On many occasions I wake up craving a nice home cooked meal, specifically a Dominican one. Because I don’t live with good ole mom and pop dukes anymore, these meals can go few and far in between. Yes both my parents live in the city but it can be hard to schedule a breakfast on a whim such as this. Sometimes I have to go on a journey for that slice of home. So the next best place had to be Dyckman, the Little Quisqueya of New York City.
As with any trip I take far from home, I prepare a couple of blunts for any unexpected she- nanigans I might stumble into. I rolled up some Haze in two Dutches for my trip to uptown, which thinking back on it now, was like bringing sand to the beach. Washington heights, Dyckman, and Inwood are known as the “Home of the Haze” for being the epicenter of Haze or as some call it “Piff.” To this day uptown is flooded with Haze, as it is the go to for the locals, but to find the good stuff, that is a mission. You knew you could buy some good haze if the whole block smelled of some pungent incense, it was only a matter of finding the right guy. If the spot was good enough people would line up like it’s Black Friday for only grams of Haze. As a kid I remember seeing people with New Jersey plates parked waiting forever just to grab some and head straight back across the Washington bridge.
But anyways back to my mis- sion, I hopped off the 1 train on Dyckman street, and I cros- sed the street to a Restaurant called Dyckman Express. As soon as I entered I was gree- ted with the smell of rotisserie chicken and freshly made rice, I was home. I ordered “Los Tres Golpes” which is Spanish for “the three hits.” It is a tra- ditional Dominican breakfasts consisting of mashed plantains called mangu as the base and fried cheese, eggs, and salami as the three hits on the side, and I got some red onions that have been cooked in a bit of vinegar and oil for some extra flavor on top. Once I got the order in hand I decided to eat it by Inwood park a few block further up.
I lit one of the blunts to build up my appetite and to take in the neighborhood. As I walked, I could smell fresh pastries and bread from a few bakeries that lined the Dyckman strip and on the sidewalks were some street salesman selling DVDs and VHSs, along side some used toys and books. It looked like a flea market on some streets, with old Dominican men trying to get lower prices for bootleg DVDs of movies that were still in theaters. As I got closer to the park, the neighborhood gets more residential but it is just as lively as the main strip. You can hear the bass of Dembo music blasting out the speaker of pas- sing cars, abuelitas chatting to people on the street through their windows, or guys talking in front of the bodega on the corner. No one noticed me smo- king, because that’s a normal occurrence uptown, so much so I crossed paths with a couple of other smokers.
Finally, I found a bench by 206th street by the park and I got to chowing down on my mid day breakfast. It was definitely worth the trip as the mangu was the perfect consistency topped with the onion and everything else was fried to perfection. It was comfort food at its finest, and like any good comfort food it makes you feel too comfortable. I needed to walk some of these “golpes” off, so it was just right that I was by the park.
I take a few moments to soak in the view, then I light my blunt and headed into the wooded areas of Inwood park. As I got deeper into the woods, the sounds of the city melted away and all I saw were trees for as far as the eye could see. I looked up and I could see a giant eagle flying over head, it’s as if I was transported somewhere rural upstate. much like Fort Tryon park, this park is like a forest on the edge of manhattan with many alcoves and archways hidden in the middle. So hidden in fact, I end up stumbling into one of those alcoves along the water, looking for graffiti near the metro north train tracks. Which led me to some creepy hidden spot full of old porno mags and beer cans. I swiftly made my way back to the path, and I was back amongst the trees. the hiking trail coincidently cir- cled back to the entrance, but before I left, I took a couple of moments to sit by the marsh. I finished my blunt near the park’s row house, then I offered up my clip to the marsh. Finally My mission was complete so It was back to the 1 train to plan another adventure on a full stomach. Until next month Happy Munkey Fam!