I generally confine myself to armchair activism, but I tore myself away from Twitter etc. the day before the primary to do a little street work for our next-door neighbor in his noble run for Manhattan district attorney. And I will never look at 86th and Broadway in quite the same way. It took me 3 1/2 hours to unload 300 handbills, and that only after a blind street vendor tried to persuade me to move to a less busy corner where I would “have more luck” (read: quit making his potential customers speed up to evade me). The best man still lost, although he did “move the debate to the left” with his emphasis on preventing crime rather than penalizing miscreants. But I certainly won: Once when I realized that a particularly surly woman who spurned my spiel and handout was the nurse who had to scrub my butt in the hospital last November, and once when the union organizer who ferried the fliers to our campaign-designated corner said his preteen son is addicted to the Food Network and “Top Chef” and is intensely interested in cooking as a result. As much as I mock both outlets, I’m coming around to seeing them as a positive force. Maybe one day the evil WSJournal will not be able to run a sad piece by a new retiree saying he is learning to cook to give his wife a late break in life. And maybe more boys will grow up knowing what my consort did: Cooking is life-changeingly seductive.