The Great Dumpling Quest

Gandalf, upon speaking to Peregrin Took, said to him:

“Fool of a Took!” he growled. “This is a serious journey, not a hobbit walking-party.”

I find myself in a similar to predicament to Mr. Perry Took at the moment.

You see, I am on a quest. A journey, an ambling, an adventure, an uncertainty, a voyage, a junket, an outing, an odyssey… a mission. But a quest is not something to be taken lightly. I think of the great quests of history and literature and wonder if the following list is too comical even for satire:

  1. Frodo and his journey to throw a ring into a volcano.
  2. Amelia Earheart and her determination to fly across the Atlantic.
  3. George Costanza and his vision of “The Summer of George”.
  4. Me and my decision to eat a lot of pocketed food within the major metropolitan area in which I currently live.

One of these things is not like the other, and it’s not George Costanza.

My story begins much like any other. Just as Harry Potter was sitting one day in the cupboard under the stairs, I was minding my own business, reading New York Magazine.

I flipped a page and there it was.

The Absolute. Best. Dumplings. In this great city.

Out of all the unimaginable glutenous-and-probably-also-gluten-free-because-its-New-York-dough-wrapped food combinations in the physical confines of the 5 Boroughs, these, right here, at my fingertips, were the best.

Like any good American I decided instantly that I must have all of them. And so here I am. Faced with a daunting task of consuming a lot of small foods. I will, every time, write an account of the experience, and create a growing re-ranking of the list until at the end I will have a reranked list of the iconic piece of literature that awoke me from my pre-journey slumber to this moment.

Will I succeed? Who’s to say?

Will I stare death in the face until he blinks? Probably not.

But I will take it step by step, subway by subway, bus by bus, and dumpling by dumpling until I have climbed the great snack food mountain of Gotham.

For those who ask why, I ask the same question of myself. What’s so important about dumplings? What’s so special? Why do you care? Why should we care? But Donald Trump will soon be President. There is unnerving inequality in this country. It is not a positive time.

My whimsical fancy to eat everything on a list won’t do anything to solve any of these problems. But the jerks will win if we give up what we love. So I’m choosing to search for a little extra joy, wrapped in pastry by a fellow New Yorker. Take that, racists.

I’m not the hero this city deserves or needs or probably even wants. But I’m here anyway.

So let’s go eat some dumplings.

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