Friday, September 19, 2008

"Well, I never!"

We took Aunt Vicki and Matthew* to Pete's Steak House on Hudson Street last night for an early dinner, and afterward we hit the Italian People's Bakery. Vicki tried, for the first time, and with much glee, a red cream soda (at Pete's), and an elephant ear pastry (from the IPB), and on the way home, she marveled at how beautiful Trenton Central High was. The grass was freshly mown, and the sun was fixin' to go down, and truly, the school looked regal, like the monument it is.

Glen said, "There has been talk of demolishing it, or just abandoning it."

Vicki may be one of the least critical, least sarcastic people I know. She's from the midwest: Nebraska originally, Kansas currently (Mr. Clean, are these pussy states? Or is that a special distinction just for Iowa because Iowa waters down its booze?). I love east coast edginess, but it is also refreshing to spend time with someone who isn't so damn tired and angry from seeing it all, you know?

In response to Glen's news about the uncertain fate of the school, Vicki said, "Well, I never heard anything so ridiculous!"**

Sounds light. Harmless. Right? Believe me, it only sounds that way. This is stern commentary from Aunt Vicki, who will probably go back to the midwest and mention the lovely school with a doomed future to her friends, and they'll all think Trenton is run by imbeciles.

This is how word of mouth works, in the wrong way.

But I'm not even sure why I'm bothering to write this little story anyway, since most people who are reading this likely agree with Aunt Vicki anyway, and the ones who don't, are likely members of the city's administration or school board, and don't care what the residents of Trenton think, anyway. And they probably care even less about what our visitors think. Even though these visitors are leaving Trenton with the notion that the city is run by imbeciles.

The cat's out of the bag, and throughout the land! — it is run by imbeciles.


* I was a bit uneasy about this outing, Matty's first, since I may have a lower-than-average tolerance for crying babies in restaurants, so I was distressed to think I could be the mother of one, now, and conjuring up every unsavory "what if" scenario involving a screaming baby. Matthew did fuss for a few minutes upon our arrival, but Glen took him outside, where he enjoyed watching the activity on the street (well, maybe enjoy isn't the right word. He was, at least, watching it, with interest). When our food arrived, the baby was quiet throughout our meal (woohoo!), and only started crying again when we readied to leave. He loves Pete's!

By the way, Glen and Vicki ordered the fish and chips, which is very good. I ordered a mushroom cheesesteak, which is also very good. We love Pete's too!

** I also know that the state is kinda-sorta discouraging the city from renovating the school. I know the issue is complex. This doesn't change the fact that this city is run by imbeciles.

1 comment:

Bill Hawley said...

I miss Pete's. I always got a steak sandwich (no cheese, because I'm just not a big cheese person) with broccoli raab and, of course, fries. And some type of soda, usually the red cream soda, which I'd never seen anywhere else, even though I'm not a big soda person. (Yeah, I'm strange.) And though I've never been inside, Trenton Central is indeed a magnificent-looking building. My New Orleans friend Will says his city is planning to tear down some of its older schools (made of stone, the better to withstand hurricanes) and replace them with buildings that will no doubt be slapped together.