Monday, April 25, 2011
Since I am only about 3/4 of the way through my symbolic trek across Sinai, the journey from Egypt to Canaan, from slavery to freedom, from renting a studio in midtown to owning a two-bedroom apartment on the upper West Side, there is little to report of my lunches. However, there are notable sights in the vicinity of the courthouse. The area in front of the Moynihan Federal Courthouse around the corner is littered with television broadcasting trucks and tripods standing ready to record and transmit the reactions to an anticipated verdict in Raj Rajaratnam’s insider trading case. So far, the jury is out.
At the same time, a female fashion model was posing immediately in front of the New York State courthouse. She was wearing a cognac-colored, short, fitted leather jacket over a cranberry-colored dress with a deeply-ruffled hem. Her shoes were dark tan suede spike heels with an extra inch stacked on the sole, a look encouraged by orthopedic surgeons and chiropractors. But, here’s the fashion note that many women may come to regret – she was wearing stockings with seams. Of course, I was standing behind her, a perspective possibly lost to the camera. Indeed, I hope that the camera never espies this unwelcome retro look, and women can continue to pull on their pantyhose without the contortions needed to see the view from the rear.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Dr. Goldfinger, my urologist, told me that Fuleen Seafood Restaurant was his favorite in Chinatown, so I thought I would try it again (April 20, 2010 and July 27, 2010) as my journey across the forbidding desert was coming to an end. I sought a dish that, served with the proper amount of sophistry, would pass over, under, around or through the Passover strictures on food. Crispy baby chicken (half for $8.95) served the purpose well. Accompanied by a squeeze of lemon, spicy salt and a few potato chips. No rice, which would be another buck, take room away from the large portion of chicken, and is barred to Northern European Jews during Passover, but not Southern European, Middle Eastern and Asian Jews. Go figure. The chicken was a very good choice, the skin crispy and almost fat-free, freshly cooked, accounting for the longer than average wait to be served, time well spent working on the Sunday crossword puzzle.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The bargaining unit (dare I say "Union") that represent court attorneys is having a lunchtime meeting to inform us of the possible impact of budget cuts on staffing. This may not be a topic that aids digestion, so I ate a sandwich in my office before attending. We were told that the dearly soon-to-departed would be announced on May 18th.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Chinatown Leads, Guggenheim Follows
NYTimes.com published the following today (print version tomorrow):
"It’s a concept that takes Warhol one bold step further: receive $100,000 in prize money and instead of spending it, tack 100,000 used $1 bills to the walls of a museum. But the notion that, as Warhol, the man who painted ‘200 One Dollar Bills,’ once said, ‘making money is art’ is exactly what Hans-Peter Feldmann, the German artist who was awarded the $100,000 Hugo Boss Prize in November, does not want art lovers to think next month when they step into a large gallery off the Frank Lloyd Wright ramp of the Guggenheim Museum in New York and see a room covered floor to ceiling with 100,000 $1 bills."
However, 69 Bayard Restaurant, 69 Bayard Street (between Mott Street and Elizabeth Street, one block south of Canal Street and one block west of the Bowery – for those who collect coffee table art books, but don’t own a street map) has had its walls covered with a vast number of dollar bills for years, as I’ve reported several times(March 15, 2010, November 29, 2010, February 3, 2011). My guess is over 1,000 dollar bills.
As it happens, admission to the Guggenheim Museum is $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors (65+) with ID. For $18 each, four adults can go to 69 Bayard Restaurant and have 4 egg rolls ($5.50), roast duck chow fun ($4.25), clams with black bean sauce ($9), beef with mushrooms ($8.25), moo shu pork ($6.75), extra pancakes (4 x $.20), white meat moo goo gai pan ($8.50), scallops with lobster sauce ($10), and vegetable fried rice ($4.50) for a total of $57.55. Tax and tip brings this to $71.94, tea and fortune cookies thrown in. So, you saved six cents, really enjoyed yourself, avoided contact with mock profundity and exaggerated self-regard, while surrounding yourself in "a totally immersive environment" just like the museum promises. Of course, the Guggenheim will feed you. Its restaurant, the Wright (not named for the Mets third baseman), offers a Chef's Tasting Menu @ $68. And here’s where it leaves 69 Bayard Restaurant in the dust; each of you can have the Chef's Tasting Menu With Wine Pairing @ $110 while 69 Bayard Restaurant doesn’t even have a sommelier.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Danny "Macaroons" Cohen sent me to Lam Zhou Handmade Noodles & Dumplings, 144 East Broadway, and the boy knows from what he’s talking. The space is small and very narrow. There are two tables and two counters running on opposite walls that might hold 20 people at the most. While noodles were the focus of most of the dishes on the menu printed on the wall and those eaten by other customers, they were in soup on a day too warm for me to want soup. Instead, I ordered 12 fried dumplings for $3 and the traditional Diet Coke for another buck. It was a wonderful return to Chinatown lunches after Passover. With a shpritz of soyish sauce from one of the obscurely-labeled bottles on the counter, I had a good simple meal at a very good price.
Leaving Lam Zhou, I saw directly across the street a large building inscribed with Hebrew letters. Crossing over, I saw a weathered bronze plaque identifying the Miriam Zuckerberg Yeshiva, which is so pre-Facebook that no matches were later found for it on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or Ask.com. When I came closer, I saw through an open window that it was, in fact, operating as a Yeshiva. One student sitting right by the window confirmed this and asked me to come in for Mincha, the afternoon prayers. Others joined in, urging me to do the right thing. I politely declined, trying not to breathe still-in-the-process-of-being-digested fried dumplings on them. I told them, however, that I was going to shul tomorrow without bringing up the denominational divide between us. Shabbat shalom.
By the way, who gets married on a Friday, anyway?