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More Recipes: The Joy of October; Remembering Joey; Sangwich Numero Uno; Dear God, What Have I Stumbled Upon?; I Thank God for Baseball

by H.D. Manitoba

GET ON THE BUS THAT TAKES ME TO YOU...

It's a rare thing for me to take a bus in N.Y.C. Occasionally, when I'm in patient Manitoba mode, I'll grab a newspaper and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait and wait, and ... TAKE A BUS! Last week such a moment occurred. Standing on 41st and 5 Av. I decided to NOT be in a rush. To say fuck it, for once I'll try the slower gentler N.Y. I'll get there, when I get there. Next stop -- Willoughby!

So me and my fellow mellow array of shoppers, old folks and chicks not wanting to go subterranean stood and waited. One old lumbering pollution-spitting behemoth after another sputtered down the avenue, all heading to the wrong destinations. My California attitude was waning. I was about to jump in a fuckin' cab. Brooklyn busses, Staten Island busses, Javits Center busses, one after another came and went, came and went, came and went until ... AH-HA! EAST VILLAGE! Yeah baby -- this one's for me!

Quickly, I walked up the 3 steps, paid my fare, looked to the left and ... I'm on! The new kid on the block. While being gawked at by 30 comfortable bus riders who have already established their positions, I have to make a quick and accurate decision about the best seat available. I can't fuck up ... it's the key to your whole bus ride.

My eyes darted wildly, getting the whole bus "overview." Not knowing which seat I would choose, I walked slowly toward the back of the bus, taking in all the possible options. Though I was unsure, I walked like I owned the bus. It was crowded. I WASN'T gonna stand -- suddenly, I SAW MY SEAT! Way in the back there. Every seat around it was taken. People must have sighed, "Here comes this guy with 5 layers of clothing on. I hope he doesn't squeeze his way onto one of the 3 remaining seats." -- "Tough titties, kiddies!" -- I grabbed my back corner seat, opened my N.Y. Post and began to enjoy my bus ride home. Now it was MY turn to see how the "Newies" entering the bus would respond to "The Seat Challenge."

Always if you can, grab a back seat facing the length of the bus. You see EVERYTHING, avoid your profile, and can look out the window to enjoy the beautiful N.Y. scenery. So slow down (once in a while), fuck your watch and cell phone and ... TRY A BUS!

BEST FOOTBALL NAMES ... Peerless Price ... Yancy Thigpen ... Best Negro League name that could also double as a great blues band name ... COOL PAPA BELL ... I'm starting to include The Sopranos among my weekly TV habits ... My pal the writer, Nick Tosches, says ... "Leave It to Beaver is a better show" ... I wish there were 3 new South Park movies a year ... it was THAT good ... NEW YORK, the 10-hour special documentary by Ric Burns, shown on PBS, was a great work of art. It was educational, emotional, passionate, beautifully written, edited, paced and one of the greatest things I've ever watched -- including movies. WOW!

SNACK OF THE MOMENT

Baking pan ... slice a layer of plum tomatoes ... add fresh cracked salt, pepper and drizzle a LITTLE ex. virg. olive oil ... bake at 375 degrees for 10 min. Take out and cover with SHAVED cheese* to taste. Place back under broiler on high heat till cheese is brown and bubbly. Remove.

Eat as is or place on top of thin Italian or baguette slices (toasted -- drizzled w/ olive oil)

Options: Black olives, anchovies

*Acceptable cheeses: Reggiano, Parmigiano -- sweet
Locatelli, Romano -- sharp and pungent
Medium option: Aged Asiago -- a little sweet ... a little sharp

That's it from Snacksville, baby!

Ciao bella,
H. Dick Manitoba