Sunday, May 27, 2007

On the Road #4: Street Fairs and Central Park

After a quick jog around Jackie-O Reservoir in Central Park, I decided to fix my hunger with some food. Because I was planning to check out the human evolution exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, and it was only sixteen blocks, I decided to forgo the subway and just hoof it.

Along the way I stopped in one of the many, many kosher delis that Manhattan has to offer. And when I stepped into Murray’s, the smell reminded me of Attman’s. The prices, well, I confess I haven’t been to Attman’s in a while, so I don’t quite know how expensive kippered salmon is these days. But $8.50 for a quarter pound seemed a little steep for me. But I was dinged on the price anyway, when I got a nova salmon sandwich on rye with cream cheese for $8.50. The salmon tasted about as good as any I can find for less per pound, or per sandwich. That and a water came to around $9.50.

I was not disappointed, but not thrilled either – like, sadly, most of the food I have had here this weekend. I just keep making the bad food choices, I guess.

But things looked up as I came across a street faire they were having along Broadway in the Upper West Side. I bought a freshly grilled corn on the cob for $3 and two crispy, warm falafels (no bread to put them in, I didn’t want any) for $1. Two things came to mind with the falafels: 1) Well, there goes all the running I did this morning; and 2) Mmmm, this is damn tasty falafel! Now, falafel can be good, or it can be nasty. I have never found an in-between. If it’s cold or sometimes even lukewarm, and especially if it isn’t crispy, it usually swings decidedly over into the nasty category. But when it’s hot and crispy, it’s usually wonderful. This one was in that latter category. As for the corn, it was spicy and sweet, but I tasted none of the butter that the gentleman put on it.

Swerving around in a sea of Yankees caps and jerseys (***grrrrrr***) and, what apparently is now the latest in men’s fashion in New York, European and English premier league soccer jerseys, I made my way down to the entrance of the museum, where I encountered a ridiculously long wait.