May 14, 2004

New York to the rest of the country: go soak your head.

Here's Sam Sifton leading off his "Diner's Journal" entry in the NYT:
There are times in this city when the pulse rate quickens and sweat breaks out on the brows of the citizenry and it seems for one horrible moment as if everyone in sight is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It's just you, though.

In another place — in the cool sylvan embrace of Portland, Ore., say, or under the dappled sun of Charleston, S.C. — people so suffering would go home and soak their heads. In New York City, they go to restaurants. Restaurants of a particular sort, that is. New Yorkers are nothing if not precise in their self-medication.
It turns out, there are restaurants in New York that serve comfort food! And people there eat as a way of tending to emotional stress. How very urbane! I must try that sometime. Now, now, now, don't be so sarcastic, I hear the Voice of Sifton chiding me: in New York, comfort food is "a perfect Venn diagram of spice, salt, sweet and nutty." So are you Sam! That was perfectly delightful. I'll keep reading.

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