When I moved to NY a few years ago I noticed things about people and thus, myself. One of the most important pieces of advice my dearest friend of over 2 decades gave me during my Welcome to NYC Beeyotch dinner was a loving and concerned warning:"Don't touch anything. You'll get malaria."
I took that to heart. I didn't sit on subway seats, especially after I watched a homeless man urinate there. No worries. I learned early on from my homegirl Orphan Annie that 1) bright red is only cute if you are around 4.5 years of age and by like 5, you should consider some Clairol #24 and 2) when you gotta go, you gotta go.
I also began to pay closer attention to the way people move. Ever thought about how we try our damndest not to have eye contact with strangers, to say hellos in the hallway at work or how annoyed people get when a stranger's head falls on their shoulder on a cramped flight. (BTW, that's usually my ass. Apologies.)
What's up with that? Are we just so germophobic and peoplephobic that we jump at moments of human contact, however insignificant?
The only exception to this rule, I've found, in my little humble ol' life is when there is a line. We like the formulaic quality of a line and the idea that there is an order to it all and better yet a purpose, ie to get into that sample sale and have a first go at the half-price jeans, to cop the best seats for the artist with the lazy eye who sings to your soul, or well, whatevs, you get the point. The beauty of a line is that in lines, people don't mind getting close, bumping into each other and doing the awkward "I'm sorry"s. Really in a line people, including myself, don't seem to mind the idea of maybe catching some stranger's malaria.
I was thinking about this today as I got in line at Chop't. I've been missing NYCish things the past week and when this opened up down the street from my office I thought it was Jesus talking to me. For those lucky enough to know what Chop't is, go ahead with ya damn self! If not, it's a healthy fast food joint with some of the most expensive vegetables known to mankind. I'll tell you how it works so if you are ever blessed to get into one you'll know the order of things.
First, you get in, of course, a line. There will usually always be a line if you are normal and like to eat lunch before dinner time. There you will find before you an awesome plethora of ingredients available for your salad. This will also give you time to create a masterpiece of a lunch. All sorts of vegetables, meats and cheeses and even smoked tofu can all be added to your salad by a nice salad artist that will rush you through the process of choosing toppings and following your salad to the end of the line where your salad will change hands to the chopping artist who will chop the bejesus out of your greens and add a dressing of your choice. Be sure to tell him "when" or else it will be a soggy, sorry mess of veggies. And ta-da, faster then you can say romaine he/she will hand you your salad creation with a smile. You need to get a smile at the end cause you've been just officially been robbed. I haven't left Chop't without a bill of at least $10 bucks but I'll be honest and say that I've always left full and mostly always happy.
My salad, on the right ran me a cool 10 bucks and with the soda on the side it pushed it over the 13 buck line. Chop't carries Boylan fountain sodas. These sodas are made of pure cane sugar and other all natural goodies. And really how can you honestly go wrong with diet cream soda? Just looking at this picture makes me so happy with life I'm not even sad that I'm eating at a messy office desk with my to-do stack spilling over onto my romaine, crumbled egg, beet, avocado, fried onion, rocket fuel thai-curry dressing beautifulness. The bread they give on the side aint to shabby either. More like pieces of sweet tortilla if you ask me but still yummy with my salad. I'll be really honest here, dear readers (Do I have plural readers yet?), and say that I really wasn't working and was for sure on People.com. Now that I'm done with salads, can we talk about how Nicole Kidman still isn't showing yet? I'm concerned and will pray about it tonight, definately.
I'll tell you the one downfall from this salad. Well maybe I won't since I want to keep you interested but if you are unfortunate enough to be in line with me one day, my apologies for the stank. Hey, at least it aint malaria!