Sunday, May 20, 2012

Remembering Treats

The New York City version of Charlotte russe "consisted of a paper cup filled with yellow cake and whipped cream topped with half a maraschino cherry. The bottom of the cup was pushed up to eat."

I bit off the top of wax soda bottles to get at the sweet sugary mixture inside. Drank it all and then chewed the wax bottle until it was a wad.

No one smoked in my house, but I still loved to buy a pack of candy cigarettes and pretend to be smoking. There was the cowgirl look and the vamp look and the gangster look. When that grew tiring I ate the cigarette—including the painted red hot tip.

Down on the Lower East Side a vendor sold piping steaming sweet potatoes from a cart. He split the potato open and I watched the steam escape into the cold air.

A pushcart vendor sold hot chestnuts in front of the Museum of Modern Art. He put your purchase in a brown paper bag. On cold days the heat warmed my hands.

The Jelly man sold dipped apples, dipped figs, and marshmallows from a heated pot of melted jelly. I always waited for his pushcart and a chance to dip into the jelly.

And who can forget the egg creams and pretzels or the BLTs on Wonder Bread or the sour pickles.


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