Small Medium at Large

Now, on to the promised tales of vacation adventure.

And no, there won’t be any slides – just dubious iPhone snaps, and possibly a YouTube video here and there.

Plus, you can get up and go to the bathroom any time you like.

But this is a fairly odd and interesting incident, so you might not want to miss it.

As I mentioned, my boyfriend and I decided to visit New York City last Wednesday.  I’ve been there with him a few times before, and we really had no major objectives for the day, other than wearing out our poor old feet, and possibly eating something at some point.

I had been hoping to visit a really neato store called Obscura, which happens to be the focal point of a Discovery Channel reality show called Oddities, but we were disappointed to learn that it is currently closed for moving.

I was specifically hoping to run into the shop’s buyer, Ryan Matthew, who does some insanely cool skeletal-articulation artwork, but that didn’t appear to be in the cards for this visit either.

Fortunately, the Universe saw fit to correct that little faux pas a couple of days later in a most extraordinary fashion, but that’s a post for another moment.

Stay tuned.

Having done the wearing out of the feet for a while, then, and wanting to move on to the eating, my boyfriend led me to a place called Katz’s Deli on East Houston Street (that’s pronounced “How-ston,” apparently, not as in “we have a problem”). 

I had been asking him a few days earlier what he considered to be “Jewish Food,” since I’m already versed in the cuisines of practically every other culture, and he felt that a deli would fit that particular ethnographic bill.

You’re probably already familiar with this establishment yourself, if you’ve ever seen the film When Harry Met Sally – and if you have, then I’m sure I don’t even need to tell you which specific scene I’m referring to.

And having eaten at Katz’s myself now, I can confidently state that I think I know what Sally was having.

It was the pastrami.  No doubt about it.  That stuff is to die for.

Probably literally.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Katz PastramiJust as soon as we walked into the very crowded delicatessen, we were greeted by a sign posted at the front door, which read as follows:

If you agree to enter this establishment, you may be filmed by the Discovery Channel.  We can do whatever the heck we feel like with this footage, and exploit it in any way we want, including pointing and laughing at stuff you’re wearing at our corporate Christmas party.  You are going to put up with this because you are an American and desperately want to be on television, so just go get your sandwich and sit down.  You know you want to.

So of course we did.

Okay, okay, I may not be quoting that sign exactly verbatim, but you would be surprised by how not-far-off it was. We could see that there were in fact cameras in there, but it was hard to tell exactly what they were filming.

What the heck kind of reality show had they cooked up in a Jewish deli, anyway?

Reuben Wars?  American Pickle Pickers? 

I did not have a clue.

It just looked like a whole lot of people eating to me, and for stunningly high prices at that.  We decided to split a sandwich while we waited to find out what was going on.

As it turned out, we didn’t have to wait long.

Moments after I sat down, I was quite surprised to look up and see three people standing in front of me – a well-dressed woman with platinum hair and manicured fingernails, and her husband and daughter too – these facts I already knew, because in fact I knew HER.

Long Island Medium 1It was Theresa Caputo of the new-ish TLC reality show Long Island Medium, which, being a sucker for all things psychic or paranormal, I just happen to watch.

I couldn’t believe it.  What on earth were the odds?  It wasn’t really even lunchtime, for heaven’s sake.

Check out the promised YouTube video below to get a sense of Theresa’s typical approach to mediumism.

She isn’t exactly the shy and retiring type, but shy and retiring doesn’t get you on TV, now does it?

God bless her, she’s fantastic.

As I sat there, I could see Theresa taking a similar tack with the guy behind the counter, who probably did not expect his job that day to be served up with a side of grandfather, or whomever she was contacting – I couldn’t quite hear it, not like I was trying or anything.


Incidentally, my boyfriend happened to be standing right next to her when he picked up our drinks and sandwich, so if they wind up using that segment, you just might see him.

And if you look at the terrible iPhone snapshot below, you just might see HER.

If you look really, really closely, that is.

She’s kind of teensy there.

But don’t worry, she makes up for it in personality!

Long Island Medium 2I really was happy to see Theresa at Katz’s, because I enjoy the show a lot.  I have some experience with mediums, and as far as I can tell from a television show, she does appear to be the real deal, if just a bit more – uh – aggressive in her approach.

Personally, I would be thrilled if someone walked up to me randomly and said “Hey, you there, a dead person wants to talk to you!”

But then that’s me.

I’m not exactly your average girl.

Unfortunately in this situation I didn’t get that chance – I didn’t want to rudely butt in on Theresa’s lunch, and on camera to boot, so we ended up leaving without speaking with her.

When I tweeted her later she was very nice, though, and told me I should have waited, as several messages were given out to members of the lunch audience.


I really wanted to, but you can see they need the tables in that place.  And don’t even think about leaving without giving them your deli ticket on the way out.

Evidently the Feds get involved if you do.

Oy vey.

But maybe I should have waited for that message, because a couple of nights after I got back home, I had a clear and vivid dream in which I ran into Theresa again, and this time decided I had better talk to her.  She gave me some sort of a red flower, like a carnation or a rose, and we had a conversation that seemed really important at the time.

But of course when I woke up, although the dream itself was really clear, I couldn’t remember a word of what she told me.

Curses!  Foiled again!