Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It's a Big Number

Monday, February 13, 2012
The court system, along with other New York State agencies, still celebrates Lincoln’s Birthday apart from President's Day, so we had the day off. Thus, I got to spend the lunch hour in Dr. David B.’s office getting reassured that I didn't have pneumonia, Avian flu or Asian flu, that the cough and nasal congestion I brought back from Vietnam was merely a bronchial infection that apparently will not lay waste to half the population of New York City. We can breathe easily now, well soon at least after the prescribed medication has time to do its job.

Medication is not my excuse for a stupid oversight yesterday. I simply forgot that I had two tickets for the Rangers-Capitals game. Instead, I stayed home and watched it on television (Rangers 3-2). This was an expensive failure of my non-electronic diary-keeping.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I had lunch with an alternate Valentine, Marty the Super Clerk at 71 Thomas Street, because I had theater tickets to deliver to him. We went, as we usually do, to Pecan Fine Foods, 130 Franklin Street, an informal cafĂ© that has excellent soups and interesting sandwiches. I began my quest for more and more Chinese food when I left 71 Thomas Street just over two years ago to move to 60 Centre Street, immediately adjacent to Chinatown. However, ignoring Little Italy as much of it should be, there is no even modestly-passable non-Asian food around here. So, it’s Tribeca for Pecan, Zucker’s Bagels & Smoked Fish, Landmarc, Tribeca Grill and Blaue Gans for a lunch without chopsticks.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
I must admit that I have been partially seduced by the Jeremy Lin phenomenon, the emergence from nowhere of an Asian-American Harvard graduate into the leader of a resurgent New York Knicks basketball team. Last night was a test for me. The New York Rangers were skating against the Boston Bruins in Boston, the team immediately trailing them in the standings. Start time for the Ranger game and the Knicks game from Toronto was 7 PM. So, I found myself switching channels with the ebb and flow of the action in the respective games, instead of remaining glued to the Ranger game (3-0 victory).

Unfortunately, Lin’s success has already evoked the American disease* of racism. Lin, a member of a once-persecuted minority (Chinese were barred by Federal law from becoming US citizens from 1790 until 1943), is being viewed by some whites and some blacks as the adopted Great White Hope, a tonic for the “tattooed thugs” of the NBA. See
I’m not sure that I am free from this prejudice, although I believe that my visceral reaction is primarily towards what is on the skin, rather than its color. On the other hand, many folks of many colors believe that Lin was ignored in college recruiting, the professional draft and utilization in the pros because he met the wrong stereotype.

Jing Star Restaurant, 27-29 Division Street, is a large restaurant on a busy street, yet I’ve missed it until now. It features dim sum at lunch, but was no more than 1/3 full in contrast to typically busy competitors, such as Golden Unicorn, 18 East Broadway, Jing Fong, 20 Elizabeth Street, and 88 Palace, 88 East Broadway. Only two women pushed carts around the floor, so I might have seen only 8-10 different items. I chose shu mei (4), shrimp dumplings (4), baked pork buns (3) and soft, round, sweet dough with a chopped meat stuffing (3). With a pot of jasmine tea, the bill was $8.50. The low energy atmosphere would keep me away in the future, although the food was good. For very good dim sum in a quiet setting, usually a contradiction in terms, I would suggest Dim Sum Go Go (primus inter pares), 5 East Broadway, or New Mandarin Court, 61 Mott Street. Although relatively quiet, neither feels tired.

* Upon reflection, I think racism has universal appeal, although the victims may vary. Generally, the darker suffer at the hands of the lighter, but I’m sure that we can find exceptions to that. In Cambodia, our lovely guide, a 33-year old married woman with two children, was wearing a long-sleeved turtleneck knit under a long-sleeved shirt when the temperature was around 90 and the humidity near 70, a beastly combination. She acknowledged that she was trying to ward off color, not cancer. I discussed this generally on July 26, 2010 (The Umbrellas of Chinatown). In sum, Lin's rapid rise has demonstrated white/black racism, black/white racism, black/yellow racism, and white/yellow racism. Remember what Tom Lehrer said?

Thursday, February 16, 2012
So the bakery where I ordered and paid for a birthday cake for Saturday on Tuesday closed its doors on Wednesday. Fortunately, I learned this early enough on Thursday to place another order, for more than twice as much, at another bakery. This cake is especially important because it celebrates three members of the delightful Siegel family along with you-know-who.

Friday, February 17, 2012
Michael Jordan is another Super Star born in Brooklyn on this date.

No comments:

Post a Comment