School Lunch ~ Then and Now
Yorkville 1962: in 2nd grade the St. Stephen’s school lunch program was like a daily visit with a raging toothache to the dentist without anesthesia. The list of crimes is endless: brown meat, green meat, cheese with teeth marks in it, soup so bad it made strong kids cry. Wax beans, Yellow beans, rock hard beans and a room temperature boiled egg on every tray. There must have been a sale on aging celery cause it showed up in most foods. In the windowless lunchroom, a nun stood guard making sure you did not talk and ate everything on your tray, or you devised food escape routes (some more clever than Steve McQueen's).
Yorkville 2012: I’m sitting on an 82nd Street stoop a week ago. A stylishly dressed girl about 8 years old strolls past me with a cell phone and she’s frantically texting the Gettysburg address to a friend. Her mother in four-inch heels engaged on an iPhone trapped to her ear while carrying packages and a knapp sack was 10 feet behind the daughter when she broke off her phone conversation and yelled out to the princess, “Did you finish you sushi at lunch today?”
That’s when my 50-year-old nightmare came back to me. I’m still mad at my mother for two things: throwing my gorgeous Yankee Stadium model away (murdered while dusting) and sentencing me to school lunch.
Our next "City Stories: Stoops to Nuts," storytelling show at Cornelia Street Cafe is Tuesday, November 13th @ 6pm. Our artists: Michele Carlo, Julia Joseph, John Newell and Tim O'Mara. Admission is $8 and that includes a free drink. Come down to the Café, nuzzle in and let the telling take you away.