Street Nuts

4 years ago

I jetted off to Las Vegas and did not blog for 3 days. Time stands still in Vegas. It is season less, timeless, and full of nuts.

The blogging subject for October is "Fall". It connotes the season as well as the feeling of "falling". Or at least that is my interpretation. I am going to write about a smell that is fall-like. You are now, revisiting my title and asking how I am going to tie it into a smell.....

Here's how....

In 1987 I packed my almost brand new, ruby red, Fiero and drove to New York City. It was not how I had planned to move to NYC and it was not at all the frame of mind I should have been in to make a cross country trek, alone, in a jam packed, sports car and a tear stained face. Nope....not even close to the romanticized dream I had about making it big in NYC with my "true" love. Pesky reality can really throw a wrench into a perfectly good plan. 

Once I got to Manhattan, it was mid-September and just beginning to get a fall chill in the air. I was immediately assaulted by a wave of excitement that numbed me to my fragile reality of aloneness, jobless, homeless, and did I mention ALONE?

I rang the doorbell of the daughter of a former co-worker, and crossed my fingers. She graciously let me in to her 3rd floor flat with 2 other roomamtes in Tribeca. I promised to be employed by the week's end and out within 2 weeks.

What the hell...may as well continue with my bold boldness....?

Within 2 days I was begging my sister to buy my car from me and let me ship it to CA for her. I was interviewing for jobs, lying my ass off about my skills and experience, and crying myself to sleep every night. It was just as I had dreamed it would be......

By the time my 2 weeks were up, I was working at Macy's, Herald Square, as a counter manager for Estee lauder. I had a lead on an apartment and my car was on the way to CA.

It was a Thursday night. I had worked until closing. I walked out the 34th St. exit of Macy’s and was almost orgasmic over this smell. This sweet, sticky, sugary, maple smell. I almost stumbled backwards. Literally. A small man, with a silver cart, was selling nuts. Small, white, paper, bags of freshly roasted pralines dripping in yummy caramel, sugary, warm, gooey goodness. I fumbled for my money. Snagged a bag and was literally transformed. I was eating happiness. It was intoxicating.

The sight. The smell. The feel of the warmth of the nuts in my hand.....AND THAT taste.

Please. Don't. Stop.  

This night, I took a cab home. I felt light as air. I felt like royalty. I was in my NY reality and it was matching my NY dream.

All because of a bag of street nuts.

I lived and thrived in NYC for about 3 years. 40 months to be exact. I ate about 10 bags of those nuts in the time I was there. They were not a staple in my diet. They were my secret weapon. My rescue remedy if you will.

I never purchased them from another vendor. Only the guy on 34th St. by Macy's.

Once, after a brutal meeting in Herald Square, I emerged from the store angry, frustrated, cold, and bogged down with 6 inventory books. My street nut guy was working his magic. I balanced my books under one arm, tore off my glove, ripped out my wallet and asked him to take out some money and give me a bag of his heaven. It was like an instant game changer. The taste alone could blur my reality and make it so much less sharp.

I can smell those nuts right now. They make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. They are indicative of what I think "Fall" smells like. Fall and happiness.

When I go back to visit New York City I will make a point of getting a bag of pralines.  Now that I have shared this story I wonder if I have ruined the magic.

It is such a palpable memory. It was such a critical time in my young life. I am nowhere near as brave or crazy as I was then. I am much more cautious and skeptical. But just having this memory as a touch point in my life is comforting. I really stepped into my power when I moved to NYC and I think it is still in there.

Maybe the best way to honor that memory is to share it?

Sometimes the true "street nut" is the one who is doing the buying, not the selling.

It's a thought.......

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