Improbably enough, there is an excellent Italian restaurant in Zomba, but they don’t serve pizza. I did, however, discuss pizza with the owner, not in order to demand that he make it but in order to get in my point, which is that a truly great NY slice of pizza can hold its head up among all the pizza in Italy and the world over. He didn’t quite agree—he thought that there were perhaps one or two establishments in all of New York City that could be said to serve a decent pizza, and seemed to think that New York pizza is too often covered with too many toppings (no! no! that’s California!)—but I dropped the point before insisting that the pizza in my own small hometown of Greenport can, in fact, hold its head high over all the pizza I’ve ever had in New York City or, for that matter, anywhere in the world. I once asserted this belief in order to get rid of a young Italian man who was flirting with me at the pool in Germany, and it worked. So just bear that in mind as a helpful hint should you need to make yourself seem odious to an Italian, or should you wish not to do so.
Can’t tell you how glad I am that the damage wrought by Hurricane Irene in our little corner of NY has been, for the most part, minimal! While I wasn’t particularly worried about the house (which has been standing here since before Ma & Pa Ingalls got married…figure that out), I was worried about an old maple tree in our yard that has certainly seen better days, and, of course, about the fruit trees we planted only last year, as well as the rest of our garden.
The green bean/cucumber arbor went from looking like this:
And we had a number of windfalls, and one snapped eggplant bush, but most of it was salvageable:
On the whole? Everything weathered the storm pretty well! In fact, those little trees displayed an impressive combination of tenacity and flexibility, excellent qualities in trees as well as people:
The Riesentraube tomato plants, which I grew from seed, have grown so big and dense that, secured with twine, they formed a tomato-fortress and weren’t harmed at all!
Some of the others didn’t fare quite so well, but we’ll be able to prop them up again.
Inside, the storm mostly over, we enjoyed a celebratory meal of Chinese take-out (a twice-monthly ritual around here), once again proving that no matter WHAT is taking place in NY, you can always count on the Chinese take-out place to be open and cooking as briskly and efficiently as ever.
And at the end of the day?
Hoping you weathered your weekend OK too, folks!
My thoughts, prayers, and good wishes are with folks like my colleague Amy Julia Becker who had much more to contend with as a result of Irene. Peace and blessings to you.