No walking tour, no strolling around today, because – as announced in my previous post – today was a work day.
I used the morning to answer emails and file collected stuff from magazines – and write a post about the invention of a weekly work day. It was great fun to do the photos of my purchases and my collected stuff. First I tried to arrange it all in my room, but failed. Then I used the table in the common room, Booboo curiously marching across all my stuff on top of the table.
When I felt like lunch I decided to use the “cold” day for checking out Polish food. My Brooklyn Cookbook had mentioned “Polska Restauracja” in its Greenpoint chapter as a restaurant run by a Polish woman without an English menu but good Polish food. I had spotted three Polish restaurants so far. Two of them having big menus and suits of armor placed in front of the entry door, what gives them a touristic appearance – unless tourists are rare in Greenpoint. The third one is called Christina’s Restaurant and looked much more family run. And the marquee showed “Polska Restauracja” at one side, so I assumed that Christina might be a descendant of the former owner mentioned in my Brooklyn Cookbook and entered the place.
The interior is pretty dark, has a big bar, booths on one side and tables on the other side and in the center. I was greeted by one of two young waitresses – in Polish. I told her, that I’m sorry, but I don’t speak any Polish. She apologized and told me – in good English – she had assumed I was Polish. Do I look Polish?
I did not order the set lunch but cold Red Beet Soup and Pierogi filled with cabbage and mushrooms afterwards. The waitress asked me if I wanted them boiled or fried. Asked for her recommendation she said she preferred them boiled. I followed her suggestion. The soup was really good and very refreshing. The Pierogi were nice as well. An interesting thing was people watching. Most guests probably were polish. At the table next to me a party of three women and a man were sitting, speaking a language like Polish. In the corner by the window a group of men were talking, looking Polish somehow. At another table however an Asian family was eating. Several younger women on their own walked in why I was there. A blond woman appeared behind the bar, wearing an apron and looking bossy somehow. I assumed she was Christina, the owner of the place. Food was good and it was a nice experience.
However I still did not know what Kielbasa was like. So, audaciously, I walked into the Polish Meat Market, where I had bought the Polish Salami earlier and asked for Kielbasa and what I could do with it. The girl behind the counter could only tell me that the dark one was smoked and the lighter one was spicy and “to fry”. Her slice of English did not allow more information. This will stay an enigma to me. Why don’t even young people have the ambition to speak the language of the country they live in?
I took a spicy Kielbasa and a small bowl of kale salad – curious about kale in a salad.
In a fruit market I bought a quarter watermelon, bananas and proper yoghurt, in the Chinese store on Manhattan Ave I picked up Polish beer, thinking with my Kielbasa I should have Polish beer. Finally I bought a booklet with lined sheets for my writing classes.
Back home I had a little chat about widening shoes with Nichole – who after all is a shoe designer – and spent the rest of the afternoon reading on the roof deck.
The Kielbasa was good. Sort of what we in Germany call “Krakauer”, the kale salad didn’t taste like kale but was good as well.
When it started to rain I went inside and rearranged my room. I made the huge leather armchair my writing place and moved the other – higher – table in front of it. This works out well. Booboo came in to examine the changes. Can someone explain cat language to me?
Well, to summarize my work day I was not as productive as I planned to be. But I got some good advice about research from the writing magazine I had bought, I found out that there are about one hundred books about Greenpoint in NYPL, I set up a frame for my neighborhood project and the idea of having a work day every week seems to be a good one.