Tuesday, June 26, 2007

paris, pickles and pastrami

i know what you expect me to be writing about today. paris hilton is free at last and once again, the entire city is on high alert. traffic is snarled, not just around her home in west hollywood but now that she has encamped at her grandparent's home in bel air, yet another area of the city is impacted.

yes, i was going to write about paris but then another news item caught my eye. al langer died yesterday. for those of you who have not lived in los angeles in the last 65 years, al langer was the owner of langer's deli. langer's was located, almost downtown, across the street from macarthur park. when it opened in 1942, the deli was the heart of a thriving jewish neighborhood. it was not unusual to see a long line at lunch time, snaking out the door and around the block. langer's was famous for their "mile high" pastrami sandwiches. over the years, the jewish community was replaced by a new wave of immigrants - latinos. while i am sure that none of the mexcian, guatemalan, or ecuadorian new comers had ever tasted pastrami, the line around langer's continued. people traveled from all over the city for pastrami. langer's managed to hang on long enough for the neighborhood to become upscale again.

the article said that al had died from "complications of old age". what does that mean? i am old and none of the complications i am experiencing seem to be fatal. can one die from memory loss, sagging breasts, brown spots or chin hairs? i wonder if old al might have died just because he was 97 or perhaps a lifetime of pastrami did him in.

today i had to choose between two newsworthy stories. while paris is a tempting subject - nothing can beat a good pastrami sandwich.

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