Or as I continuously called it yesterday: Strain Meet. Strain Meat. I wanted to walk its distance from Roosevelt Avenue to a finis unknown. I did not know for certain where Main Street ended. I’m still not convinced I found its denouement, though it felt pretty final. This felt like an end at Queens Boulevard, the Briarwood E/F station with is seductively slithering hallway made noisy as fuck by some screaming/singing teenagers. I don’t know where I was going yesterday. I just wanted sun on my face, and earth beneath my feet. The day before was similarly desultory, with a directionless stramble through Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, made complete by the brain-piercing irritant coming from an ice cream truck nearby. Who tf accompanies the mighty Unisphere to tinkly, twinkly prickly ice cream jingle music? It deserves some kind of symphonic tribute and a light show, though it was daytime and not suitable for lights.

The Unisphere starts to feel like it is made of silver bread. I have always wanted to eat it, to eat the world one country at a time. Not figuratively, by eating the Unisphere. But starting some north or south and simply devouring the dirt, the sidewalks, the granaries and the schoolhouses. Someone needs to start this project, where humans eat cities for no purpose save for nihilistic satisfaction of turning our mouths and hungers into weapons, into landscape-changing instruments. There can be no reason to physically consume an office building, or a church. This is why it must be done.

I had the unfortunate experience of experiencing diner cuisine yesterday. Diner, formerly a stape of my culinary laziness, have slowly exited my radar. They’ve become absurdly over priced, the gritty, everyman atmosphere no longer suits me, and as yesterday’s experience affirmed, the food is like dirt. A grilled cheese w/bacon is a staple of the American Diner, nicknamed the Jack Benny who was famously pennywise and purchased whatever was cheapest. How would he respond to a $14 sandwich with bread nearly burned, barely a full slice of cheese, barely 2 strips of bacon, and with cole slaw that tasted like chopped paper. The pickle spears were a welcome respite but the coffea, at $3.50 for what looked like a 4oz cup, tasted like dishwater. I knew to expect this quality of food so why was I even there?

I placed an order out of guilt. The place had a couple of payphones inside the front door and I didn’t think it was good manners to walk in and snap pictures of those phones without making some kind of purchase. For the purchase I could have taken a safer route. Maybe a bowl of soup would have been less repellant. But I went with my former stand-by from when diner’s were reliable places for reasonably priced grub. I don’t even like bacon anymore. This I discovered a few months ago, when bacon on a cheeseburger felt like a greasy intrusion.

The payphones were in near-mint condition, but with contact info for whoever left them behind skillfully redacted. I had reason to think I might be able to determine what payphone service provider of yore once owned these phones but it was a lost cause.

Payphone at a nasty diner in New York

On other payphone detail I found that the venerable Rockefeller Center phone had no dial tone, joining the other venerable Manhattan phone at 14th Street/Union Square in being, for the moment, useless appendages to the wall and steel beam to they respectively cling. Calling the numbers returns a busy signal, which is a hopeful sound, at least affirming that the phone itself is not disconnected. But when will that dial tone return?

Other adventures of these past few days include meeting a friend at a bar to discuss, mostly, his father-in-law’s passing and matters of the estate. Jewish burials are required with 24 hours of death but that deadline (huh huh, deadline) was not met and no one seemed to care. We compared some notes on my handlings of my father’s estate. I had virtually nothing to do with mother’s affairs, but they were quite simple. The friend’s estate issues sound relatively complicated and time-consuming, similar to my father’s.