Friday, June 29, 2012

Play Ball

Monday, June 25, 2012
As you sports fans are well aware, the Mets and Yankees played three games this weekend at CitiField, the second half of this season’s Subway Series of interleague baseball. I went to Friday night’s game, which the Mets won 6-4. Here is my view.

I was spared Saturday night’s Yankee 4-3 victory by spending the entire evening in a restaurant in the company of Jill and Steve, our stalwart traveling companions. I had no knowledge of the progress or outcome of that disappointing game until leaving the restaurant and starting the drive home.

Last night was the culmination of the series, featuring a great pitching matchup between the Yankees CC (skip the periods) Sabathia (9 wins and 3 losses entering the game) and the Mets R.A. Dickey (11 wins and 1 loss, the best record in baseball). In a telephone conversation before the game with Cindy W.M., a rabid baseball fan unaligned with either team, I proposed that the losing pitcher be obliged to return to using his complete name, Carsten Charles or Robert Alan, for the remainder of the season. As it happens, both pitchers were underwhelming and did not figure in the final result. So, they remain abbreviated until further notice.

Pho Grand Vietnamese Restaurant, 277C Grand Street, is a pleasant joint, with knotty pine paneled walls and exposed beams (decorative, not supportive) giving the feeling of a mountain cabin. It was busy with a mixed crowd, mixed in ages and ethnicity. I had spring rolls & grilled beef on rice vermicelli ($7.75) which only rated a C, middling. The best part of finding Pho Grand was all the other restaurants I passed on the way that will be first impressions when I get to them.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Stanley Feingold was in New York and we acolytes gathered for lunch with him. I also took advantage of visiting midtown during daylight hours to see one of my several dentists and my only barber.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012
I took a vacation day in order to visit possible sites for West End Synagogue’s 2013 Retreat with three fellow congregants. We had lunch at McKinney & Doyle, 10 Charles Colman Boulevard, Pawling, New York 12564, a cafĂ© with a fine bakery. I enjoyed the Chicken & Apricot Salad ($12.50), roasted shredded chicken with apricots and almonds over mixed greens. For dessert, I ordered a whole Belgian chocolate pound cake ($4.50), rich, moist chocolate cake, nearly 6" long, coated with delicious chocolate icing, from the bakery counter, which yielded six ample slices. A steal that I was happy to share.

Thursday, June 28, 2012
Chang Le Xin Fan Zhuang, 36 Eldridge Street, just opened, as attested to by the red-ribboned plants around the front door. It contains seven round tables, four of which had thick glass lazy-Susans in the middle for true family-style dining. Three of the other tables had Chinese patrons, including one cluster of three men enjoying many dishes and many beers. The decor held to the theme More is More. There were two elaborate chandeliers, two flat screen television sets, two large, back-lit photomurals, one of a waterfall, the other Shanghai’s nighttime skyline, other framed artworks, and a tall beverage cooler near the cashier. I tried to concentrate on my crossword puzzle in order to avoid sensory overload.

The heavy, glossy menu was entirely in Chinese, but my goofy look drew an English-language takeout menu. I ordered oyster pancake ($11.95) and got a 10" round pancake (two thin, lightly-fried crepes) stuffed with chopped oysters and lots of chives. The waitress, whose English was otherwise marginal, aptly murmured "pizza" when I placed my order. It was quite good.

Friday, June 29, 2012
Because a number of municipal, state and federal agencies are situated in the area around the courthouse, it’s not unusual to see lines of people as I walk by certain buildings in the morning. For instance, the Department of Buildings has an office on Broadway just below Reade Street, which processes construction plans, where I see 50 or more people waiting outside almost every morning before 9 AM. 26 Federal Plaza, on Broadway, has the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which generates lines of immigrants and would-be immigrants looking even more desperate than the real estate developers seeking building permits at DOB. Today, though, 2 Centre Street, between Duane and Reade Streets (Aha!), had a line circling the block, reaching back almost to its starting point. I learned that these many hundreds of people were waiting entry to take the New York Police Department examination, the next-to-last day it is being administered for some period after one month of daily testing. I called out “Good luck” as I passed by.

By contrast, at lunchtime, with the temperature at 90, I kept quiet as I passed by the Moynihan Federal Courthouse around the corner where dozens of reporters, still photographers and video photographers (often with step ladders for elevation) gathered to see Peter Madoff, Bernie’s little brother, exit after pleading guilty to falsifying documents, filing false tax returns and lying to regulators. Unfortunately, he did not lie to Congress about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, so he knew he was sunk. I liked the part about Peter collecting $40 million dollars from Bernie’s firm and not paying any taxes on it. It seems like a good idea if I can only get someone to give me $40 million.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate the aha moment (is there still a druggist on the corner?) and the shoutout re: my baseball fanaticism. Robert Alan should definitely start for the NL in the ASG