Lately, whenever people ask me, “How’s New York?” I answer, “Fine.” Then I realize that might sound negative, so I add, “Good! Fine. You know. Good.” What I really want to say is: I’m not sure if I like this place.
Yesterday the temperature hit 51 degrees, it hit me that maybe it was just winter that I didn’t like. In the sunshine, with the slush finally melted and people milling about running errands, untethered by scarves and jackets, my neighborhood seemed like a real neighborhood again. People walked a little slower on the sidewalks. The open doorway at the Chinese grocery store around the corner suddenly seemed more inviting, as did the roast ducks hanging in the window at Shun Wang. Even the eight-minute walk to the 7 train seemed brighter, maybe literally because of the sun.
All of this happened to coincide with another discovery: New York actually gets pretty great oranges and pineapple. I’ve grumbled much of the winter about the city’s lack of fruit variety (sorry if you had to hear my discourse on apples), but then I discovered that my local bodega carried guavas, the kind that hit you with their perfume immediately. Another bodega carried fresh, juicy pineapple in February.
Combined with a bag of juice oranges that I bought on Fresh Direct, I decided to make a juice yesterday in the blender, reminiscent of Mexico’s streets. The guavas weren’t quite ripe this time around, so I used orange, pineapple and grapefruit. (I don’t have a juicer, so I hand-squeezed the orange and grapefruit, making sure both were at room temperature. It was easy, and actually pretty cathartic.)
The juice was perfectly sweet and tart, with a bit of pleasant bitterness from the grapefruit. Think I may be on my way to loving the city again.
Homemade Orange Pineapple Juice
Makes about 3 1/2 to four cups (enough for at least four juice glasses)
Juice of 1/2 grapefruit (about 1/2 cup)
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (about 5 to 6 oranges)
2 cups freshly chopped pineapple
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend on high.
2. Strain into a pitcher or airtight container. Serve immediately, or chilled.