Like arctic geese, we tend to migrate over the oceans in seasonal patterns, which means we are in New Jersey again. Like geese. A family thanksgiving dinner, and an unveiling ceremony for my Mom's gravestone brought my boy Aron over from Europe (thanks Pam!) and then it is Black Friday (Ka-ching! for Mammon in All His Glory) and suddenly... Christmas Season!
|Her Majesty, Queen Pamela of Tenafly, and the Baby Yoda.
|The Gibson Mandola that should be mine. Please.
|Andy Stein and Bill Kirchen, Lost Planet Alumni
|V and T of Hackensack Prosciutto, Mozz, and peppers.
Good indicators: tables full of firemen having lunch, woman at the counter had an Italian accent.... and so we ordered the classic meatball with mozzarella and a prosciutto mozzarella with pickled peppers. Took them home and went to work. Now, these are classic American Italian subs - Italy has its own subset of sandwiches and these are not them. Nuh-uh. First off, the meatball of America is not the polpette you meet in Europe. American meatballs are whopping huge baseball sized hunks of meat, and we got five of them in one sub roll, smothered in tomato sauce with melty house made mozzarella cheese (which was extra.) We saved half for my Dad's dinner and still it filled us up.
|Not a thing of great beauty.
I used to work on a garbage truck in Hackensack - yes, hanging on the back of the truck as we rolled down route 46, running behind garden apartments and slinging huge metal cans into the back of the truck. For a few months of my life I was built like a triangle. Every day we would stop at an Italian deli and pick up their garbage (which was illegal for city trucks) and get paid with huge overstuffed Italian sub sandwiches. The drivers of the trucks would take them home and deconstruct them into small sandwiches and I would usually just bring mine home. In the midst of all this we had a terror attack on a Jewish grocery in Jersey City a few days ago that was tragic, but also utterly New Jersey. All of the elements of a classic New Jersey fuckup were present: insane Black Hebrew Israelites, Satmar Hasids so isolated that they could not react to news unless it was translated from Yiddish, armed paramilitary cop brigades marching past the bodegas and botanicas of a Dominican neighborhood. All a twenty minute drive down the road from here. It should be an interesting Christmas season in New Jersey.