Live Vegans And Other Diners

Live Vegan
Driving along Ocean Parkway Monday afternoon to give The Kid Brother a lift home after an afternoon of gambling and good New York deli food, San Geraldo noticed a bumper sticker on the car in front of us.

“Live Vegan,” he read aloud (pronouncing “live” to rhyme with “hive”).

“What’s that supposed to mean?” he muttered, “As opposed to Dead Vegan?”

I SAY, ‘LIVE AND LET LIVE.’

I turned in my seat and said, “I think you’re meant to read that as ‘live’ ” [rhymes with ‘give’], I explained and then said. “Liv Vegan.”

English. Spanish. Communication is always an adventure with San Geraldo.

Live Delis and Diners
Sunday afternoon, before Judy arrived, we had a wonderful visit and then lunch at Parkview Diner with some of my cousins who very generously drove a couple of hours from New Jersey and upstate New York just to see us. There were 10 of us (four generations) in all and it was a pleasure. (They even arrived with a box filled with artful cupcakes made by my cousin Evie’s 11-year-old granddaughter. The cupcakes were left over from a fundraiser for cancer care. They made a total of 500 and sold 300 at $2 a piece! In honor of my birthday and that of the Dowager Duchess (Wednesday), they put a wooden match in the side of a cupcake for each of us to blow out. (The Dowager Duchess had not one single candle in the entire house.) Sorry. No match-blowing-out photos.

Evie picked up my cousin Maxine and her son, Paul, on her way from New Jersey. Maxine and I keep in sporadic contact, but I hadn’t seen Paul in more than 5 years. He starts college in September and is warm, charming, and so gracious. Evie’s daughter Ellen, her husband, Allen, and their two daughters, Carly (14), and Brooke (11) drove down from upstate New York. Traffic can be (and was) awful at times along both routes. But everyone arrived all smiles. In addition to the cupcakes, Ellen, Allen, and the girls had a stunning vase of flowers for the Dowager Duchess, fresh mozzarella and pesto, and delicious bread. We indulged, but San Geraldo made them take the left-overs back with them. Much too tempting.

I’VE ALWAYS HAD A SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART FOR ELLEN.
HERE SHE IS WITH HER OWN DAUGHTERS, BROOKE AND CARLY.
ALL THREE AS KIND AND EXCEPTIONAL AS THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL.
CARLY DECIDED TO EAT LIGHT.   JUST ONE WAFFLE.
(CLICK THE IMAGES TO SEE HOW MUCH FOOD WE CONSUMED.)
BROOKE SMEARING CREAM CHEESE ON HER BAGEL AS CARLY LOOKS ON.
THE BLUEBERRY MUFFIN WAS [ALMOST] AS BIG AS BROOKE’S HEAD.
CHARITY CUPCAKES.  BROOKE BAKES.  CARLY COOKS. THEY HAVE A GUEST ROOM.
I TOLD THEM I WILL BE MOVING IN SOON.

Our friend Judy arrived from Seattle Sunday night. She’ll fly to Spain with us Thursday. We’re giving her a brief insider’s view of Brooklyn and we’re all enjoying it. The Dowager Duchess and Judy have known each other for years and are great friends. And The Kid Brother adores Judy because she’s even more of a baseball fanatic than he is. While at the casino Monday, we had lunch (as we always do) at the New York Deli. So good.


Note: Some of the below photos will not be pleasing to Live Vegans.

CREAM SODA AND A POTATO KNISH. 
PASTRAMI ON RYE.
JUDY’S CORNED BEEF REUBEN.

Monday evening, we went to a local diner, El Greco, in Sheepshead Bay, a neighborhood just east of the Dowager Duchess. I don’t know how many years El Greco has been on the corner of Emmons Avenue and Sheepshead Bay Road, but it was already well established when we moved to Brooklyn in 1964. It’s had its ups and downs over the years (earning the nickname “El Dreco” at times). It’s clearly on an upswing now. The service and food were exceptional. We had a waiter named Demetrius who I wish we could take home with us. The portions? New York size. Which means each plate held enough for two.

THE COMPLEMENTARY RELISH TRAY.
SOUR PICKLES AND HALF-SOUR PICKLES! 
MY FRENCH TOAST, WITH A SPANISH OMELETTE ON THE SIDE…
IN A GREEK DINER IN A PREDOMINANTLY RUSSIAN NEIGHBORHOOD…
IN BROOKLYN IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK, USA.

As we were leaving (and Judy and I were drooling over the dessert case) another customer told us El Greco serves the best cheesecake in the City of New York. Demetrius had already told us he makes the best banana split. That just might be dinner one evening before we head back to Spain.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

Share your thoughts and experiences. It's always nice to know I'm not alone.