Monday, December 13, 2010
I’m so happy that I’m Jewish. Today, my brother’s birthday, my holidays are over. List making is done; shopping is done; wrapping is done; decorating is done; entertaining is done. I walked by Barnes & Noble, Bed, Bath and Beyond, and Brooks Bros. (all located opposite Lincoln Center) yesterday without even considering entering. Only one religious ritual remains in the next few days, giving money to the doormen.
Of course, this euphoria is short-lived. In 2011, Hanukkah begins on Tuesday night December 20 and runs through Wednesday December 28. To quote Chester A. Riley, "What a revolting development that is."
I had lunch with Marty today, the chief clerk of the small Tribeca courthouse where I worked for about seven years, beyond the bounds of Chinatown.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Thank you very much. Thank you for the holiday gift I received yesterday. It is a book purchased from Amazon. It is a guidebook to New York City, no doubt intended for me to edit and correct. I have to thank the giver in this public fashion, because nothing in or about the package indicates who is my benefactor.
While the book was ordered from Amazon, it was mailed from a company in American Fork, Utah. According to Wikipedia, "the population [of American Fork] was 21,941 at the 2000 census, while the 2008 estimates placed it at 27,064. It has been rapidly growing since the 1970s." That makes my visit to American Fork, Utah in July 1963 even more remarkable. I stayed a day or two at the home of Larry Storrs, a graduate school friend and fine human being. He had returned home after our first year at Cornell and I was on a research jaunt that included Salt Lake City. Larry picked me up and drove me to American Fork, about 35 miles away, founded by Mormons in the mid-19th century and still almost entirely Mormon. I recall to this day how his mother and step-father watched me carefully, because I was the first Jew knowingly in their home since Milton Berle went off television.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
My cable TV provider wrote me a letter yesterday informing me that my favorite food is cookies and my favorite place to visit is Italy. These answers to their security questions are intended to screen out any malfeasors who are attempting to have me watch Mike Huckabee against my will. While my e-mail address is public information and there are only so many cable TV providers in New York City, any sneak attack on my viewing options will surely be deterred by this security barrier, henceforth known as the Biscotti Line, a convenient concatenation of my favorite food and my favorite place to visit. Stronger than the Maginot Line, longer than the Mason-Dixon Line and noisier than the Canarsie Line, I dare Julian Assange to try to breach the Biscotti Line.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Usually you are what you eat. Today, I substituted you are where you eat. Forlini's, 93 Baxter Street, is where the judges go for lunch, hold their retirement parties and reunions. Today, I was assigned to mediate cases prior to sending them to trial. So, in that quasi-judicial capacity, I thought I should have a quasi-judicial lunch at Forlini's, meatball parmigiana hero ($8) and that Tuscan treat, Diet Coke.
Friday, December 17, 2010
I confess to deliberately passing House of Vegetarian, 68 Mott Street, a hundred times or more this year. I would walk many blocks further for a new restaurant without thinking to go in. Admittedly, I'm uncomfortable with the V word. I wasn't encouraged entering the restaurant today and finding only 16 empty tables, but I sat down and ordered spinach dumplings ($2.25) and noodle soup with three mushrooms ($4.75). The results were a very good lunch. The three dumplings in a green wrapper were plump with a chopped vegetable filling. The medium-sized soup bowl was crowded with thin noodles (mei fun), bok choy and sliced mushrooms in a broth so tasty I kept looking for chicken tracks. Unlike Buddha Bodai Vegetarian Restaurant, there were only a couple of mock meat dishes on the menu. The vegetables were served as vegetables and I learned that I wouldn't starve if confined to House of Vegetarian.