Friday, November 4, 2022

Brown Greens and other New York delicacies

I say a lot of negative things about New York for a guy who doesn't live there. I mean, the last few years I've spent 8 months out of the year in the harbor pretty much, and that means I spend time flying in and out of the city, staying in hotels for crew change, plus going ashore and to the office about once every 10 days or so for food and supplies and such. So I spend some time there. That is why I hate New York so much. Because I spend a fair bit of time there. 
       I appreciate that people used to love it here. And some of the older folks, they have a lot of memories here that have deep meaning to them... and there are people who are attracted to the lifestyle New York offers. Great, more power to them. 
   Positives for me? I can find whatever ethnic food I want here. OK, that's actually kind of cool. And hey, all the people means that I have a steady job here. 
 Now, some of the containers on the ships that I'll bunker are refrigerated containers. So that means they're bringing food in, but I see a LOT more food being moved on the reefer ships in the Philly/Delaware City area, where there are refrigerated containers on deck, more than you see in NY, and the holds of the ships themselves are refrigerated, so palletized and breakbulk food AND containerized food is kept fresh. The cold storage warehouses in the Philly/ Del City area must be numerous and massive. 

  Still the millions of people here in the city, by the time the food gets to them, the shit's old. 
    Fresh lettuce purchased in NY lasts between 2 and 6 days, at least from what I've experienced these last 10 years. After a bit of time, it turns brown.  At home? 10 days to 2 weeks.  
    Back to the positive column, all these people means that there are many fresh produce stands and markets, and the smell there... is divine. Seriously, that's worth the price of admission right there. One of the few positives- I tend to do a quick pass through a couple of fresh produce markets on my walks through Brooklyn, although I no longer get to do that very much. 
      So, long story short, after 10 days aboard, I am waiting for a ride ashore to load up on green stuff. We've been doing without for about a week and I'm tired of frozen vegetables and canned shit. 
   In a lot of ways, I expect living in NY is a lot like living as I did in Boston as a kid. The suburbs were nice, and far enough away from the insanity of the city as to make it pleasant. I suspect that our shoreside and office staff here, out on Long Island and in the NJ suburbs, live just fine as is, in a manner that would be similar to where I grew up. And really, that's not too bad. I wince at the thought of a daily 2 hour ride home, but I did that plenty of times in the Boston area. There were days when I fished out of the Cardinal Medieros dock in South Boston that it took me 20 minutes to drive in before the sun came up, but 90 minutes to get home, and I survived just fine. Well, I hated it and yelled a lot, but I tolerated it. I think part of the reason I chose a less well-traveled path in life was to avoid traffic.  
     At home now, with the post-covid migration into nice places, we've got a LOT more people, mostly from the northeast, moving in. Traffic has definitely increased. Jokes on them, though. You should see the northerners white-knuckling it when traffic is bumper-to-bumper and everyone's going 80.  It is funny that I bitch about traffic jams because 95 was slowed down to 70mph with all the lost refugees from NY. 

1 comment:

Judy said...

Hubby and my older brother both hauled produce into New York back in the day. I assume it still operates the same way. They would pull up to the dock. They opened the doors to their reefer units, and there they sat until the load was degraded enough that the outfit that was doing the buying could get the price they wanted to pay for the load. Both of them, after losing a load like that, would pull forward after the load was inspected and close their doors until someone showed up with a forklift or pallet jack to unload. There were usually words spoken, because they didn't leave their doors open. Needless to say, when they got the opportunity to haul different freight and not to New York, they jumped at the chance.