Monday, 4 October 2010

East Coast trip- 3 weeks of family and friends - Part 1: Cleveland

Uncle Henry and Aunt Florence at home

Very early flight to Cleveland, after a late night - called for a nap!
I left Barry to his academic duties in Berkeley while I went east for the 3+ week trip I take to spend time over the Jewish Holidays with my family and friends on the east coast - Cleveland, Baltimore and New York. As always, it was so nice to be with Uncle Henry and Aunt Flo in Cleveland , and even nicer because Ben and Lissy came in to join us for part of Rosh Hashana (they stayed at Pam and Stan’s). 

Pam and Stan
 There was the regular ritual of the baking of honey cakes for Aunt Flo and Pam, and this year I also made some egg and lemon sauce from the liquid the gefilte fish had been cooked in.  I remember making this kind of sauce for boiled fish with my mother, using a recipe from the bible of English Jewish cookery, Florence Greenberg. But I couldn’t find the recipe on the web. Then I realized it was about 9.30AM in Melbourne, and took a punt on Anna, one of the women staying in our house in Kew, being at home and working on her PC at that hour. She was in, and via a Skype call was able to locate the recipe for me, from the various sections of the decrepit old Florence Greenberg Penguin scattered amongst the more intact cookbooks on the kitchen shelf.  

Mitch with Ben and Lissy, tie-dye stall in the background
While we were in Cleveland Ben, Lissy and I went to the Rock and Roll Museum and Hall of Fame again. I always think I will get sated here after 2 ½ to 3 hours as I do at most museums, so when we split up to do our own thing after going through the special Bruce Springsteen exhibit together, we set something like an hour and a half to wander, listen and view till we met up - and as usual we hadn’t really allowed enough time to see all the things we would  have liked to. But we had arranged to go on to a craft fair, part of a special Cleveland weekend happening, where our cousin Mitch had a stall selling her  tie-dyes, so we left as agreed and took the Rapid to the West Side market.  It was about to rain so we helped Mitch pack up her stall, quite an undertaking. I am amazed at how much she manages to pack into her small station wagon, both merchandise and the stall and display racks and canopy etc. 
Lissy, Ben. Mitch and Sara-Lila
4th Street pedestrian mall with  bars and restaurants  
Then we checked out the covered market, which reminded me of the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, or the deli section at Vic Market, only less lively at that hour. We took a free trolley ride through some of the areas which would certainly have been no-go areas a few years back. It is many years since I have looked around parts of Cleveland far from the suburban area where my family lives, and a good deal of gentrification is going on, with all the tell-tale signs - new trendy restaurants and galleries, re-purposed older commercial buildings, and houses being done up  block by block . 

We ended up on 4th Street, where Sarah-Lila, Mitch’s 17-year-old daughter, has a part time job as hostess at a fancy restaurant where we had some drinks and snacks (and complimentary dessert!) before heading back to the Rapid to go back to our dinner date with Pam and Stan at a Brazilian restaurant with lots of small plates to share.   Unfortunately the rain had set in as we raced the couple of blocks to the Rapid station, and we had just missed our train so had to wait around for more than 20 minutes in sodden jeans and squelching shoes , not a bit comfortable. 
Aunt Lil, almost 91,  and me.
We fitted n a quick visit to Aunt Lil, who has moved into a different section of the aged care facility she has lived in for some time.  She was in fine form and she particularly enjoyed meeting Lissy for the first time.  Her son Jeffrey also popped in for a quick visit at Henry and Flo's on my last evening in Cleveland.

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