I had the day off last Friday and had to run an errand at B&H Photo. It was an overcast, muggy morning and I was overdressed and soon sweating. With time to kill before a lunch date, I strolled up the north side of 34th street when I was done at B&H, walking east, listening to an old song talking about “Tonya, Tamika, Sharon, Karen, Tina, Stacy, Julie…Tracy” when I thought I recognized somebody. I stopped, and back-peddled, removed my earphones, and sure enough, there was Adam Reid from America’s Test Kitchen.
For those of you who don’t know, America’s Test Kitchen is the PBS show that sprung from the minds of Cook’s Illustrated. Chris Kimball and his crew are the sabermetricians of everyday cooking. Their approach is to empirically test and re-test recipes until they arrive at a practical and approachable solution for the typical American home cook. They also test equipment and products as well.
They’ve been a huge success. I can’t recall anything that I’ve ever made from them that wasn’t good.
Adam Reid handles the equipment rating and he’s the most cheerful personality of the bunch. Turns out he’s just as friendly in person. When I saw him, Reid, who also writes for The Boston Globe, was waiting for a bus back to Boston. He had been in town to do a spot on The Today Show promoting his new book, Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes.
Now, how can that book not be awesome? I chatted with Reid for a couple of minutes before his bus began to board. I left him feeling better about the day and with a sudden craving for a milkshake, a “guggle-muggle” as my grandmother like to call them.
Took the train uptown, and still with time to burn, got out at 72nd street and decided to casually walk up Broadway. I had the headphones back on as I crossed Broadway and 78th street and saw what looked like Abe Vigoda on the east side of the block. Is Abe Vigoda still alive? I thought. Only one way to find out, so I removed one earphone and yelled out, “Hey, Mr. Vigoda.” And the old man, bent, wearing a beige cardigan, raised his right arm, cane in hand, nodded at me and continued walking down the block.
Adam Reid, Abe Vigoda, and then a few minutes later, one of the Zabar brothers, I’m not sure which one.