I finally visited Wegmans. It’s a super market, but it’s a super super market.
My mother spoke about it for years. Whenever she went upstate NY to visit my nephew in college, she returned with reports about Wegmans. It was never about the trip itself or of my nephew, it was about Wegmans.
A few years ago, they opened a Wegmans at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in Brooklyn, NY and I’ve been meaning to visit, but I would forget about it. But yesterday, I remembered, so I took the F train from the city and visited.
It’s right next to the King’s County Distillery and there among a lot of the old navy yard.
They are opening a Wegmans in the city, at Astor Place, in about a year, so NYC will have two now.
It’s hard to describe Wegmans, it’s a supermarket, but huge. It has restaurants inside and a coffee shop, a pizza place and loads and loads of groceries. It’s almost like a Costco but with just food, no clothing or books or anything like that.
It’s an experience, sort of like the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building.
I was watching a tv show on farmers markets and someone said, “Buy Local. Buy Fresh.” But I found out a few years ago that that is not always the case. One of my favorite farmers markets is the Green Market at Union Square in New York City. It’s my first stop when I get to New York and it’s a Saturday morning ritual. It’s where I get my first Mr. Softee ice cream of the summer and where I see fall pumpkins for the first time, also where I see Christmas trees being sold for the first time of the season.
But is everything straight from the farm? I’ve always pictured all those vendors trudging down from their upstate New York or Long Island farms, setting up and selling their fresh fruit, veggies, flowers, pies, honey, etc. But a few Novembers ago, I stopped at one booth to buy a small bottle of eggnog. I grabbed the bottle from the ice chest and handed the guy the money. There was no one else at the booth and he was standing in the center of a foldout table, you know, one of those 6′ x 3′ tables?
Well, he wouldn’t take the money. I tried to shove it in his hand, but he refused. He told me to stand in the center of the table on the 6′ side; I was at the 3′ end of it, where the cooler was. Again, there was no one else there and his hand was in reach of me handing him the money. Again, he said, “Stand in front of the table to pay me.” I got angry, put the drink down and walked away.
A few blocks away, I was walking by Eataly, the Italian grocery store at Madison Square, right across from the Flatiron Building, and I went in. I went to the dairy case and pulled out a small eggnog. It was the exact same company and bottle that the guy at the green market was selling. It had a homey name, Ronnybrook Farm, it was the same stuff for less money. This guy at the green market lost a sale because of his whatever it was, and he is selling corporate eggnog, which I pictured him making by hand in his Hudson Valley kitchen somewhere at his family’s Ronnybrook farm.
The New York Times describes Ronnybrook Farm’s as the “Dom Perignon” of dairy, so there is that, and they are in the Hudson Valley, so there is that, too.
After that I started noticing pies and fruit and things like that and realized anyone can sell at the farmer’s market, whether you own a farm or not. Just source your goodies, mark them up and sell away.
This cartoon got quite a few comments yesterday. It seems that everybody has a story on what they hated to eat as a kid. I think I didn’t like liver and possibly spinach. Spinach I like today. Liver never.
I don’t think my mom forced me to eat what I didn’t like, but I do remember her telling me to try it.
One thing I have almost daily is olive oil, I take a spoonful daily for the omega threes and to be in step with those blue zones around the world, and I also put it on things when eating. But I didn’t like it as a kid and my mom was telling me how good it is for your health, I remember. She said I would get used to the taste. I eventually did.
One lady mentioned spaghetti, in a comment. She didn’t like that and was forced to eat it as a kid. I can sort of understand that, as I am not a big fan of spaghetti, but I’ll eat it, I don’t have to be forced to eat it, but I wouldn’t order it in a restaurant.
It’s not Christmas without a visit to the Union Square Green Market. Seeing people carrying Christmas trees through Manhattan really sets the season. I love the Green Market on Saturday mornings. It’s a ritual when I’m in town.
We went to The Hamptons for the Holiday parade on Saturday, but I stopped by the Green Market first.
There’s a holiday bazaar every years – booths set up at one end of the park. The same thing is set up in Bryant Park behind the library and in a space inside Grand Central Terminal.
