Thursday, March 12, 2020

SOL12: Helping a Local Business During Coronavirus

Yesterday I listened to a program on public radio. It was 1A, and the host was interviewing businesspeople about how the pandemic is affecting their business and their employees.
            One of the interviews was with Emanuele Nigro, owner of a restaurant in Greenwich Village, called Osteria 57. Nigro made the obvious point that restaurant workers cannot work from home; he said the restaurant had started serving lunch and had created a special takeout menu.
            My pharmacy is very close to that restaurant, so since I had something to pick up at the pharmacy, I decided to try dinner at Osteria 57. I wondered whether it might be crowded, if others had heard that program and had the same idea I did. Fortunately for me, there was plenty of room.
            The food was delicious, a crusted branzino fillet with a pesto-coated salad, as well as delicious brussels sprouts. And I could not resist trying the “vegan souffle”: denser and more solid than the traditional mousse with eggs and cream, but chocolatey enough to fully satisfy.
            Plus—I tried to read in the low light, and the woman at the next table noted that was difficult, she’d tried it herself in the past. Then she asked what I was reading. I showed her the cover: The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu. (Look it up, it’s fascinating.) She was excited: “I’m a librarian,” she said.
            “My daughter’s a librarian,” I exclaimed. “Where are you a librarian?”
            “At an elementary school,” she said. “And where’s your daughter?”
            “At the Queens Public Library, Jackson Heights branch,” I said.
            We bonded over that. And she made a note of the book.
I’m participating in the 13th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at TwoWriting Teachers. This is day 12 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


  1. How wonderful that you not only support a local business, but you bonded with someone over books!

  2. You are obviously a nice and generous person to go an support a restauranteur after hearing about his recent struggles. I also love that you connected with another diner over a book! And, I love librarians! I have many librarian friends! I'll have to look into that book you were reading! Thanks!

  3. Sounds like a nice lunch! It sounds so nice to sit with a nice meal and read, but the conversation sounds nice too.

  4. I've been ordering food for lunch at work -- trying to stick with Chinese, Thai, or Vietnamese as a pushback against racist nonsense. My bank account's a little smaller as a result, but I'm okay with that.

    And that book sounds great!