First of all, it's been a wild week. Someone stole my beautiful bicycle, things at work were very unstable and then the atmosphere on the home front was, well let's say, difficult.

Life is one big long transition.

But I think work is going to be better, as of this moment, and I think I'll stay for a while; it's important to not be too impatient and demanding in life, especially when friends like Louis want to go eat Montreal smoked meat at Schwartz's with you after work. Today was unusually freezing cold and windy and rainy, which is unfortunate, but also perfect for a meaty, fatty sandwich with mustard, a dill pickle and fries.

On the average day, the restaurant is packed with people sitting next to each other, biting into huge over-stuffed sandwiches from which thick shredded meat and mustard drip. They reach into huge baskets of fries and slurp cherry sodas; they knock elbows with their neighbor, whether they know them or not, and splash hot sauce over everything. The waiters are efficient and friendly, speaking a multitude of languages, rapidly serving customers so they can move through the enormous line of people stretching out their door. This year they opened up a take-out place next door, so people don't have to wait as much in the weather or long lines. I've walked past this place at 2:30 in the morning and there are still people eating, laughing, guffawing inside, or even yes, waiting outside for the big Jewish men, who wipe their hands on their aprons and clink their knives together as they shred and shred and shred the meat, to serve them.

I've been there four or five times over the years, each time marveling at the piled high hunks of salt-peppered meat in the windows, the speed and dedication of the workers and the simplicity of the entire concept; they're just sandwiches! But no one seems to do them better and I always leave there with a huge belly, greasy fingers, and that infamous grin on my face.

- murph

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