Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Microfilm Diet

An article about foodies fighting obesity offers up solutions for the gourmand who wants it all. Restaurateur Drew Nieporent "remains completely obsessed with food, but he focuses on eating more sushi and oysters and less bread and sugar." What is it about this diet that seems, oh, slightly impractical? Could it be the roughly $100-per-day difference in cost between the simple-carbohydrates diet (one I know quite well) and the raw-seafood one?

For those less keen on having it all, another diet trick is, yes, the New York Public Library. It turns out that printing microfilm pages from the Jewish Division of the NYPL requires 1) checking everything but your computer, wallet, and whatever else is awkward to carry around, because terrorists apparently want to blow up books about 19th-century French Jews (one more reason to hate the terrorists!), 2) purchasing one of those evil printing cards, and 3) learning that you must first purchase your printing card with one $1 bill, then add however much else to the card; if you arrive with only a $20, you can go to yet another room to find a change machine. By the time you find whatever documents you were looking for, you will, guaranteed, have missed at least one meal. Not to mention run out of steam. This was not my first visit to the NYPL, nor even to that division, but my memory's sufficiently weak in terms of floorplans that by the time I was face to face with the microfilm (a known appetite suppressant--try scrolling on one of these and not feeling queasy), I had just enough energy left to print what I'd come to print and scroll around for a bit more; my plan, which had been to read through every last thing, is now set back a day.

I really shouldn't complain. I am very, very lucky to live in perhaps the only city in America where one can find not just stuff, but lots of stuff, about obscure 19th century French converts from Judaism. Next time, though, I'll be sure to pack accordingly (i.e. no computer) and, weather-permitting, will wear shoes more practical than rain boots for the many, many trips back and forth across the library.

5 comments:

Withywindle said...

The Pret-a-Manger across 42nd St. is a bit pricey, but it's very satisfying to dash across to it when you're tired and hungry, and you can wolf down a sandwich fairly quickly.

harriet said...

I agree on the NYPL as diet thing. I do my work in the Special Collections of the LIncoln Center branch, but the rules are similar. If you're at all inclined to be klutzy like me, I recommend throwing your wallet, etc. into a ziploc bag. Makes for less juggling and they're fine with the bag as long as they can see through it.

Glenn said...

See, they are worried about you being on a fish diet, or more precisely, a microfiche diet.

Anonymous said...

You can try Japanese fast food and groceries at several shops on the south side of East 41st, between 5th & Madison.
--EH

Phoebe said...

I'm a big fan of those Japanese places! But I had Japanese food last night, and didn't want to overdo it. By the time I go back to doublecheck the dates of the articles I looked at, I'll have to include some pre-packaged sushi in the trip.

I also noticed a Pain Quotidien on 40th between 5th and 6th. The possibilities are semi-endless. It's just a question of re-checking the coat/bag.