8/04/2005

displaced. misplaced. replaced. it's been a strange six weeks that i've been away (back?) in the states and now that i'm in italy again, it hardly seems like i've even left. i'm convinced it's because this little town (italy in general? greater europe?) and america (no, not just new york) are such disparate realities -- not opposing realities, because that would be reconcilable. the one's existence seems to make the other impossible or just a figment of my imagination. i don't know if that makes it all easier or harder. i spent all that time fretting and working, eating and thinking about eating and taking photos of things i've eaten (which will appear here at some point i hope). i spent it on too many planes, trains, a few cars and much of it on my feet. but also on more than a few couches. i saw 'happy endings' (excellent), 'the wedding crashers', 'how's moving castle' (eh), 'march of the penguins' (lovely), 'batman begins' (awesome), 'charlie and the chocolate factory' (not bad, not amazing) and 'crash' (amazing). i caught up on 'entourage' and 'six feet under' but now i'm behind again. i saw andrew bird, the hold steady, out hud, les savy fav, deer hoof and the decemberists at the intonation music festival in chicago and stars, the sadies and the new pornographers at the prospect park bandshell. i read -- and fell completely in love with -- alan moore: v for vendetta, watchmen, the league of extraordinary gentlemen, vol. 1 and vol. 2 and a volume of swamp thing (which one, i can't remember, and i liked this one least). and in america, i ate. a lot. so much in fact that i'm not really even hungry any more. that aside. i finally, finally realized yesterday that the produce IS better in italy. i'd spent much of my time in the states hunting down what i thought might be the best of the summer's peaches and nectarines. i paid $1.29/lb most recently at the korean lady's produce stand down the street in brooklyn last week for flavorful white nectarines that had a fibrous-verging-on-mealy texture and a little too much tartness to rate as exceptionally good. i bought four (organic, local, blabbedy blah) peaches and a pint of blueberries at the fancy ass green city market in chicago -- for the horrifying amount of $9! i think that warrants another exclamation point: -!- and none of it rose above mediocrity. but yesterday, my first actual day back on the continent, i went to my very little, very old, hunched-over piedmontese man by the first pillar at the humble covered market in bra and picked out 4 beautiful peaches. he tossed another in to make it a kilo -- for €1 (or about $1.22). and these, my friend, are the archetypal peaches of summer: firm fleshed but tender, innocuously fuzzy, deeply perfumed (of roses, honeysuckle and jasmine) and saturated with an astonishing flavor that yanks a nearly forgotten memory hidden deep in the recesses of the hippocampus to the surface -- a memory of what peaches, real, live, actual factual peaches, taste like. i nearly wept, but i laughed instead.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this phrase is great: "innocuously fuzzy".

8/04/2005 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger foo said...

oh honey. come to california. we have real produce here.

(i am not making claims that it is better than italy though.)

8/04/2005 04:04:00 PM  
Anonymous daisy said...

at the right moment (though not as long as in italy) you can get the good stuff here in boston, too. i promise.

8/09/2005 04:43:00 PM  

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