Sunday, July 22, 2007

Waffles, Chickens, Rats

If you are looking for the Game (with Prizes), look right below this posting.

Before I tell you my Wandering Sunday Morning story, I must tell a story that will top Brian's Spokane Raccoon Story. Just five hours ago, I was walking with a friend to an Italian restaurant about six blocks from I-House. It's garbage day, so Hefty trash bags line the sidewalks. Suddenly, at a very narrow juncture between trash bags and brownstone, a huge, hairy rat darts out from under one of the bags and runs over my feet. I start doing a "rat dance" when the rat's brother darts out after him, under my feet. And their cousin was right up the street, laughing at the whole thing. Three huge, hairy rats on the sidewalk. One touched my foot. I was wearing sandals. They looked nothing like the rats on Ratatouille.

My friend remembered the lyrics to the Rolling Stones' song, "Shattered":

"Don't you know the crime rate is going up, up, up, up, up To live in this town you must be tough, tough, tough, tough, tough! You got rats on the west side Bed bugs uptown What a mess this towns in tatters Ive been shattered My brains been battered, splattered all over Manhattan"

Man, I cannot tell you how it feels to be living this song.

So it's been five hours since the rats attacked, and my adrenaline is still quite high. But I am still going to tell you about my Wandering Sunday Morning (since I am afraid to turn off my light). I can't tell you all of it, though, because if I did, I would give away the answers to the quiz.

I woke up early and decided to take my walking cards north through Harlem. This was probably not the best idea, for a couple of reasons. First of all, Harlem is not the safest part of the city. I walked through many beautiful neighborhoods, but many were very poor with visible drug problems. The second reason it wasn't the greatest idea is that I walked past about fifty Chicken and Waffle restaurants...Sylvia's Chicken and Waffles, Ruth Ann's Chicken and Waffles, etc. I love Chicken and Waffles for breakfast (I had them for the first time while in LA last January at Roscoe's). But you can't eat Chicken and Waffles alone; it's like, when you are a glutton so early in the morning, you need a partner in crime. Chicken and Waffles alone is sad. Then again, if I did eat c and w alone, I wouldn't tell you about it. So maybe I did.

So I'm a little scared, and very hungry. But here's the thing...Harlem was dressed up and going to church. Churches are at almost every corner, and men dressed in three piece suits and women in hats and gloves and colorful high heels were like magnets being pulled from every corner. So then you can't be scared. At one point, I passed the Abyssinian Baptist Church ---Harlem's first African American church, dating back to 1808. When I turned the corner, there was a line of touristy looking people, waiting to get into the church service. Sorry to say, they looked very casual, and in comparison, downright sloppy. One man in a suit turned the corner and addressed them in a very stern voice, "There will be no flip flops in this church." Which raised quite a ruckus because so many girls were in flip flops (obviously, this pack of tourists has not been attacked by rats yet). It was amusing, sort of. I mean, I thought of the long history of this church and this neighborhood. Rewind about forty years or so and I think you would have seen a very different scene on that corner, and flip flops worn by white tourist women were probably not part of it.

Anyway, I need to go to bed, but I want to leave you with some pictures of famous Harlem brownstones before I lay down on my plastic mattress to get some (much needed) sleep. Here you go:

*Answers to the quiz will come tomorrow evening, as will discussion of the rest of my Wandering Sunday.

**And, Seattleites, we live in a ratless city. Rejoice. And don't tell me if you've seen one there, either.


The Norris Clan said...

Oh, the brownstones are making me homesick for Chicago. I am SO excited about going there next month. Oh, and the rat in Ratatouille WAS cute and, you're right, NOTHING like the ones there.

Oh, I have a raccoon family living under the juniper bush in my backyard... can I get in on the raccoon sightings stories?

So, do you eat the chicken and waffles together? I don't know about that...

Jessica said...

rusty had a rat run right towards him in pioneer square once. and i've seen them in the alleys down there as well. sorry marjie. oh, and rusty's cat ted brought one in the house once in ballard, i was standing in the room and he jumped up onto the windowsill with a big live rat in his mouth. it was in the house for a week or so.

Marjie said...

From Kathy, my principal:

I only knew the first answer for certain. AND there was really no need to put the PICTURE of the rat in the blog. The rest of us don't need to be traumatized just because you were. I, of course, recognized the wagon in Spokane!

Marjie said...

OK, Jessica, go ahead and talk about downtown rats or rats in Freelard. But there are NO rats on Phinney Ridge.

Jessica said...

ok marjie, ok.

Marjie said...

Yes, you eat the chicken and waffles together, sort of. There is gravy to pour over the chicken and butter and syrup to pour over the waffles. But somehow, it goes together.

The Norris Clan said...

Yeah, I don't think that is a meal I will be having anytime soon. I like chicken and waffles separately too much to ruin them for me altogether... I am all for mixing tastes, but THAT might be crossing the line. Now with pancakes... that's another story!