Sunday, July 08, 2007

Holden and The Squaw's Bosom

Found myself back at Strawberry Fields again (in Central Park), and the flower arrangement was quite different from was carnations, yesterday was rose petals. I will take a picture whenever I pass it and post it here (John Lennon was murdered not far from here, on West 72nd Street, near his home, The Dakota.) Beatles songs seem to be playing constantly near this site-but again, I'll keep you posted.

Today's highlights:

1). This is a dosai (pronounced dough-sah) and is a crepe made from a fermented batter of rice flour and lentils, from an Indian vegetarian kosher restaurant on Murray Hill (curry hill) north of the East Village, called Pongol. It is stuffed with spiced potatoes, onions and cilantro. I know the filling looks like eggs, but it's curried potatoes.

The highlight of my day. Eating the crepe was like eating (tasty) air, it was sooooo light. In the bowls are coconut chutney and sambar (a really good dip). In the bigger bowl is "hot Indian bean soup." I could eat on Curry Hill every day for this next month and be completely happy (I think). It was divine.

2.) Some of you know all too well my obsession with the book Catcher in the Rye and its protagonist, Holden Caulfield. Well, hardly a day goes by that I don't think about that book (like if someone has a bad personality, I think maybe he/she is privately a very good whistler...or like having the need to "feel a goodbye"- like when Holden gets that feeling when he throws a football around after sunset before he leaves school...etc, little thoughts like that). I have taught that book about 15 times, I think. And I never tire of it.

Well, here in NY, I have about ten times the usual thoughts about it, since Holden spends so much time here, especially near Central Park and since JD SALINGER also attended Columbia. So, knowing that background, you will understand why another highlight was having a Holden day. I went to the American Museum of Natural History, where Holden thinks he might see his little sister, Phoebe. He is comforted by the fact that everything remains the same in the museum, frozen in time (like the squaw he and his friends were very aware of...her and her bare bosom (I have a category in my Jeopardy game named "The Squaw's Bosom" to cover the chapter on the museum.) When he actually gets to the museum, though, he can't go in, you see, because even though everything there has stayed the same, HE has changed (his little brother died and he is in a state of paralysis) and he cannot face it. Ahem...sorry, if you want to hear more someday, I will be happy to divulge more about Holden and his need to protect innocence.

LOVED the museum, which are three words I hardly ever write, unless it's an art museum. Got lost in past cultures and the skeletal remains of extinct species for three hours. My nephew, Devon, would love it. This picture of the giant extinct wombat is for you, Devon. Look at his buck teeth. Then I continued my Holden day in:

3.) Central Park. Every day I could include this as a highlight. I hope to take 32 more naps here before returning to Seattle. Today I enjoyed a lime popsicle while contemplating where to take nap #2. I passed one of many ponds where Holden wonders where the ducks go in the winter, and the carousel where he has his breakdown while watching Phoebe go "around and around."

While at the park, I watched disco roller dancing for about a half an hour. Excellent dancing, performed by all ages, colors and sizes. I particularly liked this guy and his pants, which must have been made out of about five thick terry cloth towels. Another woman must have been about 70, dressed in tight black pants and a fringe and diamond tank top.

I did go back to the Half Price ticket place with the intention of seeing Rent today Yesterday, I just could not understand why the whole world didn't buy tickets at this stand and envisioned myself seeing Broadway shows every day. Well, today I figured out why...there is a two-hour wait in line. Yesterday-completely naively-I cut in through the back and walked right up to the counter. I did not even know that a line existed around the corner for about three miles. Ah.....if only it were that easy. Today the guy winked at me and said he would let me in the back, but I thought about my friend Jaci and how she would not approve at all because cutting in line is in her book of "nevers." I kinda wish I had, though, because when I came back at 7, I was contemplating whether or not to take a bad seat to see Fantasia in The Color Purple (that was all that was left) when a guy from "The Laugh Factory" offered me a ticket to see improv for ten dollars. I bought it, and went, and it was OK. But it sure wasn't Rent! Or The Color Purple (maybe). But there was a Baptist Gospel choir on stage in Times Square, which has possibly the loudest sound system in the world, and they were great.

I think I am ready for human contact, now. Tomorrow, China.


Brian Bowker said...

I clicked on the picture of the guys with the disco pants and was pleasantly surprised to find that you had posted the full size version!

Those are quite the pants. Probably very moisture wicking.

Dad said...

Your dosai crepe makes me hungry! We are enjoying your adventure.

The Norris Clan said...

I have never read "Catcher in the Rye," but you now have me very intrigued about this Holden character. It is now on my list...

SO sorry about RENT... do keep trying though - TOT worth the wait!