Saturday, March 29, 2008

Persona Non Grata

I returned to my apartment the other night to the following note taped to my door, flanked by a petite container of lubricant.

The note reads:
"Here: Use this lubricator on your door, so it stops sounding like Dracula's grave. And, please, show/have good manners and stop slamming your door, there people living here, [sic] not everybody is an animal."

Ok, our door is a tad on the creaky side, point taken. Since this transgression Tuesday evening, I have been evaluating our neighbors as potential culprits. Charlie also greased the hinges.

NEIGHBOR ONE: The lesbian Fonz, Meescha. Some heartbroken lass showed up to our building and would not stop buzzing the door. I assumed it was a delivery person (mea culpa mea culpa) and buzzed this sore chick in. She proceeded to wail at Meescha's door FOR A SOLID HOUR, beseeching Casanova to let her in. MEEEESHA! MEEEEEESCHA! The urban equivalent of wolves howling at the moon. Terrifying.
NEIGHBOR TWO: Sweet next door neighbor who is a grad student. She listens to electronic music at 5:45am. Doubtful.
NEIGHBOR THREE: Angry court jester dude. This guy has metal-bottomed boots, wears a crushed velvet hat that looks like a colostomy bag, and lives above us. It always sounds like they are moving furniture, but it must just be him walking. He has made attempts to be "neighborly" but I draw the line at "Hello" and "How are you?" and tensely move past him. Once he caught me unlocking my door after work, and took the opportunity to vent some hot rage about how cold I am. I smiled, nodded, said "Good to see you too" then sealed myself in my apartment, waiting for the confirmation of his footsteps walking away. He now pretends he doesn't see me. Which is fine.

I don't know the rest of my neighbors because I live in a grown-up dorm but it least it doesn't smell like urine so that's something.

BEST WORD er, PHRASE HEARD THIS WEEK: brickpunk classic (I want the car or toaster this refers to)
WORST WORD HEARD THIS WEEK: trenchant (this word makes me twitch)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Woppalicious Easter

Pork is the superlative meat, and I am a sucker for butter molded in the shape of farm animals. Easter's not a wretched time of year.

My pal Chaz and I wandered up to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx today, rumored by some to be the "Real Little Italy", as opposed to Mulberry street's parody of itself, and the day before Easter the markets and bakeries were abuzz with activity. We tasted fresh ricotta (a little soupy) posed a statue of a mob icon, and I consumed my first bitters appertif that I didn't entirely hate. Charlie noticed the popularity of slaughtered lambs split down the middle:

What rattled us both: the lambs still had their teeth.

I was particularly taken with the unfamiliar varieties of baked good: sfogliatelle came in longer shapes and were called "lobstertails," "pescas" are biscuits with peach sugar and peach flavor, but the inside features a shot of espresso and peach liqueur,

and a few of the items featured rum, a surprise to me. Most foreign, however, was the festive pastry that looked as if it was gestating, generating some alien, gluten-based species:

In a nod to spring's assumed fertility, "Easter Bread" is an anise-infused sweetbread which incorporates at least one hard-boiled egg. The eggs' sharp presence unnerves the eater, reminds one a little too much of bone, and I found myself avoiding the white mass as I consumed the pastry.

The Arthur Avenue Retail Market features hard-to-find Italian kitchen instruments (I finally found the deep-dish pizza pan I'd been searching for), an extensive meat market, the zingiest, crispest thin crust pizza I have ever had (I know, sacrilege), a library of hard-to-find coffee products and liqueurs, and novel fresh pasta shapes.

And a little bit of Brooklyn, for good measure: marzipan lambs!