Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sunday Jan 27

Busy here and there
jumped in to [both] my sisters
for a moment.

I met again the good
girl at Malicks's Rest.
and escorted her home

Certainly there are more
good ones but so rare


Matt's Notes

I imagine the "good girl" is the same one Papa met at the Zeire Zion meeting the previous night, though whether he made a date with her or simply ran into her at Malick's Restaurant is unclear. To escort her home was, I think, a gesture of intimacy for Papa (in a previous entry, he had unkind words for women who left a party with un-"gentlemanlike" men they'd just met) but he hardly seems smitten since barely mentions her before turning to speculation on what other women are out there.

I'm trying to figure out what Malick's restaurant might have been like and what Papa would have eaten there. According to "New York Jews and Chinese Food: The Social Construction of an Ethnic Pattern" by Gaye Tuchman and Harry G. Levine, Jewish restaurants never got much fancier than the "gourmet delicatessen with formica tables" (an ambivalence toward Diaspora food could be one reason why Lower East Side Jews wandered into nearby Chinatown for culinary solace) so Malick's was probably a crowded little ground-floor eatery with pickles on its tiny tables and blintzes on its menu. More to come about this, I hope.



2/6 - My mother adds:

Our family wasn't very big on eating out very often, mainly, as the article you referred to states, because in our neighborhood, the only kosher restaurants were delis and my grandmother could cook everything better herself, except for pastrami, corned beef, etc, which Papa preferred to bring home. There was one horrible looking Chinese restaurant, which our parents shunned. Reba [my mother's friend] and I used to eat lunch there and then smoke loose cigarettes. (Bold)!

As far as I know, Papa didn't enter a Chinese restaurant until I was in my late teens, and then only ate sub gum chow mein (all veggies). My grandmother never would eat Chinese food, since she was convinced they used cats and mice as their staples.
Getting hungry?

1 comment:

  1. I wonder, would a kosher restaurant have blintzes on the menu? Granted, I didn't live in the City, but the kosher restaurants I knew as a child were for meat; there was never dairy available. "A corned beef sandwich and a glass tea."