Monday, June 11, 2012
My confidence is sapped. I was unable to do more than half of Saturday’s crossword puzzle, the hardest of the week. “Al Jazeera locale” was the clue for 1 Across, 9 letters. dohaqatar (Doha Qatar) was the answer and I was never going to get that correct. Even as I filled in some of the Down answers, no light bulb went off. Being scrupulous, at least when it comes to crossword puzzles, I sought no assistance and wound up staring at empty boxes for much of the afternoon.
This afternoon promises to be no cheerier since I am headed back to the dentist’s chair for the root canal postponed last week. While I took a long walk seeking a new establishment without success, I returned to Wo Hop downstairs, 17 Mott Street, daring history to repeat itself. This time I felt no need to play it safe and I ordered soft shell crabs with salt and pepper ($9.95 for 3). I was rewarded with a superb dish, the soft shells barely distinguishable from the juicy meat within. Green onions, peppers and garlic were sauteed along with the crabs and I ate them too in order to meet my Vitamin A and C requirements. I’ll brush my teeth before leaving the building, but I’ll wait as long as I can to preserve the happy taste in my mouth.
On the way home after the root canal, I was fortunate in finding a reasonable way to provide another happy taste to enjoy after sensation returned to my mouth and lips – Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert. Now, Trader Joe assumes an enormous risk by meddling with one of the Universe’s finest creations, but he pulls it off. The quart container had a generous portion of cherries and chocolate pieces in a cherry-flavored not-really ice cream. It is vegan and Kosher and went very well with Novocain.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Last night, the Los Angeles Kings defeated the New Jersey Devils for the Stanley Cup, the peak achievement in professional hockey. And who cares? Los Angeles is notorious in sports circles for how early in the evening the fans for any of its teams flee in order to beat traffic. The Devils, I reluctantly admit, are one of the best run sports franchises in the world, but unable to fill their arena unless the New York Rangers are opposing them. So, probably 87 people in North America were absorbed by the contest, but not me. Instead, I ate my Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert and watched the first half of “Lawrence of Arabia,” to maintain my two-week old connection to Bedouin culture, and the first half of the third episode of the first season of “Trial & Retribution,” a British police procedural series that is much edgier than any version of “Law & Order.” Each full episode of “Trial & Retribution” runs about 3 hours, so half is a reasonable dose for any school night.
As a hockey fan and especially a Rangers fan, I was challenged by the matchup of the Kings and the Devils. Normally, any opponent of the Devils (who defeated the Rangers to get to the championship round) would be my favorite. However, it ain’t so easy. Decisions of this sort, who to root for when your team is out of contention, are almost entirely based on antagonisms. The Kings are owned by a rapacious billionaire who ardently pursues his economic gain at the expense of the rest of us. While his hockey operations are conducted in a non-partisan fashion and, unlike owners in other sports, hockey team ownership is usually pretty obscure to the average fan. So, while Mr. LA Greed Face will only hover in the background of the celebrations surrounding the Cup, he will presumably gain enormous satisfaction. Where do I stand? It’s very hard sometimes to reconcile the sports section with the rest of the newspaper.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The fruit situation on the streets of Chinatown continues to improve. White/Queen Anne cherries have dropped to 3 pounds for $5, or $2 per pound; red cherries are 2 pounds for $3 along Canal Street, East Broadway and Mulberry Street. Good-sized mangoes remain at $1 each, but seem juicier and tastier each week. However, donut peaches have not reappeared.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Last night, in another setback for the Jewish people, I was elected a vice president of West End Synagogue.
Another lunchtime without finding a new place to eat. I’m not asking for sympathy, but, after almost 30 months of exploring metropolitan Chinatown, it’s not easy locating an untried venue. Everyday this week, I walked around in different directions without any success. I’ve seen some new places solely serving beverages, bubble tea and the like, or bakeries offering leaden, lard-ridden “buns.” The former group don’t offer food and the latter group are disqualified by what they try to pass off as food. There are many sites in transition, closed weeks or months ago with some promising signs of construction. But, for the here and now, I have to keep prowling the streets in search of the next superior scallion pancake or plate of Singapore chow fun.
Friday, June 15, 2012
The big sign over 102 Mott Street reads 102 Noodles Town Restaurant. However, the menu and business cards inside read Big Wing Wong Restaurant, the same as they did on May 6, 2010 when I last visited. So, is it new or old? I decided not to increase my restaurant count when I realized that I ordered the exact same dish, spicy fried beef chow fun ($7.25), 25 months ago. It certainly held its own after all this time.