I journeyed to one of my favorite places in the city today: Lincoln Square. My accomplice? My friend Caroline. Lincoln Square, an area of the city populated by many Germans, is our tradition. I went for the first time a couple of summers ago with Julie and the boys, and shortly afterward found out that it’s the old ‘hood of Caroline, whose late mom was German. We go there once or twice a year now, and today was our combined “Caroline getting Thanksgiving goods from Meyer Delicatessen and taking Melisa out to lunch for her pending birthday” visit.
The last time we ventured up there (about a 40 minute drive with little traffic), we took Caroline’s toddler. It was, and Caroline will vouch for this herself, a disaster. I am quite tolerant of young’uns and their antics but frankly, she was not a happy camper that day. And neither was the baby. Ba-dum-bump!
We had decided to have a nice sit-down lunch at this German restaurant, but by lunchtime the baby had had enough of our little city trip. She was doing typical toddler things like dropping her crackers on the floor, throwing her cup, and generally making a nuisance of herself. Caroline was frazzled, and I was trying to just get us through our lunch unscathed.
We then went to the Meyer Delicatessen, which is normally a really fun place to visit. I enjoy getting German candy there to bring home, and Caroline always gets her comfort food stuff to carry back to the suburbs. That day, though…ugh. So we had just finished our lunch and Caroline wanted to buy her deli stuff and get out of Dodge. I, being the helpful friend that I am, held the toddler for her so she could move quicker. I walked around the deli, talking to her daughter who I held in my arms, and a young (very early 20’s?) deli worker approached me and started talking to the toddler. The deli worker looked at me and said, “Your granddaughter?”
Yes. That’s right.
Take a minute to digest that.
It was all I could do to contain both my inner rage and my insecurity. I said, “Uh, NO. She’s my friend’s daughter!” The girl sort of mumbled her apologies as she backed away slowly.
What a way to end the day. Horrified.
Of course Caroline had to send me a holiday card that was signed by her girls (the older one had been in school that day):
We miss you. Please come and visit us again soon!
Love, N and G
Ha ha, very funny.
So it was with great joy that Caroline and I decided to make another go of it today, especially because her husband was going to be home with the toddler!
We set off, totally giddy, and arrived up there in great time. We found a spot in front of a meter (yay!) and set off down the street. The first thing we noticed:
That’s right: Meyer Delicatessen is closed for business. WHAAAA????? This banner was hanging up:
I mean, we’ll give Gene a chance, but this was definitely a bummer.
We moved on, to Merz Apothecary.
Or, if you want it partially in German:
Caroline’s mom, every Christmas, got her a huge container of shampoo (or was it body wash? can’t remember) from Merz. When her mom died two and a half years ago, she really wanted to go and buy it for herself, so of course I volunteered for the trip. Caroline loves all body, hair, and skin products more than anyone I’ve ever known. She knows everything about all of them, and probably should have been a dermatologist or a stylist to the stars or something. And she could spend forever and a day at Merz. I love it there because it’s just pretty! All of the colorful packaging and scents make it a thrilling place to visit:
(I wish this was Smell-o-vision…)
We made our purchases, and then it was FINALLY time for lunch:
YUM. Caroline and I have been talking about this lunch for weeks. I didn’t even have to look at the menu. I was going to have the most delicious wiener schnitzel outside of Europe:
(Forgive the quality of the photo; I took it without a flash because I didn’t want to look like a total dork, taking flash photography of my lunch!)
And it didn’t disappoint. YUMMY. Our waitress (can you still call them that, or was she a “server”?) was a sweet older German lady who said she had been at the restaurant for more than 42 years! Caroline pointed out that she had worked there longer than MY AGE, so I think that was nice; I’m not sure.
We finished lunch with a piece of German Chocolate Cake, and then took off to come back to Suburbia. What a fun day!