Wednesday, March 26, 2008

NYT Reads

I'd like to share with my loyal readers, all two of you, some thought-provoking articles I've read this week in the New York Times.

How to Survive New York on 99 Cents. This is basically a foodlit article on 99-cent grocery stores in Manhattan. I had no idea there was such a thing as a 99-cent grocery store, but apparently you can concoct a pretty fancy meal with only five dollars of cash money in your pocket. The author seems a bit too daring though, living on the edge, messing around with 99-cent discounted (I take it to mean old) food items and all. I am glad he at least "dodged" the 99-cent ham cubes.

Can Sips at Home Prevent Binges? This article considers whether or not parents can or cannot, should or should not, introduce their children to alcohol at home, with a taste of wine at dinner here and there, in order to prevent teenage binge drinking outside of the home. Interesting.

Now I grew up in a home where wine was not a stranger at the dinner table. Usually drinking was reserved for special occasions. Every time everyone got a refill, and maybe a few times in between, glasses clinked and toasts were mandatory. Granted, a special occasion could be the purchase of a new couch, a shopping spree at the mall, a good report card, a promotion, a new research paper published about squid eyes, et cetera. Milk at dinner is an entirely strange concept that I view as just another one of those eccentricities of American culture that I will never understand. If American culture were a person, she and I would argue bitterly over the concept of milk at dinner. It would probably end in tears.

So I grew up in a home where the school of thought was the traditional European view of fully including adolescents in the meal and allowing them a taste of alcohol. And look how I turned out! Just kidding. I did not drink with friends in high school or the first half of freshman year. But soon the pressures of peer and school got the best of me, and also I was just plain curious about being DRUNK. Of course it is fun, of course it can be not fun if you overdo it. I am proud to say that I have never blacked out, never want to black out, and would never look at blacking out as a badge of honor. Binge drinking lots of crappy beer can be fun. Sipping on a fine glass of wine can be fun. In conclusion, I will leave you with a Finer Club Things homework thinking question: If you had grown up with alcohol in the home, how do you think that would that have impacted your later drinking behaviors? Part II: If you DID grow up with alcohol in the home, do you think your later drinking behaviors were impacted in a positive way?

Morning or Afternoon, There's a Kettle Brewing. Another reason why it seems reasonable that I would love living in NYC, even though I probably wouldn't. This is a travel article on teahouses and tea spots in Manhattan. Not so much practical for today, but filed away for future reference. The one tea spot that I have been to in NYC is Alice's Tea Cup (thanks to Alison). Cute teacups and saucers that all mismatch (fierce!) and a long list of teas for any mood or flavor preference.

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