Monday, August 2, 2010


Spent the morning in Bensonhurst.  Saw a lot of fig, plum & peach trees. The easily anticipated assortment of Italian social clubs, pizza joints, bakeries & the like.  A clothing store sign for "Regular, Big Men, & Portly." "Portly" - a word barely ever used these days. Among the Asian & Spanish businesses was very taken with Pig Girl 99 Cent Store. Visited the local library.  Impressed by the foreign language sections, but not so much by the Danielle Steele dominated general fiction.   Who knew there were so many different biographies of Ronald Reagan? Like every branch, customers more focused on DVDs & computers than books. Went to a nondescript deli on 18th & 82nd Street, and got a meticulously made salami & provolone sandwich. Sandwich slowly put together by an elderly man clad in deli whites. Selects & opens roll, slices  salami with great deliberation, ditto the provolone, layers these on roll, adds lettuce, shuffles over to customer side of counter to select a tomato, returns behind counter, washes & dries tomato with care, slices & adds to roll, then the holy sprinkling of salt & pepper, a judicious application of mayo, the closing of the sandwich, the slicing into two, the stately wrapping of sandwich in white paper, & the application of tape.  This might have been the most carefully & slowly made sandwich I've ever ordered.  Nothing fancy, but perfectly done.  Ate sandwich in nearby park, surrounded by elderly Chinese playing board games, & a gaggle of Italian men gambling over cards.  The streets were Monday quiet, with barely a soul under seventy out and about.