October 23, 2009
There's an upside to not having a job: Once again I get to wander the city, following my feet and my appetite. The weather has been a gift – bright, shiny Indian summer – and for days I've been roaming around with my favorite people. Talking, walking, eating, arting. One day we walked down to Madison Square Park and ate Shake Shack burgers on the lawn before spending the afternoon devouring art in the Chelsea galleries. Another we rode the 7 train out to Flushing for soup dumplings. We found the oldest church in America out there – a quiet Quaker building ithat looks so out of place in that bustling neighborhood. Five minutes away, we descended into the Golden Mall, a vibrant, throbbing, pungent underground warren of tiny restaurants that reminded me of the way Singapore hawker centers were before they were sanitized into pristine cleanliness. The food down there was superb – great floppy buns filled with chives, bean threads and eggs, and lamb burgers that tingled on the tongue. Sichuan dumplings, alive with chiles. In one corner a man from Lan Zhou was hand-pulling noodles in one spot while a woman from Xian made knife-cut noodles a few feet away. It was all dizzyingly delicious, and it cheered me up enormously.
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