Monday, August 15, 2011
Happy Birthday, Noam. We will be celebrating this coming weekend with Big Brother Boaz and the boys’ wonderful parents.
Yesterday, I called David Brodie, Cardozo LLM ‘01, in London for an update. David is a magistrate in Hackney, a section of Northeast London that has been a center of rioting, looting, personal injury and property damage. Please note that I would be the last one to connect David’s administration of justice and this breakdown of social order.
With Tim Pawlenty out of the presidential race, I had to provide my own excitement today, so I walked to Congee Village, 100 Allen Street, just a few feet south of Delancey Street, which was pure shtetl 100 years ago. It took just over 16 minutes by the shortest possible route at a moderate rate, but utilizing my patent-pending long strides. Congee Village is fairly large, operating on two levels. The larger upstairs room has the feeling of a Philippine or Malaysian hut (but how would I know), with lots of wood, bamboo and cane chairs, and two flat panel TVs showing an ABC network soap opera with closed captions.
At first, I ordered half of the house special chicken ($9), but when the waiter came back from the kitchen to tell me that it would take 20 minutes or so to prepare, I switched to sauteed chicken with onion in black bean sauce in sizzling hot plate ($8.95) an apt description of the excellent dish I received. The large portion of sliced white meat chicken was cooked in black bean sauce, yellow onions, green onions and slivers of ginger, and the metal serving plate indeed sizzled. I was given rice at no extra charge. In all, the walk was worth it, but the temperature was only in the mid-70s.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Okami Fusion Sushi, 63 Reade Street, is very easily missed, and I have for almost 10 years working in the neighborhood. It’s small, a couple of doors away from another Japanese restaurant, that I’ve also passed on, and on the south side of Reade Street that has been a construction site for high-rise residences for several years now. It has 3 tables large enough for four people and 3 tables large enough for two people. But, it’s busy with takeout orders and that turnover helps keep the sushi fresh. I had the lunch special, 3 rolls, salmon skin, yellowtail and spicy tuna, with miso soup ($11). I have no idea where the fusion came in and I emerged without any apparent exposure to fusion or fission. With A.A. Yawa Sushi, 187 Church Street, around the corner offering a nicer setting and Natsu Japanese Restaurant, 321 Broadway, around the other corner and cheaper, Okami looms small.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Lendy Electric Equipment & Supply Corporation, 176 Grand Street, is the parent to Lendy Electric’s Lighting Showroom, 137 Bowery, home to reasonably priced halogen light bulbs. Today, I headed to the mother ship (Big Lendy) to buy light switches and door stops, small but vital elements in the renovation of Palazzo di Gotthelf. Big Lendy is situated in the midst of Little Italy and seems to have been around as long as many of the restaurants surrounding it. Of course, Little Italy is really little these days with the growth of Chinatown, long since sprawling across Canal Street. An unfortunate byproduct of the shrinkage of Little Italy is the loss of Italian restaurants that did not cater to tourists alone. What remains is a crowded collection of unmemorable joints up and down Mulberry Street. I exclude Torrisi Italian Specialties, 250 Mulberry Street, from this judgment, because it is beyond the tourist district and highly reputed, although I haven't been able to get in yet. Of course, there is my favorite Forlini’s Restaurant, 93 Baxter Street, which is obviously not on Mulberry Street, and is crowded with judges, prosecutors, cops, criminal lawyers, criminal-lawyers and plain criminals at lunch time.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Today, British police arrested James Desborough, the Hollywood reporter for the defunct News of the World tabloid, in connection with phone hacking. I normally would not take my space or your time with this news, however, the coverage in the New York Times produced a sentence that will long live in journalism and in journalism about journalism: "Mr. Desborough was apparently also the first reporter to announce that Peaches Geldof, Bob Geldof’s daughter, was getting a divorce after a quickie marriage."
When I left the back door from the basement of the courthouse, which I often use because it is closer to much of Chinatown than the front door, I was surrounded by reporters, cameramen and cops. I was quite surprised because this exit does not draw the crowds of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Federal Courthouse next door, or the New York criminal court up Centre Street. However, the presence of bigger cameras and microphones than those carried by the "reporters" tipped me off to the filming of a Law & Order: Attenuated Plot episode. Whether my expression of righteous innocence ever appears on your TV screen remains to be seen. In any case, when I returned from lunch less than an hour later (Excellent Pork Chop House, 3 Doyers Street, for pretty good chow fun [$5.50]) all signs of show biz were gone.
Friday, August 19, 2011
The upper West Side's power couple hit the road today to celebrate Noam's first birthday in Natick. Not only will we have the company of Big Brother Boaz, Noam and their parents, but America's Loveliest Nephrologist is flying in from San Francisco for the festivities. Needless to say, although I'll say it, my young bride is thrilled and delighted with the prospect of being with her kids and their kids for the next several days.