I had to go to Brooklyn yesterday to pick up my new custom-made Flirt-skirt and to see a designer about taking in another article of clothing that I'd bought from her flea market stand.
Brooklyn is a big place, with lots of different neighborhoods. I started in Carroll Gardens, which I like, and walked through Gowanus over the canal (now one of my favorite parts of Brooklyn) and then on into Park Slope. After taking care of the business I was there for, I dodged strollers and training wheels on my way to the coffee shop, where I intended to get a snack and do some work on a 3-D atlas piece I'm trying to write for the Chronicle Books blog.
I scanned the menu and addressed the counter help.
"What bread does the hummus and avocado sandwich come on?"
"Whole grain or alsatian."
"Alsatian?" I was puzzled. "Sounds like a dog. What about the chili? Does that have tofu in it?"
I didn't mean to spit it out like tofu was the devil. But y'see, to me, it is. I'm horribly allergic. But the guy behind the counter didn't know that.
"No, no tofu." He laughed at me a little. "It's turkey. It's really good."
"Turkey chili?" I probably looked a little appalled. "I'll have... the BLT."
I thought for a second and then realized I should make sure.
"That's pig meat, right? Not turkey bacon or tofu bacon?"
Shocked, the counter help looked at me.
"You're not very Park Slope."
I squirmed. "I'm not from around here," I said after a minute.