The Unbearable Banishment: Times Sqaure dining <i>al fresco</i> with a side of therapy

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Times Sqaure dining al fresco with a side of therapy

I had to work late again last night. It never seems to end. I walked out of the office, turned south on Madison Avenue and then west on 42nd Street, through Times Square, and towards the station. I was starring at the ground. Sulking. Missing my family. Felling sorry for myself.

I don't eat street meat very often. I like it, but it's not good for you in large doses. I save it for when I need to feel better about life and nobody is around to cheer me up. So I walked my dreary ass up to a food cart on 42nd and Broadway. Crossroads of the world.

The chef said, "Why ya blue, boss? It's a beautiful night! Have something to eat. You'll feel better." So I bought a chicken kabob on a roll with hot sauce ($4), walked to the corner, put my bag down, leaned against a street light and ate my dinner. I read the headlines on the Times Square zipper, felt the balmy breeze and watched the tourists dance through Times Square. The happy, carefree tourists. Where do they all come from? Sure enough, about halfway through my chicken kabob, I started to feel better. I wonder what he put in my sandwich?


* * *

At the gym this morning, a guy was working out in bare feet. Gross! I don't want to have to look at a pair of disgusting fungus-encrusted feet while I'm trying to exercise. I started formulating the perfect sentence to cut him down to size when he got up, casually walked over to the heavy bag that hangs from the ceiling by a big chain and gave it a series of very quick, very convincing, roundhouse kicks.

Bam-bam-bam-bam.

I judged the point of impact on the bag to be approximately the same level as my face.

So I spared him my sarcastic wit. This time.

16 Comments:

Anonymous daisyfae said...

there is nothing wrong with street meat. well, the kind that doesn't wear 4" stilettos, anyway...

November 3, 2009 at 9:03 AM  
Anonymous nuttycow said...

The only place we get street stalls like this is in Covent Garden and believe me, you wouldn't want to touch the meat that comes off them!

Hope all is well.

November 3, 2009 at 9:07 AM  
Anonymous popomatic jeff said...

I love a good sidewalk Falafel. That's one of the things I miss about living in NYC.

November 3, 2009 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger Sid said...

Ooooh you spared him. I love street meat. Love it. Oooh and sidewalk Falafels.

November 3, 2009 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

I just can't bring myself to eat street meat. Good call on keeping your comments to yourself with the barefooted kick boxer.

November 3, 2009 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Bastard said...

Wise choice indeed about no making a comment on your man's bare feet.

The street meat may well have included dead meat...

November 3, 2009 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

I'm with Nuttycow. Wouldn't touch London street meat with a bargepole. No doubt NY has it sorted though.

November 3, 2009 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Daisy: The street meat with heels is a hell of a lot more expensive, too.

Nutty: I would dare to eat Covent Garden street meat. I have very, very, very low standards for food.

Jeff: Some street meat is junk but SOME of it is a gourmet treat. Falafel is almost always a good bet.

Sid: Correction: I spared him THIS TIME.

Cat: I totally understand your reluctance. But I cannot resist. I never could.

Jimmy: Yeah, that guy looked like he could take me down and not even break a sweat. Keeping my mouth shut has always been my first choice.

Jo: You're two peas in a pod. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

November 3, 2009 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

I love the description of your street meat moment. Very dreamy.

Not so much the fungal feet.

November 3, 2009 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Tennyson ee Hemingway said...

I wouldn't want to be that guy next time you see him. Sarcastic wit really hurts. And lasts much longer than a bruise.

November 3, 2009 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

Street meat/Fungal feet = SAME?

:¬)

November 3, 2009 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

As bug-eyed tourists, my family was very impressed with NY's street vendors this summer. We got breakfast at one cart and the guy was a great cook and general handler of all things cart-related. He deftly cooked eggs to order, sausage, bacon, bagels with whatever, coffee, etc. He had regulars come up while we waited for our food and without a word he knew exactly what they were having and began preparing it before they even got there. It was quite a show - a one-man show. And the food was delicious.

November 3, 2009 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger A Free Man said...

Street meat. Heh, heh.

November 3, 2009 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger ~E said...

I find it healthier to keep my mouth shut about people brave enough to go to the gym and work out in bare feet. You never know what else they're brave enough to do.

Same goes for women brave enough to walk around the shower area butt ass naked with all their goodies swinging about in a random fashion...

*shudder*

November 4, 2009 at 12:38 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Leah: It's easy to write a dreamy post when you have great material like New York to write about.

TH: Yes, my sarcasm bombs have wrecked many a frail ego. It's best to stay out of my way. Unless, of course, you're a seasoned kick boxer, in which case you can step right this way...

Map: Do you know what's worse? FUNGAL MEAT!

Lori: There are street food cart competitions every year in Midtown Manhattan and the winners are guaranteed long, long lines at lunchtime. People who have favorites keep it to themselves.

AFM: Or, you can meet street meat. A play on words!

E: Despite my posturing, I RARELY open my mouth. Especially in NYC. You never know what you're dealing with.

November 4, 2009 at 7:33 AM  
Blogger Leah said...

Just had to add: there's a street meat vendor right near my daughter's school, and every day the guy plies his enormous heap of what appears to be delicious, hot, fragrantly spiced shredded chicken. The aroma is literally to make one swoon. I haven't tried it yet; the aroma alone is delightful enough. He gets lines from the nearby court buildings, anyway, that are near-impenetrable. Obviously, they know...

November 4, 2009 at 7:44 AM  

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