I have a soft spot in my heart for the Gourmet Garage on 96th and Park Avenue, which is a little bit bizarre because like most NYC groceries, it’s smallish, over-priced and almost never has everything you might have on your grocery list. When I was pregnant with Alex it was the closest grocery store to our apartment on 91st street and as my pregnancy and the winter progressed my weekly Trader Joe’s runs became harder and harder and than stopped altogether. It seemed that every couple of days, I’d bundle up and walk up to the Gourmet Garage and get a rotisserie chicken, some spinach and a pint of vanilla Haagen Dazs ice cream. They play a nice mix of oldies and new pop and I loved to just drift along to the music, looking at the caviar and blintzes, the pastel striped raviolis, the coffee and nuts aisle before heading back home.
One of the things I’ve been working on the last couple of years, with mixed success, is enjoying wherever I am, whatever I’m doing — my work, my subway ride, the grocery shopping, or changing diapers (back when I did that!) because somewhere along the line I realized these things are what make up the bulk of my life, so I’d better find a way to enjoy them, or enjoy more of them. Which sounds overly simplistic, and some part of me wants to roll her eyes, even as I type this, and say how could that possibly work in real life but the truest thing is sometimes (not always of course) it really does work. Like tonight at Gourmet Garage, time slowed down as I pushed my basket mounted cart through the aisles, listening to the Rolling Stones, with the bright green pestos, creamy fresh pastas, soft pinks of prosciutto, salami, and hams all making me think of spring. I was 100 percent in my body, relaxed and present. It wasn’t my whole day, it wasn’t my whole week, but, for 15 minutes today I was all of those things and it was enough.
In grocery scouting news I also picked up a small wedge of Midnight Moon Goat Milk Gouda, which was earthy and rich when I got it home and devoured it on some crisp crackers with a side of salami and red wine. I had a vision of spring grass and social goats cavorting. Delicious and highly recommended (you can buy a huge wheel online, but I think Whole Food caries smaller wedges, too).