It was a Friday afternoon as I was exiting the 2nd Ave F train stop. I missed the light and looked left to see Rust and Daughters. And I went. I always found the owner to be rude with poor manners. But I wasn’t going to go up to Zabars on the Upper West Side.. So I went.
I entered and I immediately spotted the author and queen procrastinator Fran Leibowitz in all her New Yorker waiting online. Not wanting to invade her space, I avoid eye contact even though I wanted to tell her that the guy who bought and then closed down the Checker factory has Alzheimers. And I wanted a written excuse from her to give to my clients as to why my work wasn’t finished. But I didn’t. I observed her afar, heard parts of her order, Norwegian Salmon, olives and pickled tomatoes. I just waited my turn and ordered the pickled lox with onions and cream sauce. And just for a minute I felt what it might have been like to be Fran Leibowitz, avoiding work while buying deli. Only in New York, only in New York.