I saw water on both sides of me. Ahead, it said “178th Street,” “Henry Hudson Parkway,” “Uptown,” “Downtown.” I knew exactly where I was… The George Washington Bridge, headed into Manhattan.
I closed my eyes again. Then, I blinked them back and forth a couple more times and peered at the clock. 8:45 a.m. We were soooo early.
Knowing (yesterday) that (today would be the start of) my diet would soon begin, I said, “Let’s go down to H&H.”
“We don’t have time,” Marc said.
“Yes we do,” I replied. “It’s on 79th Street.”
He hesitated and then agreed. But then, we hit traffic. A lot of traffic. Gobs of traffic. I saw him twisting his face, so I said, “We don’t have to go to H&H. It’s just that I didn’t eat breakfast this morning.”
“I know, but it’s all the way over on the East Side. There’s no way we’ll make it back up here for your X-Rays at 9:30 if we go there.”
“Not that H&H. I meant the one on Broadway between West 79th and 80th!” I declared.
“Oh! I didn’t know there was one there,” Marc replied. I could’ve sworn that I’d taken him there before, but I lived in NYC for 7.5 years, so I wasn’t totally sure. “Well… if I get off up there, I think it’s possible.”
“You can take Riverside down and back up!” I offered.
Soon, thanks to the green light stagger pattern, we made it down to H&H Bagels on Broadway in under ten minutes. Whew! I walked in and immediately grabbed an iced tea for me, a chocolate milk for Marc, and a container of Lox Spread because this H&H Location just does bagels… they don’t put the toppings on the bagels for you. Kind of no-frills, but it’s worth it once you taste the bagels!
I waited in a short line and then asked the woman behind the counter, “What’s hot?” which is always my first question when I get to H&H because there’s something about a hot bagel that makes me happy.
“Plain,” she replied.
“That’s it?” I asked hoping that there’d be a hot salt or everything bagel floating around.
“That’s it,” she said.
Zut alors! I was going to have to get what I came for and it wasn’t going to be hot.
“Six whole wheat bagels,” I said. “Would you please cut one down the center?”
“We don’t slice here,” she said.
Grr! $1.30 for a bagel and I can’t even get it sliced in half!
“I’ll give you a plastic knife,” she offered.
“Sure,” I said.
I paid and then happily toted my bagels to the car where Marc was idling waiting to take me up to NY Presbyterian for my x-rays and neurosurgery appointment. I got in, buckled up and we began to head back to Riverside Drive. I opened the bag, removed the plastic knife and cut my bagel in half. And when I did, I noticed something… it was still warm!
I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).