Thursday, March 3, 2011
Early Wednesday Evening in Williamsburg: Sign of Spring? Outdoor Tables at Famous Gyro World on Metropolitan Avenue
We were wearing thermal long johns under our jeans this morning at 7:30 a.m. as we exited the Columbus Circle subway station to go teach one of our favorite novels, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, to the brilliant students in our Texts and Contexts: Cold War Literature class at Fordham University at Lincoln Center. The CNN sign said it was 20 degrees and the wind-chill factor was probably about 12 degrees, so today still feels like the heart of winter to us.
One of our students walked in singing "Baby, It's Cold Outside." We asked him how he knew that song, and he said, "My parents are very old. My father will be 60 in June." When we mentioned his teacher would also be 60 in June, he said, "I meant to say my parents are very young." (Happy 80th birthday today, Mom!) Anyway, we old people OG types seem to feel the cold more sharply than the young'uns.
So we probably shouldn't have been surprised when we ventured out just before 6 p.m. to get some yams (one garnet, one jewel) for dinner at Sunac -- unlike Ellison's IM ("I yam what I yam"), we don't have Petie Wheatstraw on the street selling down-home sweet potatoes -- when we passed Famous Gyro World on Metropolitan Avenue near the L train entrance and saw two tables outside, each with a glass of water and a straw. We wondered who'd be crazy enough to think anyone would sit outside eating souvlaki or a gyro in this cold. Sidewalk tables are for spring, after all.
So a few minutes later, one old man was surprised to see that on his way back from the supermarket, someone was sitting at the outside table with his gyro and drink. Maybe spring will be here sooner than we think.