I came to simultaneous epiphanies the other day:
Summer is almost over! I haven’t had a lobster roll yet! AGHHHH!
No, this just won’t do. I’m a grown ass woman, master of my own destiny. So:Thankfully, sweetheart and I had already planned to head up to Connecticut to see Bruce and Bela so we decided to make a day of it, take the slow road, and have what may be one of our last adventures of the summer. Le sigh. Lobster rolls from crookedy old Lobster Landing- Connecticut style of course (meaning hot in a griddled bun and doused in butter- after all, this was the Friday before Hurricane Mothra/Irene was coming to destroy New York, so we had better have our last hurrah and make it count). Then on to a curvy route north and inland that had us cruising by scenic (and perhaps magical/gypsy headquarters) Lake Zoar for hand dipped chocolate ice cream (for sweetheart) and (for moi) all-time-summer-favorite-and-somewhat-hard-to-find, a peach milkshake. Ahhhh, summer.
Here are some Lobster Roll Rules for those of you who, like me, enjoy rules exclusively governing sandwiches.
How much do you love this Parisian-looking manse on Clinton avenue in Clinton Hill?? I expect a tousle headed woman wearing a silk dressing gown to be leaning out of the window smoking a cigarette every time I pass.
We don’t see the ocean, not ever, but in July and August
when the worst heat seems to rise from the hard clay
of this valley, you could be walking through a fig orchard
when suddenly the wind cools and for a moment
you get a whiff of salt, and in that moment you can almost
believe something is waiting beyond the Pacheco Pass,
something massive, irrational, and so powerful even
the mountains that rise east of here have no word for it.
You probably think I’m nuts saying the mountains
have no word for ocean, but if you live here
you begin to believe they know everything.
They maintain that huge silence we think of as divine,
a silence that grows in autumn when snow falls
slowly between the pines and the wind dies
to less than a whisper and you can barely catch
your breath because you’re thrilled and terrified.
You have to remember this isn’t your land.
It belongs to no one, like the sea you once lived beside
and thought was yours. Remember the small boats
that bobbed out as the waves rode in, and the men
who carved a living from it only to find themselves
carved down to nothing. Now you say this is home,
so go ahead, worship the mountains as they dissolve in dust,
wait on the wind, catch a scent of salt, call it our life.
What is the Rockaway Beach Big Dig, you ask? Well, to put it simply, every summer the men who were once boys who once rode beach cruisers with no hands (a slice in one hand and an orange soda in the other, of course) walk the beach blocks from their homes carrying gloves and shovels to band together with might and brawn and… dig a big hole. It starts simply enough, a few shovelfuls, maybe enough depth to bury someone… but by mid-day, fueled by many shave ices and the salty, sandy toil of men, women, and children, the hole is higher than a man’s head, with steps and shelves and maybe a WBFP. It’s such a simple set of pleasures, old friends come from far distances, mothers prepare the same foods they prepared last year (and every year before that), and from the absence that is the hole, the presence of something pretty American takes shape. Something majestically futile, perhaps, or something joyous simply for the sake of joy. Of course, at the end of the day, we fill it back in.
As anyone who knows me knows, I love cats. Meags suggested perhaps I might build a catio and my cat is halfway done writing his first #1 hit (“Lick, Lick, Licken Dem Paws”). People who know me also know that I love Gone with the Wind. So. Suffice it to say I loveLoveLOVED this article about Vivien Leigh’s cats. Doesn’t she look so so glamorous?
Much traveling, so little time at home… sweetheart and I capitalize on this rare day in August where breezes kiss the skin. Impromptu picnic in Fort Greene Park. What a lovely afternoon…The amazing Opinel knife belongs to me (courtesy of Cassie’s divine Gravel & Gold), but alas, the Steinbeck belongs to Sweetheart. I’m shamelessly burning through George R.R. Martin’s Storm of Swords like wildfire. I’ve bought each book from Greenlight and they (mercifully) don’t make me feel like I should be reading something better.
All it takes is a cool breeze and I got an itchin in my bones for fall. I am not alone. Just as I was about to spend some time yearning for sweaters, I had the delicious fortune to stumble upon New York Magazine’s stunning roundup of get-em-while-it’s-hot-ephemeral-summer-eats. Oh baby, it ain’t over til it’s over. I see a trip to Randazzo’s in my near future… Yum Yum Yum: Zucchini thin pie from Franny’s , Blueberry (thick!) pie from Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Tomatoes (for Andrew) from whatevs farmers market you can muster, ‘wichcraft BLT (LOOK at it), Pearl Oyster Bar Po Boy, and Key Lime Frozen Yogurt from Culture… so much outer borough love!
Saw these amazing succulents growing wild on the sheer walls over the jagged caves of the Oregon coast. They’re like: See? You can make beauty in a hard place, but you’ve just got to go easy on it. Why, thank you, little cactustrees, how did you know I was feeling so introspective? See Also: Dolly Parton.