Monday, June 27, 2011
The June 27, 2011 issue of Newsweek features, what they label as, an exclusive survey of America’s best high schools. I was eager to see the recognition of Stuyvesant at the top of the list, but when it failed to appear on the list of 100 I knew that something was terribly wrong. I did not have to look far to see evidence of the inadequacy of Newsweek’s information gathering and analysis. A visual aid to the list of the top 100 was a map of the US showing the location of the schools. New York City, normally less than a flyspot on a US map, was given its own sidebar to identify the 16 schools Newsweek found in New York City, not including Stuyvesant. In fact, 12 of the high schools are well outside New York City. Newsweek puts high schools in Bronxville, Jericho, Great Neck (2), Rye, Cold Spring Harbor, Old Westbury, Syosset, Scarsdale, Manhasset, Rockville Center, and Greenlawn in New York City. At least, Newsweek kept City Honors School in Buffalo outside of the five boroughs. You can’t take Newsweek seriously when it can’t even pass a simple geography test.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
I went to 69 Bayard Restaurant, 69 Bayard Street, a familiar haunt, for shrimp and mushroom egg foo young ($7.25). The canned mushrooms they mixed in proved unnecessary; they weren’t even needed to add bulk to the very large serving portion. I sat at the last table on the left side, the smallest in the joint. While I have commented on the restaurant’s walls papered with US dollar bills (see April 27, 2011 especially), I noticed in my immediate vicinity, in one small corner, currency from Bermuda, Brazil, Iceland, Cuba, Fiji, Korea, Trinidad & Tobago, and Colombia pasted on the wall. Having been educated at Stuyvesant High School, apparently unlike the editors of Newsweek, I immediately knew that Mike Bloomberg was not the mayor of any of these countries.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Deluxe Meat Market Inc., 81 Elizabeth Street, is deceptive. When you enter, you see a bakery counter on your right and a prepared foot counter on your left. I walked along the prepared food counter, where things are sold by weight or by the piece, and chose a semi-sticky bun ($.90), a scallion pancake ($1.50), curry chicken ($2.63), stuffed green pepper (2 pieces, $1.22) and "sweet rice" ($1.81), really chicken sticky rice. This edible array required a Diet Coke ($.79). The scallion pancake was mediocre on its own, but dipped in the abundant amount of curry sauce ladled on by the nice lady after she weighed the curry chicken more than redeemed it. Beyond the first group of counters were some tables, chairs and stools where I ate my lunch. By then, though, I noticed that counter after counter flowed into the distance, with several butchers, bakers, dumpling makers tending busy counters. In fact, this food mall went right through to Mott Street, an entire block, where it is located at #122. Since each counter had its own cash register, I believe that Deluxe is only the name of the counter I patronized. Since there were other prepared food vendors and at least one sushi counter along the way, I expect to return and increase my count of establishments.
Columbus Park was bustling on this beautiful day. Tourists were competing for space with Chinese card and Xiangqi players. Yes, gentle folk, what I have been awkwardly calling Chinese chess/checkers for the last 18 months is properly named Xiangqi. It is related to chess, as we know it, but the pieces sit on the intersection of lines, not in boxes. The action is also more explicitly combat-based, with pieces known as generals, advisers, elephants, chariots, cannons, horses and soldiers. For more, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiangqi.
What I found most interesting was the music-making in the park. In addition to the two Chinese fiddlers, who are almost always seated on the Baxter Street edge of the park, joined by an accordionist today, there was an Occidental piano player, at a decent distance, who brought his own upright piano. It did not appear to be motorized, so I can only wonder how an upright piano got into the middle of Columbus Park.
Friday, July 1, 2011
Sacre bleu. Dominque Strauss-Kahn, on track to become the next president of France, apparently only had consensual sex with a chambermaid half his age in his Manhattan hotel room. What a relief to learn that no force was used by the president of the International Monetary Fund in having sex with a chambermaid half his age in his Manhattan hotel room. Now, a return to prominence is anticipated for the man who only had consensual sex with a chambermaid half his age in his Manhattan hotel room. C’est la guerre.
In honor of completing 18 months at 60 Centre Street, I made sure to find a new restaurant. Kuai Le Hand Pull Noodles Restaurant, 28 Forsyth Street, is not so easy to find, located opposite the exit ramp from the Manhattan Bridge. It’s a small place, fitting 20 people at most, with about a half dozen actually eating along with me. There was an illustrated menu on the wall, similar to Lam Zhou Handmade Noodles & Dumplings. I ordered dumplings (12 fried $4, 12 steamed $3), because all the noodle dishes seemed to be soups, and this lovely summer day did not call for hot soup. I enjoyed the dumplings, but had to substitute for Diet Coke, the traditional drink with fried dumplings, because all the sodas in their cooler were full fat. Instead, I accepted, at the urging of the owner-waiter-chef, a can of Wong Lo Kat Herbal Tea. Had the cannery cut the sugar dosage in half, they would have had a tasty beverage, but, as is, Wong Lo Kat does not get the Grandpa Alan Seal of Approval.