new york city’s latest accused subway shooter, mr. frank james, post attack, had the opportunity to take in the city and the culinary offerings. mr. james decided for breakfast, a chinatown restaurant “dimes” and katz’ deli for lunch. dailymail.com
google describes dimes as “eclectic, health-conscious californian-style fare dished in a minimalist, white-&-blond-wood space.” katz’ has been described as serving up “legendary pastrami, corned beef and jewish deli classics.” katz’ deli was the location for the famous scene from the movie “when harry met sally.”
mr. james was a prolific youtuber. having viewed a few of them, i can attest that they were both troubling and ominous. mr. james, if you have not seen his arrest photos, is not one to have missed a meal. he appears both well nourished and obese.
given that, his food choices on that day are interesting. he was a hunted man. he knew that these meals were likely to be the last he would ever have as a free man. with that in mind, he chose a health conscious california style food as well as jewish style offerings as his final meals. what is to make of this?
prior to his alleged shooting, was he a fan of healthy food? did he enjoy jewish style food? did he search out the food that he found comfort in?
where his food choices one’s of turning over a new leaf? was it time for him to change and think about healthy eating? was it time that he explored ethnic food to begin to appreciate it? or, was it simply that these two restaurants considered some of the best offerings available irrespective of their specialty?
were his food choices a message to him and to others? were they meant to be transformative?
my pathway down this folly leads to what many will be taking on tonite, the first night of passover. will the passover offerings a source of change for us individually? the seder offers many foods that can be viewed as transformative. there is the unleavened bread or matzah, there are the four cups of wine, there is the bitter herbs or maror, and there is the brick like apple dish which is called charoset. we will be eating the same unleavened bread that the slaves ate after their freedom. we will be intoxicated and perhaps experiencing a sense of freedom. we will be tasting the bitterness of slavery. we will be eating a dish to remind them of the bricks that were made during slavery.
each person sitting at a seder may ask themselves as to whether these foods consumed during passover have any transformative effect upon them? while they are reminders of the past, will they be something to humble us? will these food items inspire use to strike out for cause of freedom and justice in the world?
thought for food. food for thought?
in sum, for those celebrating having a happy passover! good friday! happy easter!
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note: since this post, the owner of katz’ deli reviewed security videotape and did not find mr. james on the film. he asserts that mr. james was never in the restaurant. the news account, more likely than not, was bogus. nypost. com