Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dinner, Dessert

My winter CSA share is half over. It’s once-a-month for four months, December-March, and everything comes frozen. Winter Sun Farms in New Paltz is organizing, drawing in produce from area farms. I had the 16oz of papaya squash, grown by Evolutionary Organics in New Paltz, the last two nights. Since it came pureed, it was just a matter of thawing, heating, and seasoning (salt, pepper, a drop of maple syrup). A darker orange than the butternut, very tasty, although I may have added too much syrup the second go around. Thawing results in a separation of water from the fiber, but it all blends back together on the stove. Distribution was nine days ago, and I still have peppers, pureed tomatoes, kale, butternut squash, raspberries, and strawberry to go. Some of the other sources: Meadow View Farm, New Paltz; Stone Ridge Orchard, Stone Ridge; W. Rogowski Farm, Pine Island; Phillies Bridge Farm, Gardner; Brook Farm, New Paltz; Hepworth Farm, Milton; Taliaferro Farms, New Paltz. If I had a big freezer I could do it all myself...
The dank basement of Cooper Union held me in it’s old school thrall, complete with blue lockers, made in Conn., regimented against the wall. I was waiting for Wollman Auditorium to empty out and the event I came for to begin. Some kind of lecture pushed up against the witching hour; it was by someone a good half century older than most of his audience, about the computer programming language C. Several students hung out afterwards getting the book signed. The audience was 98% male.

Next! I was there for a panel about New York Calling, the anthology about NYC’s rough transformation in the last quarter century, from burned-out husk to McMall. It was not a success (the panel; the book was good, thanks again CH!); there were major technical issues, it wasn't very focused, and started half an hour late. Also, Marshall Berman did not look well. The editor, whose introductory essay is the best thing in the book, Berman had trouble walking/standing and holding up his leonine head. Vaguely untrustworthly Wikip puts him at 68 years old, but he looked in his 80s. His sweater, however, enlivened the room in a grandfatherly acid-trippy way: pale purple-blue with huge sunflowers. Turn it down! I’ll always be indebted to him for cluing me into Marx’s near Shakespearian rift on the fearsome transformative powers of capital in the Manifesto, “all that is solid melts into the air, all that is holy is profaned” (his translator probably helped here). Forgotten NY's Mike Walsh was present. And this photographer of the underworld. And Margaret Morton, who has done much to make sure the homeless are not forgotten.

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