Sunday, April 13, 2008

New York Spring: Henry Street

The Magnolias soulangeana in the little park at Henry and Pacific have opened and are proverbially breathtaking. They look as though they have had one too many martinis.

And here is an interesting thing: a real quince. Not the flowering quince (Chaemomeles japonica or a cultivar) that I have been blathering on about for weeks, but a quince: Cydonia oblonga - of fruit fame: the incomparably perfumed, pale yellow fruit that means autumn, fall, is here. Or there. That can be stuffed and baked like an apple, or cut up and stewed for dessert, or slowly poached to turn burgundy (if you add the seeds and skins to the cooking water, thank you Bevan, and I do so miss Anatoli) and eaten with thick cream, made at home or purchased from a gleaming window in Istanbul, with buffalo cream; or cooked with lamb...or put in your desk drawer, to open and inspire you with its scent a la...which poet?

That quince. I know because last fall it had a quince, which I nearly stole. Should've...The flowers are purity itself. The tree stands lonely and apart on the corner of Atlantic and Henry, outside the little diner I should still investigate, a throwback to other times; sailors, one thinks, and the Brooklyn of which fond uncles speak whenever they see you and remember the New York they knew for a few days, having put in with the navy...


  1. Lieflik! A riotous beauty... saw some tightly pursed-lipped daffodil buds on Sunday...the Midwest is so far behind NY .. not only in food and fashion, ek se! Would love to hear the Dassie addiction story (ag shame!) Thanks for brightening Monday
    Tannie Judes

  2. So that's what that is. Thank you, 66. I have beeen admiring that beauty down the block for a few days now. (It was planted last year). Only a few weeks ago, I used the last of the homemade quince paste. Mixed it in with some sauteed apples... o, yum. Do you suppose this is a fruiting variety? We will have to guard it against that little shit of a flower thief you exposed some weeks ago.

    (The Long Island Restaurant, by the way, is rarely open. And you must be a 60-plus year old Italian American woman to enter.)

  3. I can wear a wig and hunch...and heavy black stockings.


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