Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Day Of One's Own

Today was the first day in so very long where everything I had accomplished was completely on a whim.

I went to a barber. For those who don't know, I've long hair, usually tied in a tail. I may have been getting my feet wet before a total commitment, or I may have just been cleaning up. The last time I was in a professional chair was nearly 20 years ago.

Then I went to B&H photo to handle cameras. Never buy a camera you haven't handled. Not that I'm buying, but I've been a new camera customer for almost three years now -ever since my old Canon a80 went. I've had borrowed cameras, and since last Christmas, I've relied solely on the iPhone 4S camera. It's good, but it cannot do it all.

The new cameras offer more and more of what I've been looking for, things B&H employees scoffed at me for suggesting during past handling trips. Small is good, so while I enjoy the feel of certain Nikon models, and while I'm comfortable with Canon systems, all their mirrored cameras are probably out. I enjoyed the ease and functionality of the Canon G15 and the size and looks of the S110, but I like the picture quality of a larger sensor.

Cameras are adding features fast. Buying one is a little like buying a computer (my iMac is 2004 vintage). Canon, Nikon -these say photography, but Sony exudes consumer electronics, and Sony's business is being destroyed by Korean businesses like Samsung (who's cameras are still weak). But they've been making cameras that do much of what I need and better than Panasonic, the consumer electronic company that really kicked open the small, interchangeable lens, larger sensor, mirror less, swivel screen door.

After disappointing all the sales people at B&H, I had a sit down lunch, nothing special, but time-taking. How unusual.

On my way home I needed to pick up some things for tomorrow's meal, this year being hosted by my Sandy-displaced cousin and his girlfriend in a borrowed apartment on Spring Street.

Jeff wanted beef, particularly tenderloin. I stopped at the halal butcher where I buy whole chickens, smoked steak, and occasionally filet mignon. I got that, but new signage encouraged me to ask about a whole lamb. I asked about a whole leg, and impulsively bought. I felt guilty, as if I had too much, but this is the most economical way to buy.

I spent some time on the phone looking for straw bales from Long Island farmers. No simple task, particularly with a mind for the bottom line. I gave up for the time, laid my head back for a nap.

As I type this on the mobile, I'm listening to the Freakonomics radio program. Have you listened to tonight's episode, about local foods? What do you think?

Incidentally, my leg of lamb comes from Pennsylvania, if my butcher is to be trusted.


  1. still have your hair? Are you theenkeen'?

    I only heard the topic of the Freakonomics show, not the show (I was too chicken), and wondered. I sometimes feel the same way. That we need to support global trade, and that it is still exciting to to taste foods from different countries.

    But fruit and vegetables seem different. I don't really want out of season produce, unless it's sub-tropicals in winter.

    I do like Italian muscat grapes...And lemons in summer.

    Yesterday a well-dressed woman walked in to Union Market and peevishly asked why there were no peaches.


    It blew me away because I've been living in this seasonal bubble where I think the rest of well-informed Brooklyn lives.

    Look at the trees, lady, I felt like saying - does this look like peach season to you? I had to admire the market for NOT having peaches.

    This year, above all years, I have sated myself on what is ripe, or ready, now. I loved it. And I look forward to the next thing, even if it's another five bloody months of apples.

    (I feel that lamb should at least be wearing a bikini.)

  2. A wee but raw that shot, eh?

    I buy what I need as I find it. If its not there, I guess I don't need it. I refuse apples out of season because I like to eat the skin and I can't stand the spot shine surface of store apples. I wait for summer for stone fruit. Lemons and lime all year.

    My two bits on local- it can be very expensive if your not reay diversified. But I think the thing that got me was the Levin (tt?) argument about growing your own. Listen and we'll talk.

  3. Oh and the hairs still there. But been theekeen for some time.

  4. Do you still need hay? i have a few bales.

    1. Diane,

      Hi, thank you for the offer. I need straw, because hay might well drop seeds and become weeds instead of mulch. Is that what you have? You can drop me an email at


If I do not respond to your comment right away, it is only because I am busy pulling out buckthorn, creeping charlie, and garlic mustard...