For Old Times’ Sake

Some Saturdays are like good novels; you know you won’t encounter them often and that they come to an end, but while they last, they’re good for the soul.

I woke up to an overcast but warm Saturday today and greeted it with a bowl of cold cereal and a cup of hot tea. Then I ambled over to a studio that does zumba classes in Jackson Heights and managed to semi-salsa/merengue/belly dance/cha cha/rumba/samba for an hour. Then I ambled back home, filled with a sense of righteousness for having checked that off the list. (The righteousness was also buoyed up by the glimpse of a 2-pack rising in my otherwise decidedly non-muscular abs.)

Body fat temporarily conquered, I then proceeded to eat a substantial lunch at Indian Taj with an old buddy from my high school days who happened to be in town. Since he had a few hours to kill, we hopped onto the F train into Manhattan where we walked to Eataly, so my businessman friend could see how the establishment worked. Too full to eat anything, we ambled around the rows of preserves, pasta, prosciutto, pastries, pizza and everything else Batali has stuffed into that block.

Since my friend works in the clothing business, we also walked down 23rd street to the thrift store blocks near 3rd avenue, venturing into Housing Works, Cause for Paws, and the Goodwill. Unlike me, he likes to shop and ended up with a sizable haul (though the Goodwill wouldn’t sell him items in their window display because of some odd policy).

On the way back, he spotted a Guinness sign outside a nondescript bar and mentioned that he hadn’t had one since he had been in Hongkong over a year ago, so we stopped in for a pint. (Well, he had the pint; I was still too full from lunch so I nursed a glass of wine.) Cozy and dark, it was an ideal stopping point after a hard day of ambling around.

When we finally got onto the train to head back to Queens, we both agreed that a day with no tourist agenda, where all you do is wander through a stretch of Manhattan and swap memories of the old days is a pretty good use of a Saturday.

So here’s to occasionally breaking away from measuring out one’s life with coffee spoons…

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