Posts Tagged ‘hot’

NYC Schools — Hot Hot Hot in a September Heat

Many — if not most — of the NYC public school classrooms are still not air-conditioned. Newer schools have central air-conditioning, and in most of the older schools, only the principals and some administrators enjoy office window air-conditioning units. Although the Department of Education tries its best to use as many AC-equipped sites for summer programs, often they have to use non-AC sites as well. It’s not easy to motivate kids these days, but even harder in summer, and harder still in hot classrooms.

I taught in such a school up in East Harlem. The building was competed as part of the WPAduring the Great Depression. When we had a hot June, students would take Regents examsfully equipped with frozen water bottles on their desks.

So, during the last week, I have been thinking of NYC’s public school students and teachers in those hot classrooms on their first week back in the classroom. And it’s not going to be much better this week, as we hover around the 80s until the middle of the week.seal of the NYC Dept of Education

Cuisine of Africa: Merkato 55

I always said that you could get cuisine from every part of the world, until my trip to Africa in the 80s. It was then that I realized that there was one continent underrepresented in the world of NYC cuisine– Africa.
There were a few Ethiopian eateries and, if you knew where to go, you could scout out a few places serving up dishes familiar to Senegalese immigrants [a friend once brought me to the back of a Theater Dstrict deli, where a woman in African garb stirred up a delicious stew in a huge pot, surrounded by tables occupied by Senegalese street vendors on their lunch breaks].

Now, the hot place to get into, is Merkato 55, at 55-61 Gansevoort St. in the Meatpacking District, and is a far cry from the back of that deli . Tne NY Times reports that Merkato 55 is “a bold adventure, ranging across the entire African continent”
It is the creation of Marcus Samuelsson, of Aquavit fame. But Samuelsson, who grew up in Sweden with his adoptive parents, was born in Ethiopia. Merkato 55 is not an Ethiopian restaurant, though. The renowned chef manages successfully the daunting task of bringing together dishes from all parts of the continent, drinks named for African dances, and decor featuring batik wall hangings and blow-up photography of African markets [the restaurant’s namesake is an open-air market in Ethioia]

All this, and a Meatpacking District locale, make Merkato 55 a coveted NYC reservation.

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