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  • Photo: Gerald Rich, via flickr



East side observer

BY ARLENE KAYATT

Paper values — Here’s the good news about The New York Times’s print editions — their subscriptions have increased at least tenfold since the November election. My only hesitation about cheering is that the news vendors who sell print media will be losing out and those of us who buy the newspapers will be too. Part of the ritual and fun of the print newspaper is going to the newsstand, reading all the tabloid and tabloid-y headlines and magazine covers — from the sedate Time and Atlantic magazines to the less-so People magazine to the unabashedly outrageous, lurid National Enquirer headlines — and going home with a handful of newspapers in a plastic bag (that may be ending, too, if the 5-cent charge for plastic goes into effect). Just hoping that the upswing in subscriptions won’t end newsstand life.

Let’s talk tuna — One doesn’t necessarily think of tuna on a warm bagel when they think of Dunkin’ Donuts — but, truth to tell, it’s pretty good. The bagel’s a little too big, but the tuna’s first-rate, and the price is right even though it may be higher than at another Dunkin’ Donuts location. Surprisingly — at least to me — prices of the tuna sammys varied from one Dunkin’ Donut store to another. In some locations they were $3.99. In others, $4.59. Calories were always 580 — and said so right alongside the item on the fluorescent-y menu over the counter. With rents soaring, food carts up and down the streets and in parking spaces opposite brick-and-mortar restaurants, take-outs, bodegas, what’s a business to do? Raise the prices, of course. What I couldn’t figure out, though, was why a particular location had a higher or a lower price. The Dunkin’ on Third Avenue near 55th, a commercial neighborhood during the day, charges $3.99 for the tuna, and the one on Third near 89th, a residential neighborhood, charges $4.59. Either price, it’s a good value, but why? Or maybe why not?

Deliverance — An ordinary encounter in a residential elevator foretold a tale that gave me pause. I’d say it brought a tear to my eye, but that leaves me open to ridicule. In an elevator ride in my apartment building came the real-time realization that, at least for the next four years, life on planet America is on a collision course. Four adults were in an elevator going home on a weekday evening. A fifth was making a take-out delivery to one of the apartments in the high-rise. He was wearing a helmet and an orange-y flak-type top jacket, the uniform of restaurant deliverers. Neither the helmet nor the jacket had an ID. One of the adult riders asked the young man, “Where are you from?” Caught unawares, the young man fumbled and said in a quivering voice, “I’m legal, I’m legal. I go home and get papers.” Something tells me that, if there was a restaurant ID on the jacket, the question would not have been asked. And if it had been, the reaction would have been to give the name of the restaurant. However, in post-Trump America, some people are on high alert. No way to run a country. No way.

Guilt by vet — A recent visit to the vet for my 5-year-old brown tiger tabby Mollie McGee and 15-year-olds Betty Boop and Gracie Allen was thumbs up. Betty’s diabetes is under control. So is Gracie’s renal problem. Betty gets her insulin twice a day. Gracie gets subcutaneous shots. Betty and Gracie get special medicinal food plus Fancy Feast Classic. Mollie gets only the Fancy Feast. Thank goodness. And then they all get some rotisserie chicken. After the vet conveyed the good news about their good health, she let me know about the new broths that Purina has added to their Fancy Feast by-product free offerings. I didn’t get to tell her that I wrote all about it several months ago when I described the seductive sounding gourmet selection packaged in glossy envelope packets with bluish or pinkish lettering describing the contents — from Wild Salmon & Vegetables to Chicken, Vegetables & Whitefish. Now Purina has added Purely Fancy Feast, a cardboard covered plastic container with Natural Tender Tongol Tuna Entree in a Delicate Broth Plus Vitamins and Minerals and similar sounding offerings. Price for the privilege of 2 oz - $1.49 to $1.59 at Petco. Betty, Gracie and Mollie leave their plates clean. Gracie and Mollie share a package. Betty gets one for herself. It’s a treat they get every so often. It costs. What can I say — they have a vet advocate.


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