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"Hello dear," she says when she sees me on the street as if she really knew me, and smiles at me in her theater after announcing the plays. We've been neighbors since the beginnings of La Mama, I watched her hair turn from black to the mop of gray she has now.
She is being lionized in today's New York Times. Speaking From the Capital of the Global East Village, traces her career from the time a half century ago when she was about to be arrested for prostitution after complaints about white men visiting a Negress. The men turned out to be actors dropping in for rehearsals at her theater.
Ellen Stewart and her La Mama have been fostering new playwrights and difficult productions all these years and continues adding to a long glorious list of names she helped along the way: Sam Shepard, Harold Pinter, Lanford Wilson, Eugène Ionesco, Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, Jerzy Grotowski, Jean-Claude Van Italie, Joseph Chaikin.
I think the case can be made that there wouldn't be today's East Village if she hadn't been here to start it.
The Asian Pub didn't last long after this visit, torn down for a tall luxury building.
There we were sucking on our introductory peppery edamame, watching the patio around us filled with a lively young crowd including one obvious newcomer who popped a pod into his mouth and chewed the whole inedible thing instead of pressing out individual beans and chucking the skin, all the while assuring his date it tasted good. Neither one of them touched the baby soybeans thereafter.
The food has improved a bit at the Asian Pub since our last visit, either the Ukrainian chef got fired or he picked up some subtle Asian flavoring tips. The mussel broth showed more depth, fried oysters were crispy and fresh, the flavorful chicken dumplings sported a delicate wrapping unlike the heavy dough I remembered from earlier visits and a serving of Korean beef with a side of kimchee showed character, all much helped along by a carafe of fruity house red.
An actor played, overplayed, emoted, the part of our waitperson, passing by every 5 minutes to inquire as to our well being, visibly disappointed when we didn't order decorated drinks to go with our wine like most of the crowd, but he finally won us over when he didn't disappear as we finished dinner and promptly brought our bill.
we'll be back sometime I'm sure ...
This has nothing to do with trains, really, other than it came up today on my trot across town from the East Village to the West Side by the river where I take a break and contemplate New Jersey on the far shore. In the many years I've been doing this much has changed, there were no skyscrapers there, no apartment towers reaching into the river, no Hudson River Park on the New York side, only rusting hulks of abandoned trans-Atlantic steamship berths. Looking south there used to be two tall towers not that long ago.
Lost tourists leaf through their guides, is there a train, a subway station somewhere? I point east, up Christopher, past the Path Station (that's not a subway it goes to New Jersey) up on Sheridan Square is a Number 1 Train stop. Where do you want to go?
I point south to the tall building with the green pyramid on the top. That's American Express. The towers were across the road there, double the height. I reach up to indicate the height.
It's a pleasant walk.
They thank me, Somehow saying 'Enjoy' didn't seem right so I just waved at them as they head south and I head east, up Christopher past the Number 1 Train , back to the East Village and on to Alphabet City and the supermarket on Avenue A, hunting for tonight's dinner.
Lamb Shoulder Blades, Rice Pilaf, Mesclin Salad and fresh tomatoes picked this morning in New Jersey. Miguel Mendoza Malbec Reserva MMM 2003, lucious. ++
jello chocolate pudding
The Annual Art Fruit Exhibit at the Metro
Occasionally, not often, I fondly remember the days when I smoked cigarettes, relaxing with a cigarette and coffee or having a pipe on a rainy afternoon. Never did smoke much even with the free packs they handed out in basic training to get people hooked and had little problems quitting. My last one was ages ago, it was a menthol on a hot and steamy night ... it was good. I would give the pipe a try even now but it's a NO SMOKING building.
Back then I smoked Rothmans so in a fit of nostalgia I googled them, they're still around!
Noticed this review:
on second thought I'll think about something else ...