NYC Days 1-3: Slips and sliders

People either like or hate my food posts. Hence, I enjoy posting them.

But first, as I watch what’s going on in the Church right now, two paintings at the MET jumped to my full attention.

First, my necessary entrance hotdog. The cart in front of the Met has great hotdogs, and the proceedes go to a wounded Marine. Tell them Fr. Z sent you.

Here is a portrait of a German merchant of the Hanseatic League by the amazing Hans Holbein.

Look at everything in the frame.

Did you see the slip of paper in the book?  It sports the words which might have been a moto of the sitter.  It’s a line in Latin from Terence’s Andria.

Veritas odium parit.

Truth breeds hatred.

Today, if people speak about about real problems of ambiguity and confusion being caused in the Church these days, they get terrible blowback.  Certain libs pour out their venom on the those who insist that mercy cannot be extended at the expense of the truth.  Truth and mercy must go hand in hand.

And another portrait by Holbein of another well-to-do merchant.

He, too, has papers.  I’m interested in the one at his elbow.

This one has a line from the Aeneid: Olim meminisse iuvabit.  This is just enough of a famous line that everyone would know.  When Aeneas et al. are shipwrecked, he utters: “Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit… perhaps someday remembering these things will give you joy.” 

That is to say:  Things are really bad now, but someday in the future we will look back on these events and will be able to find the good in them and how they were, ultimately, of benefit.

Going on.  Brueghel’s great summer harvest painting has people eating.

Carpeaux’s magnificent marble of imprisoned and starving Ugolino, as he is faced with the horror of eating his own children.

Corned beef and Pastrami from the 2nd Avenue Deli.   It was good…. but… I must admit that I’ve had better.

That was a fun experience, by the way.  I went to the Deli with a cop on the NYPD who is fairly high in the ranks.   He remarked that it was like a joke: “So, … ‘dis cop an’ a priest walk into a Jewish Deli….”  Indeed we were the focus of the attention of many tables.  A couple of very Jewish families with little kids came over to say hello when they were finished and departing.  Delightful.   A good moment of public relations, too.

Last night a priest friend and a couple went to supper and started with sea critters.  The oysters were great.

So, I’ve been ticking off my errands and visiting some new and old dining places and seeing friends.

And today I made an interesting BREAKTHROUGH on the VESTMENT front!  Stay tuned.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Kathleen10 says:

    I like the photos of food and art, since both of those are interesting to me. Just sayin. Also just sayin, that sauerkraut on the dog! I’m yearning for summer, looking at that.
    I truly hope these are days we can look back and find the good. Things have taken a decidedly nightmarish turn with the developments in China.

  2. Joy65 says:

    “Carpeaux’s magnificent marble of imprisoned and starving Ugolino, as he is faced with the horror of eating his own children.”


  3. Sportsfan says:

    Nice segue from “starving Ugolino, as he is faced with the horror of eating his own children.” to the Corned beef and Pastrami sandwich.

  4. Charivari Rob says:

    Father, any update on the Met’s threatened changes to admission policy?

  5. acardnal says:

    Love the pics of food and art.

  6. Oliverian says:

    Father – I enjoy your visits to museums, and the food photos, but I fear that if you keep eating so well there might well be a different sort of breakthrough on the vestment front !

  7. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:



  8. jaykay says:

    “He remarked that it was like a joke: “So, … ‘dis cop an’ a priest walk into a Jewish Deli….”

    Or, indeed, something from a Tracer Bullett episode :)

    [That’s right!]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  9. teomatteo says:

    Now that image of the Pastrami, was that hanging in the modern art gallery??

  10. JamesA says:

    Awesome commentary, as always, Father.
    I’m going to make the line from Terence one of my mottos. It could have come straight out of one of the Gospels.

  11. chantgirl says:

    I once heard that St. Thomas Aquinas said that “the first reaction to the truth is anger”, but I have never been able to find a source for the quotation. In our fallen world, it’s true, whether or not he actually said it.

  12. Semper Gumby says:

    “I went to the Deli with a cop on the NYPD who is fairly high in the ranks. He remarked that it was like a joke: “So, … ‘dis cop an’ a priest walk into a Jewish Deli….” “…something from a Tracer Bullet episode.”

    Hmmm…jaykay and Fr. Z, that’s an interesting idea.

    Let’s say Fr. Z’s NYPD friend is the hard-boiled Lt. O’Malley. Just a quick sketch here:

    Lt. O’Malley walks with the Lord and a nightstick, a nightstick that delivers swift justice to hoodlums menacing the fine citizens of New York. On First Saturdays Lt. O’Malley and his men’s group are found in reverent prayer at their neighborhood church: St. Patrick’s of the Holy Shillelagh. On third Saturdays they are found at the docks bustin’ heads and takin’ names of the godless Commies agitating at the piers.

