Back on the Island
Monday, October 24, 2011 at 12:33PM
Matt Volk

Three weeks ago a friend of mine from high school dropped me a line. Our 25th high school reunion was coming up, and like the earlier ones, I had not signed up to go. In his email explained why I should go this time and how much of a jerk I was if I didn't attend.

Well, the guilt trip worked and last weekend I flew back to Long Island for the reunion. I had two goals for the weekend, go hang out with my friends and eat all of the New York food I miss. 

I landed at Islip around 1PM, and I headed back to Northport, my old home town. There I checked off my first food item, a slice of NY pizza. I miss what Anthony Bourdain called the "utility slice". I found a pizza place on main street & got one slice of cheese pizza. It wasn't great but it was exactly what I missed, thin but not too thin, relatively chewy crust but crisp on the bottom and a good layer of cheese. The sauce didn't have enough oregano but it was a good starting point for the weekend.

I next met up with a friend of mine who I hadn't seen in at least 15 years and we spent some time betting the ponies at a bar in town. Being able to bet on horses in a bar is a great idea, they really should bring it to Chicago.

The reunion itself was much more fun than I thought it would be. There were around 150 people there out of our class of 600 or so.  I knew maybe a dozen people there, but that was enough to have a great time. The conclusion I came to at the reunion is people really don't change. The personalities my friends have now are the same as when I saw them last back in the early 90s. FYI - This is a very good thing. Hopefully we can meet up a little more often going forward. 

I got a real water bagel Sunday morning w/ lox cream cheese. I have found only one place in Chicago which makes water bagels, and they weren't as good as the random place I went into on Long Island. Steamed bagels are nowhere near as good as the traditional boiled (aka water) bagels.

Since my friends all had to drive back home on Sunday, I had some spare time. I headed back out to see our old house on Eaton's Neck, which is an almost-island by Northport. When I got to where the house is, I couldn't see it from the road because of all the trees in that area. I thought about walking down the driveway to look at the house, but I was worried it would look kind of creepy, so I drove back to town.

Later in the day, I checked off the last box and ate some good deli food. I ended up at a real Kosher deli. At first I didn't think about the consequences of that, then I noticed that there wasn't any cheese on the menu. So, no reuben for me. Fortunately, they did make an excellent pastrami sandwich, so it wasn't a total loss.

Somehow I gained 3 1/2 pounds over the weekend. I have no idea how it happened, I didn't think I ate or drank that much, but I don't care. When I go on vacation there is no way I am going to skip eating good food because of a diet restriction. Life is too short.

I'm very glad I made the trip back to Long Island, but next time I'm going to a deli where I can get a sandwich with cheese on it.


Starting weight: 181.8 lbs

Weight 10/24/11: 161.0 lbs

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