Like a lot of similar places, deli seemed mostly a place for people to buy lottery tickets of all kinds. Another aspect of the American Dream, in spades.
I was raised mostly in Methodist Church which frowned pretty severely on gambling of any kind...except , say, in stock market. That's Endeavor of a good kind I guess...
New York remains a city of great ambition and a magnet for all kinds of ambitious people ( used to be, half of all professional photographers were in New York, for instance...wonder if that's still true).
Meanwhile, on the California shore ( in another citadel of dreams and ambition) "American Idol" continues, while fading slightly, to enthrall America...
Like most people, find myself liking these talent shows and being drawn into them despite knowing I don't really care that much...and then there is the dream phenomenon of Susan Boyle of "Britain Has Talent" ( with Simon Cowell again...who seems like the embodiment of one of Life's "winners" and provokes so much censure for his negative remarks about other people -- I often find myself agreeing with him completely even though he is becoming , I think, something of a caricature of himself).
Madonna has just moved back to Manhattan, supposedly paying $40 million for a house that isn't even that magnificent by old fashioned standards...how long she will stay is anybody's guess, she seems to have pioneered the whole modern idea of always "re-inventing" oneself.
These days it is a privilege to have a decent place to live in Manhattan and most of us who do feel pretty damn lucky...and fears at the back of our minds as to how long it will last. Sometimes I feel living in Manhattan for any length of time is as strong an addiction as smoking cigarettes. With the desire to get away from it always present too...have always noticed anyone who can get out of town in brutal August usually does, for instance ( and New Yorkers started Miami Beach for the winter).