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I spent the 4th of July in the city, NYC, we usually spend it family-style, which we did, but we did that on July 3, which was unfortunate, because it rained all day on July 3, but the 4th was perfect. It was 75 and sunny all day.
Every year, for some reason, we do the 4th on the 3rd or 2nd or something like that. So a bunch of us drove out to my cousins’ house (n the rain) in The Hamptons on Saturday, July 3rd, but about 20 of us ended up just hanging out inside the house. I usually sleep over and spend the weekend but some of us drove back to the city that night and then enjoyed the beautiful July 4th in the city.
As is the case often, a couple of us headed to Coney Island, we were late for the Hot Dog Eating Contest, but it was still very fun and enjoyable. From there we stopped at Prospect Park in Brooklyn and then Washington Square Park in Manhattan.
Everywhere was packed, there was lots of music and lots of happy people. People have been longing to get out for so long. In New York, street musicians, or I should say park musicians are a big part of life. It was so great hearing them and then hearing loud applause, which never happens, but everyone is so happy this year.
Back home in Miami, they are facing a Tropical storm, but I think it is bypassing my area. So I’m not that concerned.
July 4th ended with a hug fireworks show in the East River and New Jersey had one in the Hudson River, so the city was surrounded with it.
One things that bugs me is that people in NY say, “Have a happy holiday!” Rather than “Happy July 4th!” Since when is the country’s birthday a politically correct thing? I gave money to a guy on the street and he said, “Thank you, happy holiday.”
Anyway, it ended up being a perfect day, after a soggy time the day before.
Now – the fireworks – the best part. Not so much the fireworks themselves, although, they are fantastic, but it’s the ritual before and after that I love.
About a half hour, maybe 45 minutes before the fireworks, people start showing up at the rivers. They walk to the east and west sides as close to the water as possible – that is where the fireworks are. Soon there are tens of thousands of people, all over the place. The streets are closed, there are cops all over and it’s a big party.
I ended up at the UN area this year. Other years I’ve been in other areas. I was right across from the big red Pepsi sign on the Manhattan side from Long Island City.
And then the fireworks start. But wait. When it’s done – all these thousands of people have to leave. And therein lies the fun. Thousands of people start walking up the streets, in an orderly fashion. Thousands of people! They are walking sort of like zombies – determined, yet slowly.
As they reach the Avenues, cars are trying to drive, but they can’t. :People just keep walking. And there are bicycles, mopeds, scooter and rickshaws in the crowd. Thousands of these people moving methodically across the city. It takes a long time, maybe an hour for this to end. And it’s something to see. It’s unreal to see. It’s so calm and methodical and everyone is in a cheerful mood., It’s a great thing to partake in, if you ever get the chance.
I’ve been in New York. Did a lot so far in a week. The worst part was the flight. From the time I left my house until I got to the door here in NY, it took 10 hours. The flight was delayed and then we didn’t have a pilot! We literally sat on the plane for an hour waiting for him to arrive!
But I’m here and all is well.
Been to The Hamptons with my family and friends, we were at an outdoor bar listening to one of my cousins perform., He’s an entertainer and he was doing his thing out at the waterfront. It was a perfect day.
Did a bunch of other things – ate at one of our favorite Italian restaurants in Brooklyn. Did Hoboken and saw Manhattanhenge.
On Wednesday, a friend and I did the Little Island. It was beautiful and a lot of fun, but the temperature was 96 degrees with a heat index of 105 degrees. Oppressive! I even passed up Mr. Softee – I was too nauseous to eat.
Thursday a friend and I did the MET Museum. It rained all day, so that was a good indoor thing to do.
Been to diners, had an egg cream. Did all my usual stuff.
Growing up, Jonathan and Hilary Krieger’s vocabulary was enriched with a word their dad, Neil, used whenever a citrus fruit squirted you in the eye – a word they couldn’t find in a dictionary. Turns out he’d made it up! But with his passing last year from COVID, the Kriegers have set out to honor Neil by getting his word officially recognized by the publishers of dictionaries.
Their idea is to get the word used enough so as to make it become part of the English language. There is a list of uses they hope for and one was a comic strip. So I decided to accommodate them.
Here is the short story about it on CBS Sunday Morning.
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