Monday, July 23, 2012
It's All Greek to Me
Ah, yes, Greece, ancient cradle of Civilization! I've never been there; why, I haven't even been to Athens, Georgia! But, remember, 'twas the Greeks who gave us drama queens, fashion, Steve Reeves, Lysistrata, same-sex dalliances, that big lez Sappho, urns, yogurt, constellations and philosophy. And, so, in my attempt to deal with extreme heat and to exercise my Greek-like hedonism, I've been indulging in Ben & Jerry's Greek Frozen Yogurt. So far, I've tried the quite tasty Blueberry Vanilla Graham and the extremely excellent Peanut Butter Banana. (I've yet to sample -- by which I mean wantonly devouring a pint of in the course of a night -- Raspberry Fudge Chunk and Strawberry Shortcake, but they're on my short hairs.)
It seems only appropriate to indulge in something Greek now that I moved to Bay Ridge which was traditionally, and still is to large extent, a big, fat Greek neighborhood. It's so Greek, a man here has recreated Crete in miniature inside a glass shack on his lawn.
The 83-year-old's miniature Crete is beautifully recreated. My friend, Tracey, who's visited there, said it looks exactly like the island, down to every detail. Plastic ships, goats, cypress trees, although I don't think the real deals are plastic. "[H]e has fashioned a remarkably detailed, homespun re-creation of his native land, Crete, out of thousands of pebbles, shells, thumb-size figurines - whatever came to hand. The result is an eye-catching pop sculpture that pushes the boundary between hobby and folk art, attracting a steady flow of admiring gawkers in this close-knit neighborhood of modest homes and yards." I didn't see the famed Minotaur there, however. No matter, I think Mykonos might be more my speed.
Nebuchadnezzar. And I know that king wasn't Greek. But, then, neither are ice cream franchise kings Ben & Jerry! Do we have any Babylonian communities in Brooklyn? Only on Long Island, as far as I'm aware.
I don't know if Greeks live in the Shore Road palaces, but the avenue is the Mount Olympus of Bay Ridge. Gated, private entrance ways, marble driveways, patios, pools; it's like Ben & Jerry for the eyes.
And, so, it's delicious Greek food from the restaurant next door, Everything Greek, on their summer patio out back. I ate there the other week for the first time with cousins Walt and Sue, after being tantalized by the restaurant's whiffs in my apartment since December. Out here in Bay Ridge, you better believe it's becoming all Greek to me!