Tuesday, September 23, 2008

12 Hours in...

Adam Roberts, The Amateur Gourmet, started this new and very clever meme--what would you do with only 12 hours in your city, never to return?

I've had the experience of living away from the city where I grew up, so I know what it's like to only visit, and try to cram in those "must haves" before leaving again. Here's what I would do with only 12 Hours in...

I'd start my day with an early lunch at Big Daddy's. This is THE sub shop for me. The one I dreamed about everywhere else I've lived, and the one I visited every time I came home. And not just for any sandwich--their lovely, delicious, mysterious Reuben. I don't know exactly what they do to their sauerkraut to make it so darned delicious--but whatever it is, it's had me captivated for 30 years.

Take a drive to the Erie Canal Village. It's a far cry from what it once was, but this is more of a nostalgia visit for me. You see, I worked there as the village violinist and house interpreter as a teenager. Many fond memories there for me.

Time for a 2nd lunch (have to make all the stops, you know) at Tony's Pizza. The one on Jay Street, not the Boulevard. My favorite pizza with mushrooms and peppers--the vegetables are mouth-watering served atop a tender crust. This is the pizza I craved in South Korea; the pizza I searched for in Key West; the pie I longed for in Atlanta.

I'd spend some time strolling the streets of my childhood. This could be any time of year, but I'm imagining a lovely autumn day, like today. The playground where I first dug in a sandbox. The deaf school, where friends and I would climb the fence just to ride the merry-go-round. You remember that ride, don't you? The one that push, running, running, running... and then jump on and hold for dear life. The site of the old high school, which is being torn down now. My elementary school. The old military base where... oh, dear. Let's just leave that a mystery, shall we?

I'd make an appointment with the Mayor. After all, if I'm going to leave the city and never return, I might as well pass along all of my opinions to someone who's in charge, right?

Time for shopping. I'd head over to pick up a generous supply of Turkey Joints, and to the new high school to pick up some logo clothing. I might run by some local restaurants for a few batches of really good pizza dough and cannoli filling to freeze. If I REALLY had a dream opportunity, I'd get a lesson in making pustis and good cannoli cream from a local pro.

On to dinner The Franklin Hotel for Greens, Beans and Sausage. The same soup that I started eating at 16 is just as delicious today. I'd follow that with one perfect cannoli. And maybe a chocolate pusti. And a slice of chocolate cannoli cake. Who cares if I look like a pig? I'll never see these people again, right?

Meeting friends for coffee at our local coffee shop. We don't have Starbucks here, and the only coffee lounge that we have offers a limited variety of sugar-free treats. So while I do like to go there, I can only enjoy limited drinks & snacks. Perhaps I would have some SF cookies and mini-cheesecakes to give them, with recipes, to offer other patrons like me.

Most importantly, however, I'd spend my final 12 hours with my family and friends wherever I went. There's something so special about living close and sharing day-to-day life with the people most important in your life. I'll admit that I'm not fond of snow, or the cold weather, or even the politics in the state where I live. It's the people--my biological family, as well as my chosen family--that drew me back, and keeps me here.

How would you spend a final 12 hours in your home city?


carol said...

With my mother in law-- it would be the longest 12 hours in the history of the world.


Amanda said...

Oh, my, Carol! Hehe... I can imagine!

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