Thursday, January 31, 2013

Woke up in Brooklyn.

Early on the overcast morning of the third of September last year I woke up disoriented, stretched, and looked around me, feeling like a stranger in a strange land. If I'd sniffed the air a little, I probably would have detected the faint hints of bread baking nearby, of tacos and tortas and fresh coffee brewing, of Italian and Romanian and Nepalese and Senegalese food intermingling, and slices of the best pizza in the country cooling on racks. All that, however, was still ahead of me. It was a Monday, Labor Day. Exactly one day before that I had woken up as I had nearly every morning for thirty-one years, in my hometown, which was now a two thousand mile plane ride away.

But now I lived in New York City.

There's an old New York state lottery slogan, a well-worn classic that goes 'All you need is a dollar and a dream!' and, having moved to the city with little more than a full suitcase and a bicycle, that was about all I had to work with. A dollar, a dream, and a really nice omelet pan. I was a bit unsteady, jobless and terrified and exhilarated and eager. Anxious to make my fifth-floor perch above the noisy avenue below start to feel like home, I did what I can always be counted on to do. I started cooking.

And suddenly, Brooklyn was home.

[I'd love to show you an actual photo of the actual first thing I produced in my new kitchen, but to be totally honest it was probably a bowl of cold cereal, so pretend with me, all right?]