Friday, December 24, 2010

Young kids and old memories

Monday, December 20, 2010

Even on this cold day, I decided to wander about in order to find a new restaurant for lunch, because this should be a short work week. I walked several blocks east and turned up Eldridge Street into fairly virgin territory. I entered tiny Jin Feng Restaurant at 13B Eldridge Street where one man was picking over Chinese broccoli. He looked at me without speaking. Never at a loss for words, I said "Food. Lunch. Eat." stopping short of enough syllables for a haiku. He responded with a look otherwise reserved for the person who denied his son admission to Stuyvesant High School. I left in silence and continued walking, even considering going into Popeye’s for fried chicken and biscuits (did you know that they are located on Canal Street?). However, I was a man with a mission, so I found to Lucky Plaza Restaurant, 81 Chrystie Street, which is in the middle of the block with nary a plaza in sight.

The restaurant is narrow, but very long, with a back room set up for parties. I was served a good pot of tea immediately, but it took two visits by two waitresses to confirm that I wanted chow fun noodles with duck and shrimp ($6.95). It wasn’t worth the money for several reasons -- the duck was simply several slices of roast duck sitting on top of the noodles, there was almost as much bean sprouts as noodles, and (the worst sin) the portion was small. Maybe I should have been more attuned to the initial hesitancy to fill my order.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Palazzo di Gotthelf sits high above Manhattan’s fabled Amsterdam Avenue. I realize that only a few of you have been able to see it from the inside, so America’s Favorite Epidemiologist and I are making plans to throw our doors open to the public on selected and controlled occasions. That will allow you to marvel over our library, our computer room, our music room, our study, our guest bedroom, our television room and our meditation room. Miraculously, they all occupy the same space. In addition, for the last few days, they were home to Boaz, Noam and their parents, seeking respite from the grinding pace of suburban Boston. Once Grandpa Alan’s leather lounge chair was removed from all the rooms and replaced by the Pack ‘n Play that conveniently fits four-month old Noam, we three generations got along swimmingly. Actually, the swimming was confined to my bathtub as two or more adults attempted to bathe one small or smaller child with or without his whole-hearted cooperation.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Two generations removed themselves from Palazzo di Gotthelf while I was at work. In fact, they were still asleep when I left this morning to take the S-U-B-W-A-Y. The spelling is required in Boaz’s presence since it is very high on his list of preferred means of transportation and its mere mention has him heading for the door in a fit of intractable excitement. He was, after all, born in New York City.

Wing Shoon Seafood Restaurant, 165 East Broadway is at the corner of Rutgers Street, which is the name of Essex Street south of Canal Street. My memory was tickled as I first approached and later left this restaurant. Back at my computer I confirmed my suspicion. This restaurant replaced the Garden Cafeteria in 1983. The Garden Cafeteria was my favorite dairy restaurant (a Jewish restaurant that doesn’t serve meat). It was a wonderful joint, where Jewish bohemians hung out through the decades. Isaac Bashevis Singer was its most famous customer. It was immediately adjacent to the headquarters of The Forward, the leading Yiddish newspaper, but only one of several that were located on the same block at one time. When I lived in Greenwich Village, I used to ride my bicycle there on Sundays for lox, onions and eggs with noodles and cheese on the side, onion rolls of course. Now, arguably, I was in Chinatown. While today’s food was okay, I’m going to forget that I ever returned to that location since 1983.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I had a good bowl of hot soup at Wo Hop downstairs, because it was a cold day and I felt a cold coming on. Fortunately, I stayed healthy enough to go to Madison Square Garden with my two grandnephews Tomas and Benjamin, who are visiting from Buenos Aires, to see their very first Rangers hockey game. I'll be sick on my day off tomorrow.

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