Comings and goings

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  • The East Side Observer pushed aside the bean soup and ordered another margarita. Photo: Taavi Burns, via flickr

East Side Observer


An OPENING not a closing — Great to report a new business on the block. It’s not yet open, but a welcome is awaiting the arrival of Otto’s Tacos brick-and-mortar on the corner of Third and 88th. It replaces Roma Pizza, which moved several storefronts north to a space three times the size. I’m not complaining (OK, I am) but since Roma’s moved, the service has slowed down. While the pizza’s just as good, it seems that the new spot is suffering from size. When Roma’s was in the smaller space, customers were crowded into one little corner spot, and the claustrophobia behind the counter may have caused the staff to keep things — like pizza and other orders — moving at record speeds. Now, in the newer, bigger location, it takes forever to get a slice or a pasta or a soda or anything. And the staff is forever chatting it up with each other as they walk back and forth behind the counter with nary a slice nor a pasta order in hand. Result: orders don’t arrive until there’s been a showdown between an exasperated customer and the counter staff with the customer stomping out or calling for the boss or manager to take matters in hand. Period of adjustment? I hope so. In the meantime... anyway, welcome Otto’s Tacos to the UES.

Goodbye again — This time to Pioneer supermarket on 93rd and Lex. Don’t know why it’s gone, but it is. Another neighborhood business is no more.

Razing redux — The block between 65th and 66th and First — west side of street — looks like it’s getting readied for a razing. All those storefronts boarded up. Maybe another tower? Maybe another — or series of — medical facilities? Only time will tell. New year. New culture. Out with the old. In with the new? Strange, but nothing’s new anymore. The same thing keeps happening. Tear down. Build up. Move outs. Evictions. No more small. All big. Everything looks the same. No more neighborhood distinctions. Now, the block 65th/66th Street block, in the immediate vicinity of Memorial Sloan Kettering on First Ave. is joining the going, going, goners. Maybe there will be an addition, or additions, to “hospital row”? Presently, on the same side of the street as MSK, there’s a medical diagnostic facility. Hard to keep apace with neighborhood demolitions and replacements in our 24/7 world of fast-breaking news and commercial development.

The spoon’s too full — So soup’s not on. This story’s about a soup spoon. Yes, a soup spoon. One that falls into your soup after taking a mouthful and then, when placing it into the bowl before the next go round, falls into the soup. Here’s how it went: Here goes. A pre-freezing December afternoon between stops found me lusting for a frozen margarita and a hot bean soup. Perfect place in the vicinity was Gabriela’s, on Amsterdam Ave in the 90s. Excellent libation. Heavenly soup. Struggle came with the bean soup which was served in an oversized crock bowl with an undersized soup spoon. Result: a minimum mouthful of soup and the too-small soup spoon getting lost in the soup. Reporting it to the waitress was useless. She’d heard it all before. Same answer. That’s the soup spoon. Take it or leave it. I got the message. Left the soup. Had another margarita.

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