We walked. East. Way east. To find a toaster at Costco, or perhaps at Target. We passed The Urban Garden Center, newly recovered from the Harlem gas blast. It promised a pig, but it was a long way from 5, yet, and we moved on.
Toaster in hand and some startling, culture-shock fast food later (tiny dish of $3.95 pasta Alfredo, 600 calories? No wonder people get fat), and depressed by the awful, giant pet store we saw - it was the cat's birthday and he needed gifts - we turned west once more, walking towards Lenox Avenue.
At 117th and Lenox I found a surprise farm stand, and cheered up. It is there every Saturday. They say. It sold us the nicest corn I have ever eaten. We grilled the ears over coals that night (45 minutes), still in their husks, then rubbed them with butter and sprinkled some ramp salt and parmesan cheese over the top, with a squeeze of lime. The upstate stand (Marlboro, NY) sold a startling selection of eggplants too, and we ate those the following night, with our guanciale sourdough pizza.
Then we found a hole. This is the WHOLEfoods hole at 125th. Get it??? At last something is happening inside it. Three concrete trucks stood churning at the corner, sandwiching (it was a club sandwich) a flattened street sign.
The hole is betternTV.
Finally we crossed the Depressing Intersection, which actually looks OK in this light.
...and were back in our hood. Past the corner social of old men on crates and fold out chairs, past the pee- smelling corner opposite, past the neat front gardens and the boarded up brownstone, past the new condominium and the house with morning glories to the roof, down the sidewalk towards the little fat kid who plays outside every afternoon with the skinny boy and the girl, till their mother shouts at them through their building's intercom, and up our steps, and home.