Pamela Harris

Storm Week November 7, 2012

(photo above by Pam Sommers)

My good friend Pam took the picture of the storm-damaged dumpling sign above and knew I'd love it. Not much is better than a nice dump.

Joe and I lost power, heat and hot water from Monday to Saturday. We have a gas stove and were able to cook, but by Wednesday we had to toss what hadn't been eaten since the fridge got warm. He had to go to Queens (he rode his bike) and I walked 40 blocks uptown to Pam's - she hadn't lost power - for a cup of coffee and a break from the cold. On my way back down I passed the Old Homestead restaurant and saw the staff grilling all kinds of meat out front. They were giving away steak sandwiches to anyone who wanted one since the meat had gotten to the 'eat it or chuck it' stage. It was nice to see that kind of generosity.

Midtown Billboard October 28, 2012

I moved to NYC over twenty years ago and immediately noticed all the hand-painted billboards. A lot of artists used to earn a living painting them and for a nanosecond it was my fantasy job. Custom billboards are now a rarity, but I noticed this one on my way to a meeting midtown.

Aunt Charlotte's House October 28, 2012

My auntie lives in a midtown highrise, on a high floor that overlooks the Hudson and lower Manhattan. She works in the theater and whenever there are fireworks Joe and I watch them with her and a few of her great theater friends. We cook, my aunt cooks and I try to bring Brownies Cockaigne from the Joy of Cooking:

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Melt in a saucepan:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

Let cool. Beat until light in color:

4 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

Gradually add and continue beating until thick:

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

With a few swift strokes stir in the cooled chocolate/butter until just combined. With a wooden spoon stir in until just combined:

1 cup all-purpose flour

I like to gently mix in:

1 cup chopped pecans

Scrape batter into pan and bake about 25 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Try not to eat the whole pan at one sitting.