New York City Blog March 24 – March 29


Ever been to the underworld? Ever read The Inferno? I’m feeling the afterglow of Sicily and all its classical illusions: temples to Persephone and to Heracles; churches that were once dedicated to Minerva.
Agrigento. Hercules's Temple
Agrigento. Heracles’s Temple
In NYC we’re lacking in classical ruins but we do have a version of the underworld and it’s called the Chelsea Market. Unlike Hades these are shops burrowed into the cavernous ninth avenue structure. Virgil would have had a field day. Chelsea Market’s dark, uneven, winding corridors are crowded with people milling about looking determined or lost. I was among the lost circling back and forth in the semi-darkness, searching for Buon Italia. As I passed the euphemistically called waterfall that resembles an open drain, I found it, finally. What a shop. With a low ceiling and no windows, packed with Italian delicacies and knowledgeable employees it seemed other worldly, a magical apparition. My quest was to find Sicilian goodies. Working my way through my 401K, I bought different cheeses:  Ainuzzi, caciocavallo ragusano, caciotta, canestrato vacchino, peccorino. I planned on serving them with different kinds of honey: Fiora Alpina, with the consistency of floor wax, Aneto, Mandarino, Cardo and mostardas such as pumpkin. The Sicilians often serve this instead of dessert. My final indulgence was a lovely serpent green olive oil.