I did essentially nothing today, and it was absolutely wonderful.
I woke up once at 9:30, and then didn’t open my eyes again until noon. I usually average around 5-6 hours of sleep a night during the week, so the chance to sleep in on the weekends is welcome, as one might imagine. I usually wake up thinking of Her, and when it’s early in the morning, and gray and wet and cold (although it’s been unseasonably warm this last week, with temperatures spiking up to 55 at one point), it’s hard not to ache for the absence of Her. But this morning, with the world bright and sunny outside, I awoke content and happy: I’m lucky to have Her.
I decided to go down and explore Kerrytown for the first time since I’ve gotten here. Kerrytown is a small, older part of Ann Arbor. There are a number of specialty and boutique shops there, and the Farmer’s Market meets there every Wednesday and Saturday. In the space of 3 blocks or so, there’s a specialty paper store (I have a secret love for paper stores, even though I’m not craft-ey in the slightest. I just like looking at well-made paper, and seeing all the crazy things people can do with it. And since Hollander’s has three stories of nothing but paper, well…), at least 3 used/rare bookstores (which are a lot of fun for me, obviously), and what is perhaps Ann Arbor’s most famous eatery: Zingerman’s.
Now, although I had heard of Zingerman’s as the Jewish deli even New Yorkers will travel to visit, I hadn’t yet made the trip myself. And, frankly, having eaten at a number of great Jewish delis in Manhattan, I was feeling a tad elitist about patronizing a Michigan joint, even one as heralded as this. But when I walked over, and got into a 25 minute line that wrapped around the store just to get inside and order a sandwich, I started getting excited.
Inside the store is a madhouse, with people everywhere, extremely friendly service staff (who are welcoming, well-informed, and willing to open up anything and everything to give you a sample), what looked like an impressively well-stocked cheese shop, the requisite cuts of cured meat hanging around, and shelves stacked floor to ceiling with fresh baked goods, teas, coffees, olive oils, and more and more and more. I picked up some tea while waiting for my sandwich (a half corned beef, half pastrami monstrosity with Switzerland swiss and meunster cheese and two kinds of mustard on pumpernickel and rye (fresh-baked, obviously). And, honestly? It was superb. Expensive, both in time and money (I had to wait another 15 minutes for the sandwich to get made, and then paid 14 for the privilege of eating it), but every part of it was absolutely top notch. Some of the very best pastrami and corned beef I’ve ever had (up there with Katz’s pastrami and 2nd Ave. Deli’s corned beef), excellent cheese, intense mustard, and absolutely great bread (with an amazing crust; and I really like good, crusty bread). Completely worth it, and I know I’ll be coming back again and again.
After lunch, I came back and played some video games for the first time in at least 5 months, then watched some NBA games, all the while texting Her throughout the day. It’s been eminently enjoyable, the more so for how rare it actually is. I’m happy.