Taking a moment here in Fish Town to ponder a few things our new home has to offer. Yeah, I know we poke some fun...how flossing is a lost art, yellow Gortex is the new black, teen moms rule, the irony of the "neighborhood watch" captain also being the neighborhood drug dealer, and when you say "fishing boat" you inevitably get a fisherman screaming from the other end of the bar, "it's fishing VESSEL, dammit, VESSEL, not boat. Any ass can own a boat, any jerk-off rubbing two sticks together can build a boat"...but hey, there's also much to love in this rainy secret town.
The Wine Guy: We've been frequenting this local wine shop that specializes in Italian and French gems because the selection is well-edited and the young duke behind the counter wearing city spectacles and a sardonic grin always makes us laugh: "You look like a woman still mourning her suede boots while drinking herself into an Edith Piaff kind of haze. Cheers to that, my dear."
On a recent visit, he ducked into the back and came out holding a jar of snow white, purely rendered pork fat, hands carefully cupped as if securing a puppy or a priceless sculpture. "I just had a pig slaughtered and I couldn't think of anyone who would appreciate this more than you." Apparently, I have pig fat written all over me. But really...I was touched. Because yes, this is exactly the gift I love, that keeps on giving, that taps into my deepest hunger. I promptly went home and made raviolis.
Random Acts of Nut Giving: While running the pup through the forest, we stumbled upon The Chef on his hands and knees (no, not THAT part of the forest) sniffing out mushrooms for supper. After a brief chat, he reached into a pocket and pulled out a handful of chestnuts, "Here, roast these and make some salad dressing." Excellent idea. Eating a bag of warm, roasted chestnuts while walking the December streets of New York...a memory worth repeating.
The Cheese Shop: Stinky, dirty sock, green-gilled, thick-rind cheeses with funny names and crusty edges. While my co-workers at the gym tap their Tupperware lunches for tofu and brown rice, steamed vegetables and boiled eggs, I sneak down the street for a plate of greasy salami and heady smelling cheeses. Good for building strong muscles. Plus, I find salami makes my butt nice and round (see August 18th post). The owner comes to my yoga class every now and then and afterwards slips me a modest wax paper bag -- airy thin slices of mortadella.
Gas Pumpers: Here in Oregon, it's illegal to pump your own gas. We're all about job creation here in the corner. So every time I fill up, I get a free dog biscuit for the pup scurrying around the back of the Honda, anxiously licking the window and whimpering to be let loose so she can ferret out yet another dead sea lion or pelican for lunch, and if nothing has recently succumbed and rotted and festered, there's always dog shit. She ain't the smartest...but she sure is pretty.
The Local Hardware Store: We go in for sheets of insulation and walk out with a bag of fresh pepperocinis and yellow hots, courtesy of the counter guy with his less than toothy grin. Yup, it's written all over me...Mexican Who Loves Pig Fat.