Sunday, May 8


Just something I started writing on one of those "Can't sleep nights":

He worked at the local deli on the corner of 4th Place and Court Street in Carrol Gardens, Brooklyn. Situated between a greasy pizza spot and a new yuppie Thai restaurant, Spunnani Deli was the oldest commercial building on the block. Walking through the front door, the faint smell of home made soppresetta and mozzarella sank into your mouth and gently stung your nostrils. Great orbs of cheese hung motionless in the air among the movements and vibrations of customers zooming in and out. Occasionally the older customers would linger, proudly announcing the accomplishments of family members while noting their personal ailments and failing health. 30 year old Italian women with bad hair and worse wardrobes stood with sarcastic impatience waiting for their orders, one or two children dangling from their legs, arms. Faux Hipsters with high paying jobs would patiently wait on line for what was described as "The best fresh and smoked mozzarella in New York City."

Thurber liked the food there but didn't distinguish much flavor difference from Spunnai's mozzarella and any other he had tasted in his 23 years of life. He would go home each evening around 8pm after closing the store, reeking of cured meat and cigarette smoke. The arrangement with the owner allowed him several breaks during the day in lieu of a single lunch break like the rest of the staff. One of these 10-15 minute breaks would usually include a Marlboro red, sucked down to the filter not allowing a morsel of tobacco to go wasted. Other times he would sit on a milk crate in front of the store with a hunk of fresh baked semolina and an old Ceramic dish partially filled with fine extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and some coarsely chopped fresh garlic. He ate quickly but with grace, effortlessly tearing the bread with his thin long pencil like fingers and timing the last piece to clean the bowl perfectly.


At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does that place really exist? You did a fine job of making me want to go there. :) An interesting start to a story.


At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you like to eat a lot? sure does sound like it...

-the kebab king

At 12:04 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

that place and character don't exist, hence the title of the post.. FICTION!

But there are several specialty Italian markets in my neighborhood which are similar to what I described.

At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so there's several specialty italian markets and you've memorized every single piece of meat or cheese hanging from them?

-the kebab king strikes again

At 1:41 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Kebab King, you can run but you probably can't least not in your apartment if you happen to live in a 200 square foot sized one.

At 9:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, is possible for a story to still be fiction while taking place in a non-fiction place, if the character is not real.


At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might not be able to hide in my 200 square foot apartment, but I can huff and puff and blow your door down as the rich get richer your door gets weaker..

-return of the kebab

At 3:14 PM, Blogger Tree Trunk Ho Slappa said...

The story might be fiction but the place is totally real. Although I always considered the little Italian shop to be more of a specialty store than a deli. Their salted mozz. is AMAZING!

The only fiction in the story is that the faux hipsters live closer to Cobble Hill

At 4:54 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

I don't think there is a really a deli named "Spunnani" is there? You may be thinking of Caputo's which is right near 4th place. I realize there are plenty of places similar to the one I describe in the area of Carrol Gardens.


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