A colleague told me it was a lovely day; so at lunchtime yesterday I departed without my jacket.
The streets were teeming with people!
I walked down 53rd Street to Third Avenue and could barely make progress while wending my way through the throng of office workers.
And it was hot. I mean HOT!
I'd read a Facebook post from a friend in Boston that it had reached 95F in that city and it felt that hot in New York.
It was my lunch break and I wasn't sure what to eat. The heat killed my appetite, and as I began to perspire while walking down Third Avenue, I found myself seeking shade, and not sustenance. I turned west onto 52nd Street and was relieved to find shade; and I was shocked to see that every food outlet: the falafel truck, Chop't, Subway, Pump, and Chipotle all had long lines of people snaking out onto the sidewalk.
Well, the entire line for the falafel truck was on the sidewalk, and I had never seen that many people in line for that particular brand of street meat.
I walked up the North side of the street. I avoided Pump, because I just can't figure out what they are selling and I find it uninviting. I had a veggie burrito from Chipotle last week and wasn't in the mood for beans. Subway is out; I have to be in a bad mood to enjoy Subway. I find it tasty, but not very filling, while making me feel bloated at the same time. No way was I getting street meat from this truck. I reserve my street meat purchases for Rafiqi's at 51st and Park - the best street meat in the neighborhood.
So that left Chop't.
I have a fave sandwich at Chop't: the Rocky Mountain Cobb: lettuce, chicken, blue cheese, craisins, and walnuts, chopped up and mixed together in steakhouse blue cheese, in a wrap. Yummy!
I had not had one for almost two months. During Lent I am vegan and that excludes a Rocky Mountain Cobb for lunch. So, I got into the line out on the sidewalk and waited patiently. The line moved quickly.
Chop't is an amazing display of immigrant industriousness. Teams of three manage three stations and they whip out salads and sandwiches like nobody's business. Even the difficult customers with their special needs (only half that much cheese please, can you add sesame seeds, can I get the dressing on the side, does that cost extra, blah blah blah) can't slow this amazing production line.
As I finally entered the store, I saw it: a new item named for Barcelona FC, the Spanish soccer team that less than 24-hours earlier knocked my Arsenal out of the UEFA Champions League. I don't know when the item went up on the board, but the sign appeared new and I took it as a personal affront.
Now, I like Barcelona FC. My favorite player of all-time, Thierry Henry, plays there, as does the greatest player alive, Lionel Messi, and the best European player, Zalatan Ibrihamovic. Add Dani Alves, Puyol, and a host of other great players and it's easy for me to say that Barcelona is the best team in the world.
But a club sandwich named for them in Midtown Manhattan? Where's the Arsenal Club?
Well, I got over it right quick and in a hurry and eventually got my sandwich, along with two pieces of sea salt taffy, and made my way back to the office. The notion of a long walk interrupted by the heat.
Come to find out, NYC reached only 92F yesterday, not 95F!
Summer Overtakes Spring; Confusion Reigns