What can I say? I hate mushrooms. They taste like dirt.
So tonight I’ll have the Ai Funghi Misti. It was a brilliant New York gambit, I thought, eat the thing you think you cannot eat.
I was living in Vivian Gornick’s New York City, so intimate and anonymous, so promising of encounter. I had rented a studio flat on East 37th Street that overlooked a row of brownstones, next door to the Morgan Library. Its one picture window afforded a very un-New York-like view of an expanse of sky over the rooftops of Murray Hill from 37th all the way up to 42nd Street. If I looked toward Park Avenue with its condo towers, I saw other lives floor by floor, especially in the evening when the lights came on and the cooking got underway and people passed back and forth between rooms in the sweet solitude of the end of another day. That window was better than television, which I didn’t have anyway.
I knew no one, other than colleagues at the office in Times Square. I didn’t especially plan or want to make…