Try Something Different this Memorial Day Weekend

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A day at the beach. The mountains. The lake. Your neighbor’s backyard. Everyone is on the move and the energy on the streets of New York was palpable as I made my way to my country getaway, otherwise known as my wife’s cozy house in suburban Chicago. I sought out my usual ride to LGA, but the N to the M60 was waylaid by construction at Astoria so I pivoted to the F to 71st and Roosevelt to the Q70. We’ve been commuting between Brooklyn and Wilmette for 15 years. Little phases us. And sometimes good things come from minor glitches.

While waiting for the bus a long flight delay popped up on my American app, so I did the only thing one can do when trapped in Queens and made my way to the nearest Tibetan restaurant. I studied the menu, wishing I had both my ravenous boys with me to really work it over good. Alas, I settled on the La Phing appetizer: sliced mung bean jelly mixed with garlic, chili and soy sauce. I mean you can’t subsist on slices and Papaya dogs every day of the week, can you?

The oil-slicked rice cake noodles glistened amidst the cilantro and soy. Each bite was firm and yet not filling. I managed to slurp down the entire bowl without hitting my pressed light blue shirt with a single spray of chili sauce. This was a first.

I headed back to the bus stop where the Q70 pulled in. 15 minutes later I was ensconced at the gate where nothing resembling an aircraft had materialized to continue my journey to the Midwest. Which gave me time to pen this column and contemplate the long weekend ahead.

There will be grilling. But the forecast is so-so, so maybe a visit to the Art Institute beckons? Or perhaps a new recipe or two?

I made the requisite book stop at The Strand and Ling Ma’s SEVERANCE is queued up and ready to go. The unofficial start to summer has arrived. Twelve weeks to ratchet down the static and take a break from political teeth-nashing. I’m still thinking about those delicious Tibetan rice cakes I scored in Queens. You know what? America really is pretty darned great.


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