Eating Fresh in NYC & Paris
Midlifebloggers.com is featuring my 30-trek through New York City. It’s bringing back a lot of wonderful memories for me.
A recent comment left by one New Yorker spurred me to look through some old photos I had taken on the day I walked through her neighborhood, Washington Heights. I came across this one, a plate full of fresh vegetables and fruits I had bought from a local street vendor that particular day.
A little history: The apartment I rented for the month I was in New York had no kitchen ~ only a college-sized refrigerator and a coffee pot. This was the only apartment I could find in the Village that was within my budget.
A Facebook friend assured me that I wouldn’t miss cooking. After all, she had lived in Tokyo for nine years and had survived quite well without one. If she could do 9 years, I could certainly survive for 30 days. So off I went, a box of cereal and a pound of coffee packed in my suitcase . . .
Each Saturday morning I walked down a few blocks from my place to the fresh market at Abingdon Square. I so clearly remember the tough decisions it posed. “Do I get a mushroom quiche or cherry tart for breakfast, freshly squeezed orange juice or hot coffee?” The cheeses and freshly baked breads, the brightly-colored vegetable and fruits . . . oh! I had to constantly hold myself back from buying more than I could consume for following week. I won’t mention the bouquets of fresh flowers, the lilac sachets, the homemade soaps.
There were a few times I needed a fix of meat. I stopped by the little family-run neighborhood grocer and picked up a baked chicken or pack of sliced salami. But bottom line, I went an entire month eating fresh salads and good, in-season fruits. I discovered new types of cheeses and yogurts. Homemade granola and cold soups. And I drank lots and lots of water, no Cokes nor sweet tea. My diet drastically changed out of necessity. I never felt better.
The lessons I learned while in New York were life-changing. Even though I will have a small kitchen in my apartment in Paris, I look forward to a break from the Publix and Kroger. I’m anxious to return to eating fresh from open-air markets, to treating myself to a hot chocolate croissant from the baker down the street, and trying new farmhouse cheeses, or fromage, from the neighborhood cheese shop. IF I can get myself out of bed at 4am, this might be my first stop in town: Rungis, the world’s largest fresh food market.
I can hardly wait. Ten weeks and counting . . . til I leave for Paris.