Monday, September 11, 2006

Lower East Side, 5 Years Later

I lived in Lower Manhattan during September 11th, and one of my strong memories was a meal I ate only a few days after the attack. My brother had surprised me and journeyed into New York by train, despite my warnings against doing it, and I was so frazzled that I left my office in the middle of the day, and took him home. That night, not knowing what to do, we went to a restaurant nearby, Prune. There was something satisfying to sit together and have a civilized meal, and I felt calmed after eating, probably the first time in days. Moreover, the staff at the restaurant thanked us very sincerely for coming out, and keeping them afloat in that difficult time.

Today I found myself having lunch on the same block as that dinner five years ago. The kiosk near the F train has turned into an extension of Veselka, a East Village Ukranian diner. I enjoyed a kielbasa and fresh saurkraut sandwich on cibatta bread, eating al fresco on this strangely beautiful and haunted day. I was reminded that meals are a good time to gather people together, and I think I need to get some dinners with friends and family soon.

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