Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Name Game

Monday, July 4, 2011

Even on a national holiday, without having to shave, get dressed and go to work, the world gave me a lot to think about in the form of the Sunday New York Times, delivered to my front door. Just one section of yesterday's paper has put me in a highly reflective mood. I’m talking about the Styles section, once upon a time known as the social pages, where the weddings and engagements only of people you didn’t know were recorded. I was first engaged by an article about the search for local venues for the expected rush of same sex weddings after New York State’s legislative change. The article, Free to Say, ‘I Do,’ but Where?, (I’ve cheated on the problem of punctuation by using italics, else I would have to figure out how to end the title – Where?", vs. Where?,") was written by Tatiana Boncompagni. Have you heard a lovelier name in months? Wikipedia says that Boncompagni is an Italian noble family from Assisi. But, it’s the wonderful sound of the name that enchants me. If I were not devoted to America’s Favorite Epidemiologist in perpetuity, I might seek the good company of Tatiana Boncompagni.

Reading the article, I learned that, among other locations, the Southampton Inn has been swamped with inquiries, according to its owner DeDe Gotthelf. Yes, while the Palazzo di Gotthelf, high above Amsterdam Avenue, does not accept paying guests, you can apparently savor Gotthelf hospitality at the Southampton Inn. Buon appetito.

However, the Styles section had even more to help me pass the time before returning to meting out justice on Tuesday. Among the weddings being celebrated this weekend was the marriage of Second Lt. Judith Li to Second Lt. Nathan Lee, active Army officers who met at West Point. What struck me was the reporting that the bride "is taking her husband’s name." Imagine this conversation:

Hello, Lt. Li. How are you?
Fine, thank you, but I’m Lt. Lee now. I’ve gotten married.
I'm sorry Lt. Lee. I'll try to remember that.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

One reason I am enamored of Tatiana Boncompagni is the number of syllables in her name, as well as its musicality. American names are typically short and direct, George Bush, Miles Davis, Jay Leno. Tatiana Boncompagni contains 8 syllables; you need to gather Bill Clinton, Elvis Presley and Cher together to reach that number. I thought I might enjoy the company of an octosyllabic lunch guest today, when Margarita Krivitskiya, Stuyvesant ‘07, Harvard ‘11, agreed to join me. However, while Margarita did use the feminine version of her family name in the past, adding that precious eighth syllable, she has now reverted to the basic form, Krivitski, consuming only 7 syllables in total. We had a very pleasant lunch in any case, going to Wo Hop downstairs to begin her gustatory education with "real Chinese food" in the words of Mother Ruth Gotthelf. After all, there’s only so much you can learn in the Ivy League.

By coincidence, the evening’s e-mail contained a poetic contribution from Eugenia (Jenny) Fuchs, Stuyvesant ‘07, Chicago ‘11, to wit:

Newsweek snubbed our beloved Stuy.
Here's an explanation why.
The SAT scores were too high.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I returned to the block-long food court at 122 Mott Street/81 Elizabeth Street and went right to the sushi counter immediately inside the door off Mott Street. I picked out a tuna roll ($3.95), with avocado cut into nine 1" pieces, and an eel roll ($3.95), inside out with avocado also cut into nine 1" pieces. A diet Coke at the attractive price of 79¢ completed my lunch. However, even though the sushi counter had its own cashier, one of 6 or so spread among the various food counters, the cash register receipt read Deluxe Meat Market, just like the receipt I got last week at the other end of the hall when I ordered hot food. So, my blog journalisn ethics dilemma is: Do I count this as another restaurant, adding to the count? I’ll sleep on it.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Having sought the wise counsel on the subject of journalistic ethics of Rupert Murdoch, I’ve decided to count Deluxe Meat Market (sushi bar), 122 Mott Street, as a separate entity, counted individually from the Deluxe Meat Market mother ship.

The First International Jewish Bloggers Convention will be held in Jerusalem on August 20, 2011. The theme is "The Power of the JBlogosphere: Taking JBlogging to the Next Level." I am pondering whether my efforts reach the next level, or are merely stuck on the old level. found 121 Chinese restaurants throughout Israel. That in itself should warrant a visit. So, if someone out there has idle business class tickets to Ben Gurion Airport, consider that Grandpa Alan might deserve to be taken to the next level.


  1. My best friend is on a ten day vacation with his wife to Israel. I just made a tinyURL of your page of 121 Chinese restaurants and sent it to him! I'll let you know if he uses the resource. Thanks! And as usual, thanks for a few chuckles. (Yes, that is a beautiful name! Eight syllables. Sheesh!)

    Noah Lewin

  2. Correction -- My lunch companion on Wednesday used the name Krivitskaya (not Krivitskiya)when she still wielded 8 syllables.