“Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobblestones.
Looking for [snacks] and feelin’ groovy.”
It was in such a spirit that I walked near the 59th Street Bridge and happened on Katagiri, a bustling 100-year-old Japanese grocery. Nothing like the spare Japanese convenience stores in my Morningside Heights neighborhood, Katagiri
features a tiered display of odd bean-filled desserts along with samples and a counter for ordering steaming hot treats like bowls of udon or fluffy shrimp tempura ($2/piece), which tasted like a savory fish lollipop. Among the prepared bento boxes and artfully arranged edamame salads, I found seared salmon sushi, five fat slabs, each with a miniscule lemon wedge on top ($5). Then I checked out the giant white tank in back, thinking I’d find carp swimming in it, but it was a huge freezer grab bag of potstickers and shumai. I brought my salmon and “Royal Milk Tea,” ($1.95) to the Tramway Plaza. While the salmon was a little too subtle, the tea was a revelation: cold British tea in a can! Cherry-colored cable cars swayed back and forth over the East River. “Life, I love you. All is groovy.”
Katagiri & Co.
224 E. 59th St. (Between Second and Third aves.)
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