Saturday, June 26, 2010

Twenty-Fifth Week

Monday, June 21, 2010
I made a terrible mistake today when I went out to lunch without pen or pencil. I thought I would merely enjoy some good food at Joe’s Ginger, 25 Pell Street, and read yesterday’s book review section. So, what follows is from memory. The first distraction was immediately across the street from the courthouse, where ESPN parked a truck showing its television coverage. It was the break between two World Cup matches, so I saw no need to stand in the direct sunlight watching a tennis match, any tennis match. The truck also sold food, a supposed international variety in keeping with the spirit of the World Cup. While there were shaded benches not far away, I needed a more favorable climate to digest properly.
After a good lunch at Joe's Ginger, I crossed Columbus Park on my way back, as I often do. In the open air pavilion at the north end of the park, usually empty except to shelter card and Chinese checker players on rainy days, there was a concert sponsored by the Manhattan Amateur Art & Columbus Music Association. I came in time to hear a passionate baritone singing about people and places long afo and far away. Even though he was singing in Chinese, I knew it had to be that, because it reminded me of the scene in Godfather II, when young Vito Corleone goes to a concert and sees Don Fanucci, the neighborhood boss, while the singer on stage laments the death of his mother. My Chinese singer was backed by five Chinese fiddlers (the fiddle stands horizontally on the musician’s knee), one violinist, one accordion, one banjo, one flute, one cymbalist, one wood block and what looked like an oboe with a bamboo plant growing out of it. This song was followed by three women wearing red satin pants and white T-shirts imprinted with a red Yin and a white Yang, although I might have that reversed, who danced to recorded music. I wanted to stay for more entertainment, but the need to render justice called.
Finally, the federal courthouse had a major media presence, because Faisal "Give My Regards to Broadway" Shahzad was returning for arraignment. I understand that the morning appearance has been adjourned until late this afternoon when the soccer match between Spain and Honduras would be over. Faisal was understandably upset by the trouncing North Korea got this morning by Portugal, a member of NATO.

Thursday, June 24, 2010
The official high temperature was only 91 degrees today, but it felt much warmer as I wore a suit and tie in order to conduct case conferences for a judge. Lunch was at Jaya Malaysian Restaurant, 90 Baxter Street, which offers Malaysia, Thai and Chinese food. I had Malay Chow Fun, a very good version of one of my favorite dishes ($6.50). The restaurant was also one of the closest to the courthouse at 80 Centre Street where I spent the day. While I walked very slowly under the very bright sun, I took a few extra steps to buy two pounds of cherries at $1 a pound to bring home to my fruit-loving wife.
I did encounter a noticeable gap in the day, however, a small cluster in the center of the crossword puzzle caused by inserting nicknolte instead of nicholson. I never recovered from this blunder.

Friday, June 25, 2010
Separation Anxiety Day. Boaz, David and Irit packed up and left Astoria today for Massachusetts. We took Boaz for a 3 ½ hour diversion to get him out of the apartment while the movers packed up all the family’s worldly goods in case they mistakenly stuffed him into a carton with sofa pillows. He remained unpacked and we were, of course, sad to see them go.
There was another unfortunate by-product of the Tau-Webbers’ departure from Astoria. Now, there will be little opportunity to patronize Little Morocco Restaurant, 24-39 Steinway Street, possibly the best purveyor of falafel sandwiches in North America. Little Morocco sits in a stretch of Steinway Street loaded with hookah caf├ęs and Arab restaurants. Since Boaz is too young to enjoy a hookah, we’ve often gone to the simple setting of Little Morocco, which was four short blocks from his home, and where we always got a friendly reception. Boaz, a somewhat picky eater as befits his station in life, always dug into the falafel on pita we ordered ($4). Drinks were never an issue, either. Whatever I was drinking is what he wanted, thereby developing a precocious taste for Diet Coke and Orangina.
Some joy reentered my life at night, when I went to the Mets-Twins game. Mets 5, Twins 2.

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