When I was younger (much), I
could wander Manhattan and be
what any neighborhood required,
so long as I stayed south
of 110th Street or north of 155th.
I was Greek ordering gyros,
Russian at the Tea Room,
Italian along Mulberry and Canal,
although in Chinatown I was just
someone who wandered a bit far
from the heart of Little Italy.
I could order deli at the Stage
like a local, and complain
about the pastrami no matter
how lean it actually was,
and lift a couple of pints
at Tommy Makem’s Pavilion
listening to trad music late in the night.
Now I walk around man made
lakes in Florida, and cook
the ethnic foods so lacking here,
a bit of heaven, but really,
Cheesecake Factory is not now
and never will be fine dining.