A Cheesecake Worth the Memories East Side Encounters

| 08 Aug 2016 | 05:31

Smart, smarter, smarting....bus time, UES. Local stops. Late afternoon. Getting busy. Hurried pace. Riders paying fares with coins, cards. Suddenly driver halts oncoming passengers and calls out for “that lady” - the one hurrying to the back of the bus who didn’t pay her fare. Several shout outs to no avail. The bus at a standstill; there was a rider intervention and the lady came forward. Driver told her she didn’t pay her fare. Saying nothing, she waved her hands. Driver said she’d have to leave the bus if she didn’t pay. As the back and forth raged on, passengers started shouting to get the bus moving. Whereupon the driver took to the wheel shaking his head as the nonpaying lady, wearing a wink and a tee shirt emblazoned with WORLD SAVVY, made her way to the back of the bus. Guess you have to read the large print.

The price ain’t right: Early Saturday evening, CVS, 91st/3rd. Candy section shelves tagged with bright yellow 99 cent sale tags. Original prices $1.67 and $1.99. Good time to buy. When I got to the self-serve check-out only the original price rang up. Pushed the button for assistance. Along came the manager. After explaining what happened, she said, “Oh no, the machine is right. The sale signs were for the next day but the staff was told to put up the signs on Saturday because they would be too busy to do it on Sunday.” Oh. So the customer’s the last to know. And what about if the sign says that’s the price, isn’t that the price? Guess not at CVS. Weird, very weird.

For the good times - trips down memory lane: Miss Grimble’s Cheesecake. To die for. More than 20 years ago there was a bakery shop on Madison Ave on the UES called Miss Grimble’s where Sylvia Balser Hirsch’s marbled cheesecakes were the rage. Light but creamy. Hadn’t seen the name in years until having dinner at Frankie & Johnnie’s newly opened steakhouse on West 46th Street’s Restaurant Row. Owner Peter Chimos told us that he’s had Miss Grimble’s marble and regular cheesecakes on the menu for 40 years and includes the Miss Grimble’s name because it’s the gold standard for quality...next came Hopjes, those hard little coffee (koffie) candies from Holland wrapped in white wrappers with brown logo. Irresistible. Found them at Yogurt & Candy World on Lexington Ave. in the 60s just north of Bloomingdale’s. They’re tiny and sold by the pound. Fond memories of grandma bringing them every Friday in a brown paper bag. Now they come in a clear plastic bag. Glad that hopjes are still around but not sure I’m ready to abandon a U.S. version, Nips, which are wrapped individually in plastic and sold in a box. I get them at CVS, Duane Reade. Hopjes have a more intense flavor... And last but not least: seated at a flip-top desk at a lecture in a college venue, I flipped the desk top and voila, gum on the underside. We don’t always get to choose our memories, do we? It was all good. And I’m thankful for them.

Purina takes a page from the Kardashians - or how to seduce your pet’s palate: Purina has taken a page from the sex sells domain of the Kardashian family in marketing their new gourmet food product, Fancy Feast Classic Broth. The broth and by-product free ingredients are packaged in glossy envelope packets with bluish or pinkish lettering describing the offerings - from Tuna & Vegetables to Wild Salmon & Vegetables to Chicken, Vegetables & Whitefish to Mackarel & Vegetables. And writ along with the ingredients is the sales pitch that the gourmet blending is swimming “In a Decadent Silky Broth.” To think that my three cats, Betty Boop, Gracie Allen or Molly McGee, could be seduced by decadence in their diet is more than I can fathom. Me? I sure don’t want my kits ostracized. So I bought one packet of each and watched them go at it. Not a slurp, but it was all gone in a NY minute. And I could swear I saw baby Molly smiling.