back in the burbs

March 29, 2008 |  Category:   family life


We’re back at my parents’ house this weekend and the morning light always looks like this. Since we live in the city, we take advantage of these weekend breaks where we can pretend that we live in the suburbs for a few days and do all our big box shopping (target, costco, etc) to stock up on stuff. The kids ran around the yard today while my dad prepared the soil to do his yearly planting for his vegetable garden. He’s an amazing gardener and grows plentiful cucumbers, tomatoes, green and red leaf lettuces, peppers, tender Japanese eggplants, cantaloupe melons, and perilla leaves. He even has a persimmon tree that yielded 70 plump persimmons last fall with the sweetest, most delicate flavor I have yet to taste in a store-bought persimmon. We eat from his garden all summer long.

My dad is retired now (mom still works like crazy), but manages a commercial property that they own and volunteers at various organizations around town. He still, however, does a little business on the side that he was able to retain when he closed his store down. You see, he owned a wig shop for 25 years on 58th street between Lex and Park before he closed his store 6 years ago when the rents got too crazy. It’s an odd business to be in, but apparently quite popular in the early 70s when he set up shop. As you can imagine, being a seller of wigs and eyelashes provided a modest living, but he had a few celebrity customers that once in awhile provided a big boon. One of the celebrities was Diana Ross. She used to drop 10 grand at a time and when it happened every couple of years, he’d come home excited and exclaimed “Diana Ross called today!”. We’d then celebrate with a nice dinner out or a special treat. Well, guess who called today and had my dad bounding up the stairs in a good mood?

I think it’s funny and charming that she still places her orders from him, 6 years after he closed down shop. Nice to support the small business, literally, and if anyone knew that some of the wigs and lashes worn by Ms. Ross was purchased from a retired, (not yet) elderly Korean man out in Long Island, they’d probably get a chuckle too.

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  • Brooke March 30, 2008 at 9:20 am

    What is that delightful looking dish? How can you put such yummy looking thing up and not tell me what’s in it or how to make it?

  • Jenna March 30, 2008 at 10:44 am

    sorry sorry. It’s another type of Korean Rice cake. This one had more beans including chickpea, so it was a bit heartier. I’ve never tried making them, nor recall anyone in my family making them either…just one of those things that you always pick up at the Korean markets.

  • Esther from Babyccino April 2, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Such a cute story. Thanks for sharing it!