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01/28/2005: "soups and curries"

It's 21 degrees out right now but feels like sub zero. I've been cooking away to keep the place and myself warm for two days and getting exhausted. We're selling lots of soups and curries. I made super hearty and delicious mushroom barley soup this afternoon. I was also experienting with soymilk hot pot which I'm supposed to present to a reporter from a Japanese magazine tomorrow. It also came out so well.

"quite frankly i love you" is another graffiti I found on the side wall of Rite Aid on Grand and Clinton streets. People have been taking pictures of "seriously i love you" on the garbage bin next door.

The fabulous self-cleaning cat litter box stopped working only after a month in my possession in the middle of a cleaning cycle, with the rake in the high dumping position and lid for the waste receptacle wide open. I had a hell of a time cleaning it up and taking some parts apart so it would fit back into the box. Then Petco arranged a Fedex pickup for the return, which I was waiting for days and days. "They came Wednesday morning but the package wasn't ready." "What do you mean it wasn't ready? I've been waiting for the pickup for two weeks now." "They'll be in your neighborhood in 30 minutes, so please have the package ready and leave it outside." "I'm in New York City, I can't leave a package outside. It will vanish in 10 minutes!" Things get stolen even from my hallway, like my newspaper this morning. They got to be kidding. My neighbor just told me someone got killed on Clinton Street, right behind us. "Have you been watching over your shoulder?" He asked. No, not enough. I've been too comfortable in my neighborhood and I forget bad things still happen. Like my friend Jose was held up at gunpoint on Chrystie street one sunday afternoon last year. It was less than 10 years ago that my friends were uncomfortable coming to visit me in the Lower East Side. We forget too soon.

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