One year ago tomorrow, a bowl of noodles saved my life.
I have a school in Flushing, Queens, a 15 minute walk from the last stop on the 7 Train. Every time I go to this school it rains. Every time.
Last year, two days before Thanksgiving, I trudged out to the school for a performance. Needless to say, it was raining. It was cold and heavy. I sloshed from the train station in my flowered dress and duck boots looking like a refugee from the set of “Little House on the Prairie”.
Then, through the mist I spotted the Red Bowl Noodle Shop on the corner of Main Street and 41st Avenue. It looked warm inside. It looked dry inside. I went in and for the grand total of $5.95 I was blessed with a steaming cauldron of savory broth, crispy baby bok choy, tart scallions and perfectly cooked egg noodles. Lovely slices of sweet and spicy roast pork came on the side with a trio of scrumptious sauces. It filled my whole being with warmth and hope and renewed strength. I could barely wait to barrel back into the dark night. And boy was it worth it.
50 parents were in the audience that night. 50. Two days before Thanksgiving in a torrential downpour. Our students sang, danced, read essays, exhibited artwork, and taught their parents how to play Zip Zap Zop. It was one of the most inspiring evenings I’ve ever had and I continue to give thanks for the talent and community on display that night. And for the bowl of noodles that made it possible for me to enjoy them.