A popular misreading of the Koran promises an Islamic martyr the reward of spending eternity in the company of 72 virgins. For several reasons I am an unfit candidate for such a reward including the lack of physical fitness to meet the demand of enjoying the reward. Instead, I have set about a course of martyrdom appropriate to an aged, Jewish lawyer employed at 60 Centre Street, the courthouse which provides the backdrop for many critical conversations on “Law and Order.” 60 Centre Street is immediately adjacent to Chinatown, that is New York City’s original Chinatown, the first of three now functioning. My path to eternal bliss shall take me through 72 local Chinese restaurants, although I have already heard doubts as to the existence of 72 discrete Chinese restaurants in Chinatown. In the next several months, I will at least determine whether this threshold can be met.
I will not insist on eating only in Chinese restaurants each day at lunchtime, although I will vigorously try to avoid unwarranted diversions. I relocated to 60 Centre Street from a Tribeca courthouse on Monday, January 4, 2010. By the end of the second week, I had had to attend a class for two days in White Plains, New York, where box lunches were provided containing nothing that required chop sticks, and a farewell luncheon for the judge I served for almost seven years, held at Forlini’s, one of my favorite Italian restaurants which happens to be surrounded by Vietnamese restaurants. Also, somewhat distracted, I had two slices of pizza, always a disappointment, for lunch at a nearby joint on Thursday, January 7th. If anything, my progress towards eternal bliss was set back several paces by this. In sum, in ten days, I had lunched in six Chinese restaurants as described in the next entry. In the future, I plan to keep this log/journal/blog/hallucination relatively current.