Churches and groceries

It was pointed out to me after a near-foray into Fairway, that I mostly like to go to churches and grocery stores in NYC. Earlier we did a tour of duty through Whole Foods at Columbus Circle, which was total madness. Imagine some form of food heaven, some sort of by-the-pound food mecca. Salads, meats, sweets, whatever. And literally tons of it. All for basically $6.99 a pound.

We wound around through possibly over a million people, oohing and ahhing after the fourteen different lettuces, the build-it-yourself tofu bar, the 12 stations of the Holy Watercress. (You see where we’re going with this, dontcha?) However, upon realizing that approximately half of the million or so people witnessing were actually in line, that we hit the up escalator and returned to the street.

Meandering along Broadway, Balducci’s was a different story, though. More great finger food, w/o the tide of humanity. And that serves well the Constant and Vital Search for Snacks that is my calling while in NYC, that NYC can so well afford, if not always my actual wallet. Still Balducci’s arranged for me this delight: one giant pan-seared scallop and a slab of sesame-something tofu.I had a minor pang asking for such slim treats to be served up pronto. With just a momentary lapse in eye-to-stomach ratio understanding, one could easily empty the bank. My requirements were that no fork be required, but I did feel a little bad disposing of the designer handle-bag, the custom air-tight container, the fork, the cloth napkin… Okay, so there wasn’t really a cloth napkin.

Groceries are my churches, probably. But churches are my churches, too. Once my friend Jeff, a similiarly minded, uh, secular spiritualist, confessed to his family church’s pastor that he liked coming into their church because it was a peaceful and serene place. And the pastor replied “That’s what we call the Holy Spirit,” which from a certain perspective is kind of dismaying answer that entirely missed the point of my friend’s appreciation of the space.

And I feel the same way. Churches are great—but mostly when they’re empty.

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