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This past weekend began so well.

It was one of the last cool weekends of the year before New York’s summer really kicks off; one of the last chances to get some cold-meal ingredients really stocked up. I try to stock the fridge with lots of cold salads or the makings of same in the summer; I belong to a really active CSA which overloads me with vegetables, so it almost becomes a matter of self-defense to prep them so I can eat them more easily. They also make for perfect brown-bagging options for workplace lunch – I have a tiffin-style lunch container, and if all I have to do is pull two Tupperware containers out of the fridge in the morning and dump things into the tiffin, I’m more likely to use it.

So I got a pound of white beans to cook up – good for stirring into various things, making salads, mashing into dips – good to have cold in the fridge, either way. And then a chicken – in a recent conversation with Mr. Shrimp Grits, he told me he pretty much lives on roast chicken and its ensuing leftovers, and that got me in mind to do the whole English Sunday roast lunch thing, so as to also have the cold chicken for salads and frame for a stock. There would still be plenty of time for other fun things – a trip to Governors’ Island, open anew for the first weekend of the season. And time to get a jump on a couple of writing tasks that needed doing.

And then my computer broke on Sunday morning, and things started to take a turn.

According to some frantic Googling (on an iPad backup), I learned that at least what was going on was a flaw my laptop is prone to, and is also a simple enough fix for a repair shop. And I found a good-sounding one nearby in Brooklyn. Except – it wasn’t open on Sundays, and it most likely wasn’t going to be open on Memorial Day Monday either. And that meant a delay on the writing.

Fine. At least I could go to Governors’ Island.

I’ve actually been looking forward to that all year – Governors’ Island is one of my favorite spots in New York, a huge park made of a decommissioned army base in the middle of New York harbor. It’s actually still a bit under construction , as some of the grounds are still being converted to parkland. But the new “hammock grove” would be open – a big plot of trees with hammocks studded throughout.

But of course what sounded like a good idea to me was a good idea for everyone else. And so by the time I got to the hammock grove it was all full.


And most of my usual trees-to-picnic-beneath were also occupied.


I did find one spot, tucked under a tree which was perched on a ledge surrounding the sunken grass moat around Fort Jay, the fort at the island’s heart. A quick loll and a picnic restored my mood a bit. But the weekend still ended with a busted computer, an overcrowded Governors’ Island and a grumpy temperament.


I do have the next few days free before starting a stint of work on Friday. And that means I have the next few days free to do a lot of things most people wouldn’t get to do.

The computer is going to the shop today. It’s a simple enough fix so I may get it as soon as tomorrow, which is soon enough that I could get back on the schedule I’d set.

And – Governors’ Island is open seven days a week this year, for the first time. Which means that I could slip out in a couple days when the crowds have abated, for a longer spell in one of the hammocks. And by that time I’ll also have some fresh chicken salad on hand to take with me.

Fate tries to mess with me, I mess right back.


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