Saturday, February 18, 2012

The neighborhood

I went to the Post Office today to mail a care package to Eldest. I took a roundabout route home, planning to stop at the pharmacy a half-mile away to pick up a prescription. The pharmacy is at the end of the Orthodox stretch, and since it was Shabbos there were plenty of people out.

Most families had scads of children, but I happened to be walking behind this couple. 

Among the things one knows from living near a heavily Jewish area is which kinds of vitamins are kosher (Solgar is one) and that there is special ambulance service to ensure proper treatment:

Staffed by volunteers
Of course, the neighborhood also has a significant Hispanic presence, so there are shops like this around, too:
Though I've never smoked a hand-rolled cigar
I walked into a dumpy-looking shop that had an innocuous name, something like "Food Market" and discovered something amazing. The Russian store that I thought had closed a couple of years ago simply moved! Here it was, three times the size. I had a great time listening to Russian rock music as I perused the untranslated package labels:

I bought some pelmani (frozen veal dumplings) and what turned out to be spice cookies. I eyed the counter with twenty kinds of smoked fish and six varieties of kielbasa, decided not to get any Lithuanian rye today (but perhaps another time?), and smiled at the thought of bringing my younger ones in to choose random candies from the massive array in clear acrylic boxes over the counter.

There's nothing like travel, close to home.

With apologies for the fuzzy pix; I'm having computer woes and can't edit photos!


  1. This was my neighborhood for many years. I miss it. Thanks for the memories; it's nice to see that things are still much as ever.

  2. This is one of my favorite things about New York -- the whole world in one big crazy city.

  3. This is one of my favourite things about London too - able to explore different cultures by going grocery shopping.

    1. Julia, I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoy your blog(s). Your attitude toward life in general is so refreshing that it makes me feel better---no matter what is going on in my life. Your ability to jump back up after you've been punched down (by circumstances, not literally!) is absolutely amazing. Love you & your family lots. AA

  4. That would be the nice part of living in a big city. I'll keep my "acreage" (less than 1/3 of an acre, really) and peace and quiet, though.

    As is often said about places that aren't home, "Nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there." Someday I hope to visit NYC, and when I do, I hope I get to see things like this.