Sunday, September 26, 2010

My memory is playing tricks on me

Today I took my kids to a Cross Country Track Meet at historic Van Cortland Park in The Bronx.  Historic for two reasons.  First it is a Mecca  for cross country running, from the youth to professional level.

But it has a lot of  personal history for me.  I ran 4 seasons of High School Cross Country there.  I remember the Cemetery Hill and the flats.  I remember the smell of Ben Gay.  I remember the 3 hour subway ride from Sheepshead Bay to Riverdale.

I also remember the Carrot Cake shop on Broadway.  A little store that only sold carrot cakes and pumpkin pies.  After the kids race we went there for cake.  I had the carrot, (Wow, that was good) and the kids had red velvet. (They likie too.)

So I mentioned to the nice lady that I remember coming here after my own races back in high school.  She said that many parents say that now, many are coming back with their kids.  I asked how long they were there?  She said 23 years.

23 years.  That did not make sense.  I am 47 years old.  23 years ago I was 24, long done with high school track.  So I got home and looked it up.  The New York Times said "Mr. Adams, who was 58, opened his niche bakery in 1986, using a secret carrot cake recipe from his mother and grandmother in the Virgin Islands."

I graduated high school in 1981.  When did I ever go there and remember eating that devious cake?


  1. Wow, I almost did the same as you: Run cross-country for high school track, smell the Ben Gay, and also take the subway from the Sheepshead Bay Road station. I think I did it for two Fall seasons: 1982 and 1983.

    I didn't know about the existence of that carrot cake store; that's new to me.

  2. Probably brought you back to childhood in your early twenties. Back in a familiar setting eating a good dessert maybe? Though my friends, coworkers and family members nearing or just past 50 complain all the time about tricks memory is playing on them. Quick go grab the Ginko.

  3. Well, the obvious answer is you went there at the age of 24 and pretended to be 14. And they believed you. So be happy. It would be a lot more flattering if you were female, but take it as a compliment nevertheless. There, problem solved. ;~)

    Alberta, Canada

  4. I vaguely remember running Van Cortlandt in XC. Maybe I could borrow some of your "Recall" implanted memories (from Total Recall).


  5. Maybe my "Recall" was installed improperly. Why do I have such fond memories of a place that did not open for another 5 years??

  6. mmmmm now I want to make Carrot Cake. We are well into Cross Country running season here. So far we've lost 1 child because he stopped to tie his shoes, and had 1 other boy in tears by the end of his first meet. It's going to be a great year. LOL

  7. You might have had the cake at a party--he was doing "private baking" before opening the store.


You do not have to be nice!


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