Garry Winogrand: San Marcos, Texas, 1964
Is there, really, anything sadder to ponder than Thanksgiving dinner alone? Alone, at a restaurant, therefore alone among others? Alone, at a restaurant like Odessa on Avenue A?
It's one week till Thanksgiving, the one holiday that so far has escaped total cooptation by pop-up stores and cynical commercial grabs; I'm not even sure they make Thanksgiving-themed Peeps, but I'm sure to be proved wrong about that. Still, it retains a certain old-time purity, although I make it a point during the usual public grace lauding friendships and blood ties to say a silent thanks to the Indians for letting us kill them and steal their land.
I wait for my salmon burger in this place that has long meant home to me (although, truth be told, I was more of a Veselka girl myself, venturing to the Second Avenue Ukrainian coffee shop for three-dollar pierogies and potato pancakes once or twice a week). Who can't love New York City: at the table next to me, a Jew and an Irishman talk, in a Ukrainian restaurant; then in walk four fellows who look nothing if not Mongolian.
Courtesy of the window onto the street in front of me, I practice my backward reading. We really don't do enough of that, you know, after age ten.
A poster taped there, advertising its come-on to passersby on the sidewalk, can be read from the back: