Thursday, March 22, 2012

Oy Verse

Monday, March 19, 2012
Maybe the nicest day of the year, bright sky, temperature at 73° and I joined a group for lunch at Jing Fong, 20 Elizabeth Street, a wonderful place for a gathering of dim summers. We had about 10-12 different items, but multiple plates of each. I think we made all gone by the end.

Leaving the courthouse at 5 PM, I saw a big crew at work directly across the street filming something. Given my abiding interest in show business, I sauntered over and asked a grip whether they were shooting that show with the bad number in its title. No, this was a pilot for a show called Guilty, to star Cuba Gooding, Jr., as “a brilliant, morally questionable defense attorney who, after being falsely convicted of fraud and stripped of his legal license, uses his unorthodox methods to solve the cases he’s been prohibited from handling … and to exact revenge on those who set him up,” according to the publicity release. I took my time leaving the area, walking to and fro so that I could be observed from the front and back, right profile and left profile, in case there was a need to cast an older, wise-looking mentor for the agitated revenge-seeker. Somehow, I was overlooked.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
This morning, at 9 AM, the courthouse steps were covered by cops, lawyers and civilians who were really actors or extras shooting more of Guilty. I thought my chances for discovery were even greater as I approached those majestic steps that I had climbed for years. Alas, I will not be leaving the Court Attorneys Association of the City of New York for Actor’s Equity.

Sunny, the nice Korean lady, operates a small food cart on Forsyth Street, at Division Street, in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge. I picked three skewers, lamb, chicken and beef, $1 each, which she finished cooking on a brazier built into her cart. She sprinkled on some magic spices while they cooked. Even taken together, they amounted to a modest portion, but they tasted great. While I had anticipated eating standing up, Sunny allowed me to sit on one of the two kitchen chairs next to her cart, presumably saved for company. Since I had brought my own can of diet ginger ale, this was especially convenient.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Guilty was back on the courthouse steps this morning as I approached. Yet another chance to be discovered. However, they were shooting a mock press conference and I would seem to be less convincing as an overage reporter than even as an overage lawyer.

The weather was ordinary today, 60ish, cloudy, but Columbus Park welcomed summer crowds. Except for Frisbee replacing touch football, all New York schoolyard sports were represented. The card and Xiangqi players were surrounded by kibitzers, and there was a new musical wrinkle. Alongside the tuneless banjo player and three Erhu players was a man playing a Yangqin (alternatively Yang Quin), a hammered dulcimer. Music aside, the instrument itself was lovely, a polished wooden box sitting horizontally.

Thursday, March 22, 2012
Enough with the Chinese music I thought, but this 74° lunchtime really stirred things up in the Chinatown musical community. Did you ever go to the music festival in New Orleans, where 8 or 10 performances are going on all over the grounds? Today, as I walked through Columbus Park, I saw one Erhu player alone, then three Erhuists, the dreaded banjo player and the talented Yangqin player together. Finally, at the Baxter Street edge of the park, there was the following ensemble: 1 Erhu, 1 flute, 1 accordion, 1 woman knocking blocks, and 7 (yes, count them 7) singers, 5 of whom had those headsets and strapped-on amplifiers. Is Spring in the air, or what?

Friday, March 23, 2012
The upper West Side's Power Couple are joining other members of West End Synagogue on its annual retreat deep into the heart of Connecticut, but nowhere near Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun casinos. As a result, there is nothing new to report, but I thought I would leave you with an exciting new poetic work by Jerry Posman, vice president of CCNY, at least until someone reads this.

Ode to a Chinese Checker

Awaiting Saturday’s news from Alan Gotthelf,
Our Whitman blogs a modern day song of himself.

Computer speaks and anticipation leaps,
Imagine Chinese food reviewed by Samuel Pepys.

Bright kid from Queens, no time better spent
Then at o glorious, glorious Stuyvesant.

Onto to City College mentored by the great Feingold,
Lessons learned, friends for life – a tradition to behold.

Bachelor, bon vivant until fatefully kissed
By lovely Mayris, world’s favorite epidemiologist.

Knows it all, relates without trace of guile,
But clearly being short-winded, not his style.

Law, politics, tech can expound on all that jazz
Oh what a renaissance granddad – lucky Boaz

New York super fan – Mets and Rangers hockey,
Can you imagine skating on ice with Mister Stocky?

Hanukkah host welcomes guests from all foreign shores,
Has there ever been a more gracious Jewish Santa Claus?

Fine New York dining from the guide Zagat may spring,
But read Gotthelf for the best downtown dumpling.

For this winner, no Gatorade, soy sauce we will drench,
To Alan, a sui generis -– Sino-Yiddish mensch.

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