Saturday, May 21, 2011

New York Hospitality

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Daniel Patrick Moynihan Federal courthouse usually draws the crowds as it handles terrorists and insider traders, but today the eyes of New York and the rest of the world turned to the state courthouse at 100 Centre Street, which handles local criminal cases. I counted 15 television transmission trucks with their antennae erect this morning waiting in the rain for the appearance of the next president of the Republic of France.

Tavish McMullen is our houseguest, because entry to the suite he had reserved at the Sofitel Hotel is barred until CSI, FBI, SVU, ATF, IMF, DEA and Woody Allen complete their investigations.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Thomas Adcock, the distinguished journalist, reminds me that, as dire as May 18th may prove for some employees of New York State’s court system, May 21st is the end of the world for almost all of us, according to the Most Reverend Harold Camping. It may, therefore, actually be beneficial to be unemployed after May 18th. You can then have a few days of unrestricted merrymaking before the end of the world without losing any time showing up for work.

With the weather ranging from murky to miserable, I had no intention exploring new fields, but as I kept walking and walking I came to Saha Thai Cuisine, 227 Centre Street. It is a small place, 4 tables for four and six tables for 2, with a coherent, pleasant decor. While it has a long list of lunch specials for $6.95 or $7.95, I ordered a full size portion of pad Thai with chicken ($8.95). The portion was large, with a generous amount of chicken cooked in with the noodles, green onions, egg, chopped peanuts and crunchy bean sprouts. My only complaint was the tea, $1.50 for a cup of hot water with a tea bag in it. At least, I got more hot water without asking.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I was scheduled to attend conferences this afternoon in a part devoted to cases involving the City of New York. Enough people trip on sidewalks, in the streets, in public buildings, or are in accidents with municipal vehicles to keep several judges fully occupied with their cases. These conferences are held at 80 Centre Street, the building between the main courthouse at 60 Centre Street and the newly-renamed Dominique Strauss-Kahn Courthouse at 100 Centre Street. I chose to exit my building and walk across the street in full view, head high, wearing a bright red and gold tie that flashed confidence. No one stopped me.

Thursday, May 19, 2011
Opening sentence of the lead article in today’s New York Law Journal: "New York court administrators laid off 367 nonjudicial employees yesterday to comply with state budget cuts ordered by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the state Legislature."

And the answer is found in the lyrics of Stephen Sondheim:
Good times and bum times,
I’ve seen ‘em all and, my dear,
I’m still here. Flush velvet sometimes,
Sometimes just pretzels and beer,
But I’m here.

My 10th law school reunion is tonight and I'm going without the need to turn it into a job searching mission. I hope to see some kids I went to school with, expecting that the last ten years have not been as kind to them as they have been to me.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Good news for your stomach. The minuscule Xi An Famous Foods at 88 East Broadway has added a tiny sister at 67 Bayard Street. The new establishment has room for 30 very close friends or about 14 strangers to sit on wooden stools at small tables and eat. The narrow space has a television screen mounted on the back wall showing recorded food preparation, which you witness live at the older place. Here, the kitchen is in the basement, delivering the orders by dumbwaiter very slowly and erratically, challenged by the number of customers who place their orders with the cashier upon entry. The menu seems the same at both eateries. I had spicy cumin lamb noodles ($7). Adding to the wait may have been the hand pulling of the noodles, a feature of Xi An. In any case, the very spicy, pungent dish was excellent, full of onions, garlic, cabbage, pepper flakes and braised lamb over the hand pulled noodles. My lips were still burning two blocks away as I walked back to work.

The reunion was a bust for me. I reunited with only 1 1/2 kids from the class of 2001; I arrive at that math because I saw 2 people, but only spoke to one. I had a good conversation with Professor Stewart Sterk, a favorite of mine. A graduate of a much earlier class (Cardozo combines classes at five-year intervals for reunion) told me that his brother, a very decent chap whom I know, has MS. At least, I got home early enough to see the Mets win their second shutout game in a row.

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