Posts Tagged ‘jericho cider mill’

…the universe squeezed into a ball…” (T.S. Eliot)

November 19, 2012


(all that’s missing, above, is the easel)

*   *  *   *



What a joy having FOUR whole days off from work in a row!

Away from the office FRIDAY, SATURDAY and SUNDAY is wonderful enough, yes.

But — waking up on MONDAY, with the knowledge that all the other employees in your section of the office are reporting to work and YOU ARE NOT — is beyond wonderful.

During this particular FOUR-DAY weekend, quality time was on the agenda.



I finished the painting I’ve been working on!


(apologies for the grainy iPhone photo)


Practiced Schumann’s Remembrance on the piano  (a small piece I’ve always liked; I’m determined to learn and memorize it).


Woke up early and drove to the Jericho Cider Mill on Long Island; stocked up on all things apple: Cameo apples (my favorite), apple cider, apple sauce; apple turnovers; apple oat bran muffins…

Apple Nirvana


I found a THURSDAY parking spot (which means we won’t have to move the car until one week after Thanksgiving)!


I read the essay on T. S. Eliot by Mark Ford from the New York Review of Books that I had dog-eared a month ago and set aside for a later date.

Facts I learned from this detailed, erudite review of The Letters of T.S. Eliot (3 volumes) by Valerie Eliot (Eliot’s widow):

  • Eliot was born into a comfortable, Unitarian family in St. Louis, MO and summered with them in East Gloucester.
  • An anglophile, he moved to England and readily acquired an accent. He became more “English” than the English. He  joined the Anglican church and eventually became a citizen.
  • He was born under the sign of Libra, went to Oxford, studied philosophy and Sanskrit, taught at Harvard.
  • Eliot was a virgin when he married his first wife, Vivienne, after knowing her for just a couple of months.
  • Vivienne suffered from mood swings. She was diagnosed with a “hormonal imbalance” (parlance of the day for what resembled bipolar disorder) and endured a host of physical problems; i.e. “female problems” (another euphemism).
  • Vivienne lived on a trust fund endowed by her wealthy family, over which Eliot would later assume governance.
  • Virginia Woolf once called Vivienne “a bag of ferrets.”
  • Ezra Pound was a friend of Eliot’s and was instrumental in launching his career as a poet.
  • Bertrand Russell, also a friend, lent the newlyweds one of his flats and was rumored to have had an affair with Vivienne.
  • Poetry notwithstanding, Eliot was encouraged by his father-in-law to take a position in a bank.
  • In one of his letters, Eliot describes what it was like working in the bank:

“I hope to become less of a machine–but yet I am frightened–because I don’t know what it will do to me–and to V.–should I come alive again. I have deliberately killed my senses–I have deliberately died–in order to go on with the outward form of living–What will happen if I live again?…Have I the right to be I–But the dilemma–to kill another person by being dead, or to kill them by being alive? Is it best to make oneself a machine, and kill them by not giving nourishment, or to be alive, and kill them by wanting something that one cannot get from that person?”


  • The misery of Eliot’s bank job produced these lines:

He didn’t know if he was alive / and the girl was dead

He didn’t know if the girl was alive / and he was dead

He didn’t know if they both were alive / or both were dead


  • The opportunity in hand, the next logical step was to re-watch the film, Tom and Viv. Which I did.

I first saw the film in the mid-1990’s when it was released. With Willem DeFoe, Miranda Richardson and Rosemary Harris, it’s a gorgeous film. The character of Ezra Pound is noticeably absent (perhaps because he was an anti-semite). But the film includes Bertrand Russell (an extramarital affair, or the allusion to one, naturally being a more juicy topic).


  • To complete my experience of total T. S. Eliot immersion, I pulled from the bookshelf my marked up college edition of The Norton Anthology of English Literature and re-read The Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

As I contemplate (dread, more like) returning to work tomorrow, these lines stand out:

“And indeed there will be time

To wonder, ‘Do I dare?’ and, ‘Do I dare?’

Time to turn back and descend the stair…”


I’ve made a promise to myself that, one day, I will dare.

But in my case, my descent will take place in the elevator — and I’ll be eating that peach.

Them Apples

November 4, 2009

themapplesSo, how do you like them?!

Is there a better way to celebrate autumn than to visit a cider mill?

Yes! You can visit the cider mill you used to visit as a kid. In my case, it was the Jericho Cider Mill on Long Island, which is still thriving after all these years.

CiderSignOh, the memories that visiting the mill brought back to me. Memories of all the leaves I had raked during junior high school, hoping to attract the notice of the boy who lived next door. The distant scent of burning leaves in the crisp afternoon air, mulled cider cooking on the stove, the breathtaking vibrancy of the north shore of Long Island during this time of year (of which I’ve caught a glimpse).

As a result, since moving back to New York, I have visited this mill three times.

First, it was for Cameo apples, a gallon of cider, homemade blackberry preserves and baked apple crisp.

The second time, it was for more Cameo apples and, also, some Honey Crisp (m-m-m), another gallon of cider, and two apple turnovers for the road.

This third time, the crate of Rome apples were so gorgeous and so red, it took all my willpower to resist buying some of those, too.

romeapplesBut we’d already selected a juicy group of Golden Delicious and MacIntosh, another gallon of cider, jar of Orange Marmalade (I just love it on toasted wheat English muffins), and 3 Oatmeal raisin cookies to savor later on with our evening tea.

Not to worry. It’s only November 4th. There’s still time for at least one more car ride to Long Island. I mean, how could anyone resist the charm of this little cider mill. But, I’ll have to learn to do that, eventually. Either that, or get fat.


I’d almost forgotten that today had started out on rather a wrong note.

During the past 4 days, we have been without hot water in the morning for 3 of them (h-e-l-l-o, New York apartments), which meant no wake-up shower for me, which kind of throws off my whole day.

However, many good things did happen later on, the culmination of which was our trip to the cider mill — as a sort of celebration:

1.  This morning, J.C. finally was able to process his N.Y. driver’s license at the DMV due to the arrival of the coveted social security card in the mail (in N.Y., it seems, you are either a non-person or a “person of interest,” without that card). Someday — “and that day may never come” (so said Don Corleone) — the NY DMV may permit him to actually register the car and obtain the illusive N.Y. plates. If that ever occurs, it will indeed be a joyous day.

2.  We each found a stylishly attractive winter coat at the Burlington Coat Factory, which happened to be stone’s throw from the DMV.

3.  Last night — the unexpected events of which I will describe in the next blog post — we purchased warm and waterproof winter boots at Clark’s in midtown.

4.  And just for the hell of it, we bought a snow shovel at Ace Hardware (to dig out the car if it snows during alternate-side-of-the-street-parking days) and tucked it away in the trunk.

We are so prepared.

The last bit of good news is that I emailed the go-to-adminstrator-manager person at the law firm where I used to work right before moving to CA, who thought it was “great to hear from me” and said I should call him first thing on Monday.

So…maybe a job in the offing (fingers crossed).

This little vacation we’ve been on (albeit a working vacation — many hours spent at the computer watching tutorials and honing our respective skills) — is about to soon, sigh, come to an end.

But, as I blurted out last night as we were strolling down Lexington Avenue: “Don’t you just LOVE this city? I do!”


Oh, by the way, for those of you who’d been following the saga of my Saturn, right before leaving California — guess what was forwarded in the mail to me from Sacramento, CA today?


Arrrgh….guess what, California? I don’t even miss you. So there.