In his eagerly awaited debut novel, critically acclaimed author Mark Kurlansky entertains readers with a brilliant story bursting with the vivid events and culinary delights-even recipes-that made bestsellers out of his nonfiction works Cod, Salt, and 1968.Nathan woke up on a Friday morning with the unshakable sense that during this day he would commit a catastrophic error in judgment. Something had been written by the gods, and Nathan Seltzer knew this was one Friday that he would regret. . . .
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
March 28, 2005
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue by Mark Kurlansky
Quick End in Four-Four Time
Eli Rabbinowitz was shaped like a hamster, though larger and somewhat less furry. As Sonia Cohn Seltzer applied her long, skilled fingers to his rubbery white flesh, he squeaked and sighed-noises that reminded her of his rodentlike qualities.
Lying on his stomach, he reached around with his pale, stocky arm. "Touch it. Touch it," he murmured. "I'll pay extra." Grabbing her wrist, he started to turn over.
Sonia freed her hand and smacked him with a towel, a hard blow with a limp club.
"I warned you. Get out and don't come back." She exited the small room by what looked like a closet door but actually led to the rest of her apartment. Without her, the room looked antiseptic except for a Chagall print of a couple floating over rooftops. The door was slammed and locked and Sonia went back to her desk to work on her play about Emma Goldman, the anarchist, while her husband looked after their daughter in another room.
"Aayoych," said Eli, blending several Yiddish and American expletives. Then he got dressed and left, turning down Avenue A, which was already a bit redolent as the early summer heat cooked the trash on the street. Furniture was placed neatly along the garbage-strewn edges of sidewalks-a special place where things were found and things were given away every day. The streetlamps in metallic paint were wrapped with paper flyers up to seven feet up the poles, like badly laid strudel dough, leaves dangling, advertisements for everything, some legal, including the exact time and place for demonstrations that had already been missed against every known form of repression. The trashy streets were occupied in shifts-different people at different hours of the day. The older people, such as Eli, were out first, beaten only by those who had spent the night on the sidewalk. Then the smarts, the new young people, walked quickly to the subways to their promising jobs in other neighborhoods. At eleven, shaggy young people staggered out into the blinding sunlight looking as though they had spent the night with drugs and sex and not much food or sleep. But soon the smarts would be home from their jobs and the streets filled with the entire assortment.
The tenement buildings were color-coded for age-not of the buildings, but of the last paint job. The oldest were brick red-a color designed to match the bricks, which it never quite did. Then there was forest green, that too one of the older colors, a nonbotanical attempt at greening a working-class neighborhood. More recently, buildings were painted battleship gray-paint that was said to have been left over from World War II and designed to obscure warships on a gray day at sea. Buildings painted in the sixties when the neighborhood became the East Village were in colors that escaped any rational explanation, such as orange, hot bubble-gum pink, deep purple-once brilliant but now dull as dirt. The psychedelic storefronts looked more out-of-date than the tenement buildings themselves. Then the Puerto Ricans brought cobalt, which was very big on Avenues A and B, and the Dominicans came with turquoise, and now the smarts were there with cream, peach, cafe au lait, and buff-colors that were so up-market, they did not even try to hide dirt.