Saturday, June 21, 2014

On Organic Flowers and Other Stuff

For those who come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there
In the streets of San Francisco
Gentle people with flowers in their hair - John Phillips of "The Mamas and the Papas", 1967

Can I get a bacon and egg roll with no aioli?
And instead of aioli just some oregano.
And no bacon.
Can I get a field mushroom instead please?
And instead of egg can I get avocado?
And can I  get no roll? - Adrian, Bondi Hipsters The Life Organic, 2012

Three geraniums, Manhattan
One of the good things I like about living in America, is not having to talk in complete sentences. And of being able to use the generic "stuff" for almost anything. It's like you don't have to think.

The other "Stuff" in this post's title is a restaurant review. The restaurant in question is "Jones Wood Foundry". Jones Wood Foundry appears to be run by a (another good Americanism)  "bunch" of English people, has dreadful service,  and is on 76th Street just off York. On second thoughts, I wont review it. It is not worth it. I just wont be going back...

I have a friend who used to peal off the little oval "organic" labels stuck on individual  tomatoes at the supermarket, in order to pay the cheaper price of the regular non-organic poisonous ones.  A bit ironic actually. How does one know if something is organic? By the label? Imagine if we are all going around paying an extra 50 cents per tomato just because of the label.

NYC Organically-Labeled Tomato
I was thinking of my label-removing friend yesterday when I went to buy geraniums from the plant store  at 93rd Lexington. The same day as when I went to  Jones Wood Foundry for dinner.
It was obviously not my day for good customer service experiences.

I always like to have tubs of red geraniums on my balcony in summer in New York. They give an Italian feel to the place. I can pretend  I am on holiday in Venice or Florence.

So when I happened to see geraniums for sale at International Plant Center, I picked out three and took them inside to pay for them.

There were no other customers, but the guy behind the counter was chatting with a friend. In real life, not even on the cell. I am used to having to wait for attention when what are called "associates" are chatting on their cell phones. But the Plant Center guy was talking to a real live person.

I waited for a few minutes and then the man behind the counter gave an annoyed-sounding sigh and stared to ring up the sale.

Brilliant Red???
It was then that  I noticed that the label thingy stuck into the soil of one of the plants indicated that the flower color was going to be pink. "I'll just change this one as I want them all in red," I said. Apologetically as I could sense that his friend was hell-bent on finishing the  conversation I had interrupted.

The guy-behind-the-corner was getting visibly irritated. "Don't bother," he told me. "Just because it says on the label it is pink, it doesn't mean it is really is - people change the labels around all the time."

I thought of my friend and the organic tomato labels.

Indeed, how do we know what we are getting in this life? Take men, for example. Well, perhaps not...

Empowered and emboldened - I had just come from my check up with my OBGYN - I am WOMAN hear me roar etc, I asked the man-behind-the-counter if he owned the place. He told me "yes" and asked me why had I asked? "Well you don't seem to value customers," I smiled. Sweetly.

The two men exchanged what-a-bitch glances and I went outside to exchange one geranium of indeterminate color for another.

It is a hot day today in New York City. I'm sitting at my computer typing in this blog post. Occasionally I look out at the three geraniums on my balcony.

And I wonder what they will be like when they grow up.


Anonymous said...

Sexism comes with the crop here in NY. It doesn't need a label.

Anonymous said...

Most people piss me off too, Kate.

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