Monday, July 12, 2010
The Invisible Hand has pushed the price of Chinatown’s cherries up to $3.50 per pound, so I chose small, red seedless grapes at $1.30 per pound for my snack after lunch and the little man only charged me $1 for what his rigged scale clearly registered as one pound. I was ready to share my grapes with anyone appearing needy as I walked back through Columbus Park, since I was not carrying a fortune cookie. The park was jammed with card players, checkers/chess players and their vocal audience with the temperature at 92 degrees in stark contrast to the emptiness last week at 100 degrees. In any case, I saw no one in need of my charity, so the best I could do was offer some grapes to J.D., a very successful family law practitioner who was passing by and passed on the grapes.
My lunchtime was not fruitless, however, not counting the grapes. I ate again at what I had identified on Friday, February 19th as New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe, 50 Mott Street. In early April, I witnessed a visit there by two dragons and accompanying percussionists driving away the evil spirits at the (re)opening of the restaurant. After enjoying a large plate of Shanghai chow fun today, loaded with chicken, shrimp, pork, green pepper, red pepper, onion and bean sprouts ($6.95), I asked the cashier why the neon sign in the window said New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe while the menu and business card said Old Shanghai Deluxe. He explained that the restaurant used to be down the block on Bayard Street and called New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe, but now that it has moved it is the Old Shanghai Deluxe. In other words, the old restaurant was the New restaurant, and the new restaurant is the Old restaurant. Care for a grape?
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
A driving tropical rainstorm began shortly after Noon and continued for over 90 minutes. Once it diminished to a light rain, I went to lunch at 1:45 PM. When I left Mandarin Court, 61 Mott Street, after only average dim sum, the sun was shining through in spots. The avid card players in Columbus Park had returned and were already playing on tables covered with newspapers to handle the moisture. The chess/checkers players were thwarted mostly, because they use the special engravings on the table-tops to guide their play.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
It rained hard again late morning for a shorter period than yesterday, but the lunch hour was not interfered with. However, I did something today that I had not done this entire year – I ate in, that is after I went out to get what to eat to eat in. This course of action was influenced by the absence of my office mate Michael, off to visit the Baltic states and Poland, the Captive Nations to you old Cold Warriors. I have almost never eaten in for the entire time I’ve been employed by the court system; one reason I will explain in a separate writing. But, while my office is roomy and has a new, fully-functioning air conditioner, I don’t want pungent odors to linger for the rest of the afternoon, in fairness to both of us. To date, Michael has not eaten lunch at his desk nor I, until today when he is presumably explaining Lindsay Lohan to Latvians.
I went to the sidewalk wagon at the northwest corner of Worth Street and Centre Street where Halal food is served. Halal parallels kosher to a certain extent, barring flesh of a pig, carrion, and other animals not ritually slaughtered. Halal has no bar, however, on combining dairy and meat items in a dish or a meal. Alcohol is disallowed to Muslims, but they are permitted to eat non-Halal food if Halal food is unavailable, something that many orthodox Jews would not do in regard to kosher food, save in a health emergency. In any case, feeling healthy myself, I ordered a chicken/lamb combo over rice, heavy on the white sauce, a little hot sauce and throw in a pita. The whole thing, a big portion, cost $5, stayed hot until I got back upstairs and was excellent. A true Best Buy. As far as I could tell (my nose is almost always congested), the office did not stink afterwards. Is that a compliment, or what?
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I stayed home today to await delivery of our brand new gas range to replace our almost new gas range. The trucker promised delivery between 9 AM and 1 PM and, sure enough, they showed up at 12:45 PM. That allowed me to spend the whole morning writing the minutes from last night's synagogue board meeting, an arduous task. I went through entire law school classes producing three pages of notes; I don't have the facility to transcribe while paying attention to a speaker or, more typically, speaking myself. Last night, however, I took four pages of notes, possibly because I knew that they would eventually be read by others while my law school notes were solely for my benefit.
With the appliance here, not installed until tomorrow, I walked up Broadway to have lunch at Big Nick's Burger Joint, 2175 Broadway, near 77th Street, which I patronize about three times a year. I only order a Bistro Burger, a cheeseburger with sauteed mushrooms on grilled challah, with a side of waffle fries ($11). It was even better today because it was noticeably larger than the last time I had it, with a price increase of about 10%, much less than the increase in size.
Passing Citarella, I stopped to admire the fish art in their window, a beautiful array of swordfish steaks, scallops, two cuts of salmon, shrimps, lobsters, whole fish (maybe bass or bluefish), spread on an edge-to-edge bed of bright green lettuce, trimmed with dozens of cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes and grapes. If you're visiting from out-of-town with friends or family, take them over to Citarella's, Broadway at 75th Street, without an introduction. Except maybe for the Statue of Liberty, this will be their visual memory of New York City thanks to you.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Greetings from BoazLand, the innocent-looking suburban house in Massachusetts which now shelters the Wonder Boy. Bubbe and I drove here today in under 4 hours, anxious to spend time with Boaz now that he has been gone from New York 16 days. Fortunately, he recognized us after this interval, just one of his amazing powers at age 2 years 5 months.