    The Jewish families who stopped by O’Malley’s table were, of course, refugees from Europe where Hitler’s armies are roaming the land like a crazed bear in an orphanage. Their patriarch, Samuel, informs Lt. O’Malley that he and his sons will the next morning storm the Nazi consulate, burn it to the ground, put all inhabitants to the sword, and make off with its payroll. Lt. O’Malley informs Samuel that the next morning he happens to have plans at a local diner with a pot of coffee, a plate of pipin’ hot doughnuts, and the Summa Theologiae.

    Meanwhile, across the Pond in Europe, Samuel’s brother Shlomo is organizing an escape line. Shlomo is a locomotive engineer and knows every conductor, grease-monkey, and yard-ape from Rome to Antwerp. His wife, Miriam, wields a mighty pen and churns out fake visas and passports as fast as she churns out tasty Gefilte fish and bagels for refugees stashed in cellars and attics.

    Meanwhile, Tracer Bullet is in Europe, amongst the exiles by the River Danube. In some dank back-alley of Eastern Europe littered with old newspapers and broken shipping crates, he’s warming his hands over a trash-can fire while huddled together with other grim characters, listening to their tales of pursuit and escape. Then, Tracer emerges from the shadows, dodges sirens of both the Gestapo and female kind, and sets about renovating 19th century hunting lodges in the Italian Alps, purchasing day laborer clothing from a second-hand store in Budapest, and hanging out on the waterfront in Le Havre, issuing Miriam’s fishing permits and Letters of Marque.

    Well, as one suspects, a story like that would leave a trail of empty gin bottles, half-smoked Lucky Strikes, dented brass knuckles, and shattered socialist dreams in its wake. There would be alot of peering through half-open venetian blinds and frosted-glass doors as a sickly ceiling fan turns slowly overhead. As Europe descends into darkness gambling dens and juke joints are no longer merely the scene of the occasional flim-flam; they are real dens of iniquity where every right move you make could be your last and every wrong move you make would be greeted with laughter and champagne. Moral dilemmas pile up faster than the corpses at a Chicago mobster shootout. Plan B is often little more than: Run!

    As the dust on all these monkeyshines begins to settle, Fr. Z, surveying the wreckage across two continents with mounting amazement and apprehension, calmly unholsters his aspergillum and commences spraying holy water all around like Zeus hurling thunderbolts from Mt. Olympus. Re-holstering his aspergillum, Fr. Z exhorts all involved, and also random passers-by, to Go to Confession!

    p.s. I gotta’ cut back on the coffee and paperback detective novels.

    [No. No. Really, you don’t.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  13. Absit invidia says:

    : ( . . . no goldfinch? : (

  14. jaykay says:

    Semper G: “p.s. I gotta’ cut back on the coffee and paperback detective novels.”

    Well, meden agan, and all that, but don’t block the founts of creativity! (I was rather slyly hoping you’d rise to the opportunity: you didn’t disappoint!)

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  15. Semper Gumby says:

    Fr. Z and jaykay: Thank you.

    Earlier today Tracer Bullet and I discussed the Resistance in WWII. Thought I’d share a summary.

    Tracer has come to the realization that there is a downside to being an Ace Private Eye in Occupied Europe. Instead, perhaps this is the best way to put this, he is beginning to somewhat resemble the TV detective Columbo- that lieutenant with a trenchcoat and an unlit cigar. Columbo was reflective and methodical, but outwardly rather awkward, so the murderers tended to underestimate him and considered him of little concern.

    Tracer is taking an interest in the important differences between the long-distance escape lines that returned Allied pilots to England, and the short-distance transfer lines within Occupied Europe that moved people and material from Point A to B to serve a Higher Cause. There was often, but not always, a difference in personalities, stress-management, language, and personal habits here. Humility was important to accept one’s role in a much larger Resistance drama. A few people, giving in to various temptations, travelled down the wrong path and betrayed their compatriots.

    Except for rare moments, the preferred methods in Occupied Europe are slow and steady. Then there is always: attentiveness to mundane details, fortitude, hope, and trust in God. Not a preferred method is: brazenness, thrill-seeking, addiction to adrenalin, over-confidence and thus inattentiveness, “legend-building,” and “empire-building.”

    p. s. After all that, Tracer strolled off to book a cheap cabin on a rusty freighter bound for the Holy Land. I think he’s still searching for the Ark of the Covenant.

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