If the measure of a good day in the city were the number of bridges and tunnels one uses to take full advantage of each borough’s offerings, we would have scored quite highly this weekend. We missed out on perfect marks for skipping the Bronx.
In one outing, we found ourselves navigating the Holland Tunnel, the Williamsburg Bridge, the Kosciuszko Bridge (gazuntite), and the Manhattan Bridge on our tour of the boroughs.
We would eventually end up in Brooklyn hanging out with a college friend and her family, but we decided to build in some stops along the way. After all, it was sunny and warm, and we had hit our fire-in-the-fireplace quota for the season.
Stop 1. The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop. It’s an odd thing to sexualize a shop that is not a sex shop. What makes a shop gay? Are all the employees gay? When a patron orders 2 scoops, can they only serve same-flavored scoops? Sure, there is a unicorn painted on the wall, and there are campy ice cream flavors like the Bea Arthur ice cream and the Salty Pimp, but maybe they could do with piping in some Big Gay show tunes or build on a Big Gay Backroom for some Big Gay Fun. I’m all for supporting the gays, and I’m pleased they’re representing our people in a positive way, but I was hoping for a bit more gay. The boys were happy enough with their ice cream, but much as we tried to use this stop as an opportunity to celebrate our Big Gay Family, they couldn’t care less what the name of the shop was.
Stop 2. Russo Bakery in Maspeth, Queens to pick up some bread for dinner. This was Gabriella’s family’s bakery growing up, and she shared with me some memories of those days. “Apparently,” Gabriella informed me after we bought our semolina bread, “Russo bakery was involved in laundering money for the international Pizza Connection gang in the mid 80s. The Joseph Bonanno organized-crime syndicate had been smuggling about 330 pounds of heroin a year inside tomato cans.” Gabriella went on to tell me that this had nothing to do with her schoolmate Lenny’s uncle who was shot in a coffee shop around the same time. Lenny dated her cousin Rosalie (Little Ro, not Big Ro), but that didn’t end so well. She was also unclear if one of that other restaurant owner that was found in dead in a trunk was a part of the Pizza Connection, as well.
Suffice it to say that growing up in the northern suburbs of Chicago, there were few stories about money laundering or men in trunks. That’s not to say that there weren’t shady people and untoward behavior, but gossip usually revolved around plastic surgery and whether or not there was a tennis skirt worn so short at the local grocery store that there was a pube spotting.
Stop 3. Brooklyn for dinner. Gabriella is blessed with amazing parking karma. I wish I could calculate all the money we’ve saved (and then immediately spent) on parking garages after my Gabriella has found street parking. In New York City. In the mini-van. My wife knows how to cram herself into tight places, that’s for sure! If you think that I’m alluding to anything sexual, you’d be misguided as there is nothing tight left after 2 births. I did, however, become markedly aroused after she maneuvered the mini-van into this spot without so much as brushing the other cars. I had to snap a shot. I’m a proud wife.
I’m also a proud wife watching Gabriella cook with my friend while her husband and I took our place on the other side of the kitchen island. It’s only right that the Korean and the Italian should take responsibility for dinner. When Ashkenazi Jews claim p’tcha as a delicacy, it becomes clear that we are not to be trusted preparing food. Ew.
We said good-bye to our friends, our primo parking spot and the boroughs as we drove through the Holland Tunnel once more. The boys were wired from a great night and entertained us with their knowledge of the solar system. Asher is obsessed with Uranus. Did you know that there is a ball of gas inside Uranus? Me, neither. Good times.