Wednesday, June 16, 2010

field trip

My older son, Jack, is in that sweet spot between school and camp. Today, we took a field trip to the east side of Manhattan to check out . . . a world-class museum? um, no. a beautiful garden? nope. Those are absolutely places to see, if ever you decide to visit the east side of Manhattan. But we went for tacos and snow cones.

In the mornings, I like to sit next to my kitchen window, drink coffee, listen to WNYC (Yes, Ira Glass, I am a member), and look at the newspaper. This is pretty much right on top of Broadway traffic, so it isn't all that peaceful, but it makes me happy. This morning, I saw this article about shave ice.

I called Jack over to read it, because I had just recently confessed to him that, should all my other work-related plans fall by the wayside, I have a back-up: An ice-cream truck. (My truck will have special slushy-ice-and-frozen-custard concoctions that people will line up for blocks to eat. No college-tuition worries here!)

One of the spots featured in the article was Cascabel Taqueria, on Second Avenue. We decided to go. If you are curious, we walked about a mile south from our apartment and then took the 86th street crosstown bus. Here is our joint review:

Food: Okay, we both ordered the same thing: Chicken tacos. We realize that, had we been more adventurous, we would have a little more to say here. I suppose that professional reviewers order one of everything, but they have food budgets to work with. And here's the thing - the waiter told us the chicken tacos were the best. Which of us would NOT want to eat "the best"? And they were delicious chicken tacos! In Jack's words, "they have a kick, but not too much of a kick." Also, see the fresh limes! Added great dimension. And the double-walled construction made for relatively easy-to-handle tacos.

Jack liked the "masked wrestler" theme. It was, in his words, "interesting." Rebecca wanted a bit more space and a napkin dispenser that didn't take up half of the tiny table.

Rebecca thought everyone was lovely and seemed to be in a great mood. Jack agreed. And at one point, we were given little brown bags that held a treat - a crispy cinnamon-curry smelling tortilla. We are saving them for later.

Snow cones: Jack ordered "the Mexican" (vanilla, nutmeg, chocolate). Rebecca had the blueberry-pomelo. One disappointment: They did not come in the pretty cups pictured in the article. And there was a conspicuous lack of sprinkles. But they were very delicious - fresh and crunchy, great flavor, nothing artificial-tasting. Next time we want to try the flan. Because there will be a next time!


LaurieA-B said...

One of the best, very best things about being in New York is that you can read about some amazing place and then go right to it. In 2002, during a brief vacation in New York (I live in Seattle), I picked up the New Yorker to read during a solo dinner. I read the now-legendary article about Shopsin's by Calvin Trillin. The next morning, I was at Shopsin's, and Eve Shopsin was bringing me pancakes and orange juice. Such wish fulfillment. Thank you for sharing your adventure with Jack.

Anonymous said...

I would love to go to that place and try the snow cones and tacos! I gotta run, but I will leave more comments soon!

Anonymous said...

Rebecca, you've been telling stories about a regular day in your life. I want to share what it's like for a regular school day for me here in St. Louis. I wake up at about 7am and go downstairs to the kitchen table. You see, I am homeschooled so I just do my schoolwork right after I wake up. I usually finish the schoolday at around 10am. After that, I get dressed, brush my teeth and hair, eat breakfast, and play on the computer or watch T.V. until my mom is done running errands, or until around noon. Then, I go outside. I either hop on a scooter or grab my helmet and ride my bike. Or rollerblade. After a little bit, I eat lunch. Then either stay inside or go back outside. A little bit after 4pm, when my neighbors come home from school on the bus, I usually go to the top of my neighborhood (the bus stop) and wait for them. They go to their houses, drop off their book bags, grab a skateboard or bike or scooter, and we ride and play until dinner. After dinner, pretty much no one can play because they're in the showers or getting ready for bed or just having family time. Then, I go to sleep. It's nice falling asleep at night because I know there will be time to relive that day over again tomorrow. There will be time.

Rebecca Stead said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for sharing your day. And your wonderful writing!

Anonymous said...

Miss Stead? Mrs. Stead? Rebecca?
I don't know what I can call you, but I do know that your book, When You Reach ME, made my day and my son's. He's 10 1/2+. I took out the book to see if it was something "appropriate" to read. Turns out it was not only appropriate but also most excellent. Which brings me to your blog. I just love the way you write! It is very inviting. There is nothing snobby about it! Thanks for giving me a book and now a blog that can put a smile on my face! PS. I always liked A Wrinkle in Time and now your book can have a place on my shelf ( or my son's )and have the honor of being one of the few books I will reread!!!
Have a great rest of your summer with your family!

Rachel L. Vitz
known as Rache to my friends and family

Rebecca Stead said...

Thanks so much for writing, Rachel - I'm happy that you and your son enjoyed the book - Hooray!

(and call me Rebecca.)

Anonymous said...

Hi Rebecca,
I am in Seventh Grade and this summer we read your book When You Reach Me. We also made a blog about your book! Our whole class loved the book! If you want to look at our blog the website is An advice you can give me would be great!

Seventh Grade

Anonymous said...

Hi rebecca

What is your daily life like?

Anonymous said...

Hi Rebecca! I love your book. You've talked to my friend Alison who goes to the same school as me, St. Pius, and I just wanted to let you know that I loved your book and pretty much my whole class did too. I was wondering if you were working on a new book? You don't need to give much away, but if you are I will, for sure, read it!
Thanx, Danielle *(:*