Monday, December 12, 2022

They're the People that You Meet Each Day

Bok Choy and shrimp over rice
It's hard to change habit. I've always left Bok Choy whole instead of chopping it up into proper bite sized pieces.  This is only because this is how it was served to me back in 1996 at Ollie's Noodle Shop in Times Square, where I was first introduced to this glorious vegetable.  
At a time when everyone is pointing out all the bad things about New York City and our big American cities in general, I feel the need to come to their defense.  To consider all the amazing things about them that you don't get other places.  I walk out of my apartment onto an incredible neighborhood with restaurants, bars, shops, and good people.  There are folks walking around that aren't well, that is true, but the majority are perfectly normal, coming and going to work, kids walking to school, delivery drivers and bikers doing their thing.  And just like the song, these are people that you meet each day.  The pharmacists next door who look like the villains in every heist movie but who are incredibly friendly, the yoga studio across the street where young mothers sweat out their toxins in the mornings, my vegetable markets where Asians and central Americans come together to run the most efficient of businesses, Mike at Brooklyn Moon who served the community hospital during COVID and smokes pot in his RV in front of his restaurant, and the list goes on.  It's vibrant and alive.  Some prefer quiet tranquility but some of us feed off the energy of a city like vampires. 

I may have never known the simple perfection of bok choy if it weren't for New York and my culinary education here.  Even though I'm struggling now, New York has given me opportunities that I could only dream of back in Indiana.  It is one thing to meet a person or family from another country but quite another to meet hundreds and from every country.  The bonus is to taste foods from all of those places, sometimes in their simplest offerings.   
I can walk across the street and find almost any vegetable I want and trust that it's in good shape, fresh and cheap.  I can find specialty food as well in these same corner markets as they've learned to pack in every item known to man in a 500 square foot space.  Having access opens up the ability to try new things.  Variety is essential to some of us.  I will always be grateful for our big cities.  They are the black sheep of our American family so to speak.  They have tons of issues and are a mess but in the day to day, somehow they survive and thrive and if you're fortunate enough to reside in one, you'll experience a plethora of unexpected, indescribable magic.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone at home?