Thursday, April 26, 2012

Surf's Up

Monday, April 23, 2012
I thought MOHS was a snappy acronym, although I couldn’t figure out the letters. Actually, it is a microscopically-controlled surgery used to treat common types of skin cancer, created by a general surgeon, Dr. Frederic E. Mohs. In any case, all morning and part of the afternoon was devoted to this procedure. The cutting only takes minutes, but first you sit in the waiting room 75 minutes to be called in. Then, they shoot in some Lidocaine to numb the skin, forehead in my case. Then, the nice lady doctor cuts a piece to take into the lab for a pathologic exam, another 75 minutes. Then, another slice to get all the schmutz out. Back into the lab, but closer to 45 minutes this time. All clear, a little conversation and out on the street near 2 PM, with a large, fierce-looking bandage on my brow. Lunch, therefore, was at Fine & Schapiro, 138 West 72nd Street, an old-line Kosher delicatessen, a couple of blocks from home, a deli duo, a pastrami sandwich and a brisket sandwich on individual dinner-sized rolls ($16.75). Very sour pickles and cole slaw gratis.

Hollister is a name that divides people 22-years old and younger from the rest of the known world. It’s a name that appears primarily on T-shirts that look well-worn even when purchased new. That, in itself, isn’t unique. Denims, khakis and shirts have been offered pre-washed in a variety of marinades for quite some time, in a faux attempt to appear to have long been in the wearer’s possession. Hollister, however, goes further in attempting to pass its $19.50 T-shirts as something pulled from the bottom of your drawer. The letters in the name Hollister and other writing on the front typically are not ironed, printed or silk-screened on. Rather, they are raggedly sewn on, trying to look like the work of some fun-loving folks who have developed an alternative to the quilting bee in spite of their lack of manual dexterity. The final product is quite unattractive, unless you spend a lot of time on skateboards.

What intrigued me when I first saw Hollister T-shirts was the name itself. As a result of my period of exile in California, I vaguely recognized the name as somewhere near a highway exit. Looking at a map, I see that Hollister is south of San Jose, between US-101 and I-5, near Gilroy, which I recollect has an annual garlic festival. Hollister, population 34,928 at the 2010 census, is about 40 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. It shares the title of “Earthquake Capital of the World” with three other California towns, according to Wikipedia, but has sole possession of the title “Hay Capital of the World,” at least in the State of California.

So, what’s the story on Hollister? Well, it turns out that it ain’t Hollister, California that’s being promoted, but Hollister Ranch, a settlement in an area along the Pacific Coast outside Santa Barbara, 230 miles away, known for its surfing. So, you have a choice of waves of amber hay or just waves.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I thought that the worst thing that happened to me yesterday was the doubleheader loss by the Mets to the Giants, the first half of which I witnessed live in person, with about 87 other Met fans and 300 Giant fans. However, this morning, as I prepared to leave for work, I could not find my Manhattan Diary, the invaluable record of my comings and goings, and storehouse of vital information, including subway and street maps, addresses and telephone numbers for stores, museums, restaurants theaters, and public agencies, and other stuff that I can’t recall without looking at the book. I’ve used pocket diaries for decades, the Manhattan Diary a majority of the last 30 years. I was never tempted to move to battery-powered versions because of the wealth of information at my fingertips in hard copy more quickly available then an electronically-aided search, from start to finish.

The loss, probably in or around the doctor’s office yesterday when I was scheduling a return visit, was not quite as devastating as it might have been several months ago. My new smartyphone has a calendar that I have filled out duplicating what my diary had, and, of course, the smartyphone is loaded with features that, once mastered, may meet my information needs. On the other hand, the photographs of America’s Favorite Epidemiologist and me on our wedding day and when she was caught by surprise walking into our apartment filled with her friends on a rather significant birthday, kept in a pocket of the diary, are nowhere stored electronically.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
As the doctor warned on Monday, the Lidocaine has migrated down around my left eye, vividly discoloring the surrounding area and swelling the lid half-closed. Seats on the subway were readily available under the circumstances. Fortunately, the Lidocaine stopped moving downward by lunchtime and never reached my mouth or my feet. Therefore, I took a nice walk and found newly-opened Shanghai Heping restaurant, 104 Mott Street, which replaced Yong Gee (March 18, 2010). The redecorated place is bright and airy. The walls are painted a pale, soothing aqua color. One wall held 8 photographs 15" x 18" of Shanghai 60-80 years ago, including a good aerial view of the Bund. The other wall had niches for tschotkes not yet occupied.

There were 20 or so tables of varying sizes, with Chinese folks seated at about half of them. A young man from Milan was seated at the small table facing me and we discussed dumplings briefly. He had walked through Little Italy, one block west of where we sat, but (wisely) ignored their restaurants. He said that he never eats Italian food outside of Italy, a boast I dearly wish I could make if only I could spend more time in Italy.

I ordered spicy orange flavor beef ($12.95 less 20% opening discount). It was very good, with a sweet, sticky, spicy and peppery sauce. At full price, however, I would expect a few more pieces of beef. I also want to put you on notice of the Veggie Pride Parade, Sunday, May 27th, starting at Noon in Greenwich Village and proceeding to Union Square. A sign in a grocery window gave me this exciting news as I walked back to the courthouse. Unfortunately, I’ll be out of the country then, which saves me from agonizing over the choice of a costume.

Thursday, April 26, 2012
I didn’t think that I was going to write about anything today, other than to note that America’s Favorite Epidemiologist has abandoned me – temporarily to visit America’s Loveliest Nephrologist in San Francisco. I went to lunch more eager to do the crossword puzzle than to eat, so I entered Nom Wah Tea Parlor, 13 Doyers Street, again (March 8, 2011), as much to say Hello to Wilson Tang, the young proprietor and avid fan of the Knicks and the Mets. However, the scallion pancake was one of the best I’ve ever had, although the most expensive at $3.50, and their unique egg rolls ($3.95), almost an omelet wrapped around the ingredients, was very good. In true tea parlor fashion, Nom Wah offered a choice of 8 different teas for $1, chrysanthemum tea for $1.50.

You'll know the results as you read this, but the climactic game of the first round of the Rangers-Senators series is tonight. For that reason alone, I'm glad that my lovely bride will be absent and avoid the ensuing emotional turmoil.

1 comment:

  1. Hope your MOHS is healing well. Good for your to let us know more about it.