Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lavender and Reds

Monday, June 20, 2011

On this lovely day, temperature in the low 80s and mild humidity, I sought a new restaurant, and was able to find one without stretching Chinatown’s geographic boundaries. M Star Cafe, Inc., 19 Division Street, is just east of the Bowery and has tacitly subscribed to Mitt Romney’s crusade to restore America’s greatness by eliminating the accent over the "e".

One long wall of the restaurant has a mural, maybe 18 feet long, with a map of Hong Kong as its background. Painted over the map are 14 caricatures, of which I was only able to recognize Yao Ming and Jackie Chan. The opposite wall held photographs of patrons seated in the restaurant. While space was available, no one asked me to sit still for a picture. I think this was a marketing error as all the other customers were Chinese as were the people in the photographs.

The menu is somewhat eclectic. Ham & eggs and oatmeal are available for breakfast. Sandwiches, including Spam & egg, are served all day along with congee, noodles, and casseroles based on rice or spaghetti. This heterodoxy was further displayed by the plastic stand on the table featuring current specials, Chive Pig Blood w/Beef Stew Sauce, onion rings and "sweet potatoes fries" (à la Dan Quayle). I had baked chicken filet with egg ($6.25), over rice instead of spaghetti. The portion was large, the chicken in boneless pieces, but not a paillard. One fried egg sat on top and another seems to have been cooked in with the rice. Detracting somewhat was the sauce covering, but fortunately not permeating, the dish, what I took to be Campbell’s cream of tomato soup right from the can.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jerry Posman, CCNY ‘63 and WES member, just became the College’s vice president of finance and administration, joining President Lisa Staiano-Coico who took office last year. To honor Stanley Feingold and the cohort of grandfathers surrounding him, Jerry arranged for a campus tour and lunch with the president today for us. About 40 people showed up, 25 riding up from Columbus Circle on the bus provided by the College for us. The ride itself from 59th Street to 140th Street was fascinating in itself, seeing the gentrification a part of upper Manhattan that we had visited daily for four years 50 years ago. While I recognize the social implications of removing rundown, low-rise housing and its needy occupants with modern, high-rise buildings, occupied by a different population stratum, I admit to some pleasure from the elimination of visual crumminess. One highlight for the stomach was spotting a branch of Levain Bakery, originally at 167 West 74th Street, right off Columbus Avenue, at 2167 Eight Avenue, near 117th Street. Levain is famous, to me at least, for delicious, expensive chocolate chip meatballs. They call them cookies, but each weighs 6 ounces or so, and are rounder than flatter. Last time I dared to buy one it cost $3.75 and that was at least one grandson ago. Now, moving uptown (note that Eighth Avenue becomes Eighth Avenue again, shedding its association with Central Park), more folks have the opportunity to over-indulge.

In place of my report on the campus visit, see

I especially recall summer nights at Lewisohn Stadium, the dust bowl that was home to our then-championship soccer team, where I heard Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, accompanied by my First Great Love, at 50¢ a ticket.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The following message popped up on my computer screen this morning: "If you died today, who would take care of your family?" My reaction was: If I died today, who would read the message?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Abandoning temporarily our respective roles on the cutting edge of epidemiology and the law, Bubbe and Grandpa Alan are leaving for a weekend as Boaz and Noam’s grandparents. While we have not had much practice in this regard recently, we expect to be able to pick up where we left off without too much prompting, although I’ll require an update on the affairs of Thomas the Tank Engine.

Today's New York Times, pages 14-15, carries two whole pages of advertising celebrating the 90th birthday of the Chinese Communist Party (11 1/2 years behind Mother Ruth Gotthelf), upcoming on July 1. As Confucius said, 资金 talks, 废话 walks.


  1. Mother Ruth Cohen is 90 on 7/4 along with the Chinese Communists Party. I'll be celebrating with nana Ruthie!

  2. Levain has the very best cookies and is still going strong on 74th St.