Saturday, June 23, 2012

Happenstance, and more from Brooklyn's little Russia


Sutlu Nuriye is Baklava's tasty first cousin. 
I would qualify most of what I’ve done in New York as stumbling. Not sure why I’m married to that idea, but there it is. Stumbling in heels on the train on my way to my internship, coffee in hand. Coffee on cardigan. Stumbling across new books that I need to get my hands on — certainly a perk of being surrounded by folks who are also marked by their stereotypical obsessions with Gay Talese and E.B. White.

I’ve stumbled across more great little cafés than my budget can accommodate. Outstanding Moroccan food. Hole-in-the-wall bars with cheap beers and really gimmicky names like “Reservoir.” Comedy clubs. Well, we didn’t stumble into the comedy club as much as we were solicited by the comedy club.

“Hey ladies … wanna go to a comedy show? It’s such a great venue. C’mon, I like you girls. I’ll give you a deal. 5 dollars. Please… I know it’s a Tuesday night, but these guys are really funny.”

They weren’t very funny. But the novelty of being there was humorous enough to make the $5 worthwhile.

This morning my roommates and I set out with a plan, though. We grabbed our beach gear and hopped on a train heading for Coney Island. Of course, we never made it there. Instead we followed the mass exodus of swimsuits and straw hats that got off at the Brighton Beach stop. An excellent decision.

Brighton Beach is my kind of place. It’s the kind of place that dresses window mannequins in fur coats in the middle of summer. It’s the sort of place that sells copies of 1984 in Russian. You can spread out your towel on a pleasantly spacious beach, and then retreat to the boardwalk for some Pilsner and pickled herring (if that’s something that seems appetizing to you). We’d stumbled across the Soviet Union’s seaside reincarnate.

These are the sorts of moments that are created when you take up residence in an unfamiliar place; when you have the pleasure of emerging from the subway without knowing where you’re going to surface or who you might encounter. Or when you walk into your internship with no clue what projects are going to surface on your desk. At Food & Wine the editor could be knocking on my cubicle to give me a research assignment, or to pass off extra bottles of wine.

Of course, I’m happy to have either. 


Taylor Long, Ithaca College, Intern at Food & Wine 

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