises and in the end, said they couldn't help me.  First time I ever had to wheel the old boy back home.  I loved Bespoked but they moved too far away.  Then there is The Bike Shop in Carroll Gardens.  I don't date them, just do quick hook ups for flat tires or air.  At one time it was only Atlantic Bicycles, now we have plenty of boutiques.  But I really good one is hard to find.

I've been riding Dave unyielding all year.  No tune up through winter and now here we are at the end of summer.  I've been pulled off of him, he's fallen. We took him to who P calls 'the Mexican' to fix in the city. That lasted a week and now I have to hold my gear in place while riding.  My brakes stop like patent leather shoes sliding on the asphalt.  Basically I should have rushed him to emergency, the shape he was in. The kid at the front who had the kind disposition of a Quest Love reassured me even with the full tune up, he would be ready for pick up the next day.  To me that seemed way optimistic looking back at the mechanic, and they were busy.  I made sure to point out the seriousness of my gear problem and that my chain was stretched out like the vaginal walls of the town whore.  My cables were coughing up exhaust pipe phlegm and my wheels weren't true.  
They called me that night and on further inspection, it looked like he needed a part ordered in and then later possibly a new rear derailleur. But no problem in getting it done by Thursday. They'll call me.  Thursday and Friday came and went.  Saturday I called.  It was next in line to be dealt with a different guy tells me, probably be ready by 5pm.  They'll call me, a phrase I was really starting to resent.  Is this because I'm a girl, I thought?
Enough is enough. I need my Ironman Dave Scott back home! I took the stinkiest subway to the bowels of Boerum Hill and walked with purpose to the shop while the midday sun slowly baked my brains.  I see Taj, I say it slow ike Taaaahjjjh because that's how it was pronounced to me.  I want to think Taj is my bud now but again he tells me, It's not ready but if you want to come back around five, it's next in line to be fixed. It's almost done really.  A quick story is told about how Angel started it, then didn't work for 3 days but now he'll really finish it.  Is Angel working today I ask? No he says, but the owner says he can do it.  Some more bullshit is spoken just enough to confuse me enough to walk out of there, again without Dave.  What the hell man, it's hotter'nshit out here and I'm walking again?  Is this because I'm a girl?  Do they get that it's hell riding the subway?  Do they know how much you rely on that bike?  Why didn't I get all Brooklyn insistent up in there? I remind myself, because you're a pacifist.  Nothing in regular day to day life needs to come to fisticuffs.  Truth be told I am situation-ally ambidextrous.  When faced with choices in life, I can usually easily go either way.  
Make lemonade I tell myself! Now I can go watch the eclipse!  I couldn't find last minute glasses so I took the online tip to do backward selfies to capture the magic.

I saw something... for a second and lots of folks with the glasses were clapping and shouting.  It didn't turn dark as I had hoped, just a little dim for a second. 

Later that day I had time to prepare a beef stock corn chowder that shined.


  • 1 Tablespoons bacon fat
  • 1 whole Onion, Chopped
  • 4 slices Bacon, Cut Into Pieces
  • 1 whole Bell Pepper, diced 
  • 1 bag frozen petite white corn
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups Beef Stock Or Broth
  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • 1/2 cup Grated Sharp White Cheddar 
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped chives
  • 3 large russet potatoes, cubed


in a large pot over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon onto a paper-towel lined plate. Drain all but one tablespoon fat and cook the onions, garlic and pepper, about 4 minutes. Add potatoes and beef stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
When potatoes are tender, whisk flour into almond milk and stir into pot. Add corn, cheese and bacon and bring soup back to a boil, cooking until cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes more.
Season with salt and pepper generously, garnish with chives and serve.

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