Posts Tagged ‘Fallout shelters’

I’ll Trade You Two Ice Creams for A Bus Ticket

June 27, 2008

-I left St. Croix last week for my yearly excursion to New York City, my former home. Gentrification is everywhere. While savoring a $6 scoop of gelato, on the Lower East Side, ( when gelato was known only as ice cream ), I noticed this very old sign, still affixed to a very old building.

-Before Orange Alert and Heightened Security Warnings, there were fallout shelters. They were essentially windowless, basement rooms in apartment buildings, suitable for bike and camp trunk storage. In the event of threat of Soviet Missiles aimed at our city, we could descend to this subterranean den and survive on its’ well stocked larder: Bottled water, crackers, toilet paper and aspirin!

Initiated by then governor Nelson Rockerfeller, an expample of fifteen million of our 1958 tax dollars well spent to protect our citizenry from radioactive fallout with acetaminophen.

-I thought about the extremes in contrast this urban mecca is. Adjacent to the Lower East Side is Chinatown where you can buy a bus ticket from NYC to Boston, 200 miles, for a meager $15 on the Fung Wah Bus.

-Somewhere in the middle of too little and too much is just perfect- The Union Square Greenmarket, where you can buy organic cheese, chickens, eggs, beef, breads, pastries, flowers, varieties of carrots in Crayola colors and fresh lavender tied in fatly compacted bundles.

– These really caught my eye: Varieties of RADISHES! Who knew?

-By the time radishes, plain, red, pedestrian radishes reach St. Croix, asphyxiated by plastic wrap and their 10 day journey across the sea, they’re bitter, old, and ready for the compost heap.

Next week starts the museum circuit with my good friend, host and marvelous artist Judith Wolfe.

She defers to my epicurean tastes, and I in turn, get the lowdown on the best movie reviews, museum shows and all things New York.