Monday, April 29, 2013
Usually, I go to Mets games with Gilbert Glotzer, attorney to the stars. Yesterday, however, my companion was David B., M.D. and I needed a doctor as the Mets catcher dropped a pop fly in foul territory with two men out and no one on base. The batter proceeded to get a hit with his extended life, followed by the next batter getting a hit, followed by the replacement of the Mets pitcher who had been cruising until then, followed by the offensive substitution of one of the best hitters in baseball, who hit a long double, scoring the two ahead of him, followed by the Mets forgetting that hitting the ball is an important part of the game. Now, David is a general practitioner which was adequate for the ordinary aches and pains that this loss caused. Had the Mets lost in more dramatic fashion, blowing a big lead in the last inning or some such, a cardiologist would have been required. Also, this was the first loss that I witnessed live in person after three games this young season, so it’s too early for a psychiatrist.
Today, at lunchtime, the weather was chilly and damp, drizzling just enough to justify opening the umbrella and not stopping into any of the three brand new dessert/beverage joints I passed as I returned materials to the library branch on East Broadway. Instead, I went to Great N.Y. Noodletown, 28 Bowery, which failed to impress me on two prior visits. However, just as Barry Manilow takes requests from the audience, I responded to the urging of Irene L., loyal reader, to give it another try. I ordered roast duck with E-foo noodles ($10.95). Of course, I had no idea what E-foo noodles were, but I was not disappointed. At first glance, you might mistake them for lo-mein, but closer examination shows that E-foo (E-fu in some venues) noodles are flat not round, with a slight twist to them if laid out. The large portion of noodles was surrounded by a halo of Chinese broccoli and contained shredded carrots, bean sprouts, lots of Walt Disney mushrooms and tasty chunks of duck (could have been more). It was a very good dish on the whole and my glass of tea was kept full and hot. So, thank you, Irene.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
It’s not too soon to plan for Tuesday afternoon, May 14th, when Häagen-Dazs stores, including the one at the corner of Mott Street and Bayard Street in Chinatown, will be giving out free cones between the hours of 4 and 8 PM. Enjoy.
With some good real estate news and a hefty income tax refund, this bright, sunny day looked even better. Not quite in the mood to explore, I went to New Mandarin Court, 61 Mott Street, a favorite even when it wasn’t New. Unlike many other Chinatown restaurants at lunchtime, it offers dim sum and a menu of lunch specials. Only one cart was moving around with about 8 dim sum choices. I took shu mai and shrimp dumplings, 4 pieces to a plate at $3. Then, I ordered orange flavor chicken ($5.50) which came with white rice. Everything was good, and the price was right. Attendance was weak, though. Only about a dozen people were in the restaurant with me, possibly because construction right outside made it easy to skirt around the front door.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Mangez Avec Moi, 71 West Broadway, seems to be a deviation from this (ad)venture’s mission to focus on East Asian restaurants. However, lest we forget that Southeast Asia was colonized by the French for a century from the 1850s to the 1950s, Mangez Avec Moi advertises "authentic pan Asian cuisine." And I will never forget the phrase mangez avec moi, one of the few things that I retain from three years of studying French in high school. The room is a small box with high ceiling covered in pressed tin. The floor looks very old, made of hexagonal tiles. The walls are bare, although a note said that art is coming (a line I think I heard Nathan Lane utter in "The Nance"). There are about 20 small 2 top tables, moved around to accommodate groups of all sizes.
The menu leans toward Vietnamese and Thai food, with a large number of choices. There are 27 weekday lunch specials at $8.50, smaller and cheaper than at other times, with a choice of white or brown rice. I had Massaman peanut curry chicken with brown rice. Research tells me that Massaman is a Thai curry of Muslim origin. The word itself is thought to have derived from Mussulman, an archaic word for Muslim. The curry was good, spicy hot as the menu promised. A few pieces of potato supplemented the chicken, adding bulk to the dish and meeting my two starch with every meal requirement. A carafe of water with a slice of lemon floating in it came right away without asking, but hot tea doesn’t even appear on the menu.
I interrupted my four-block crosstown walk to Mangez Avec Moi by stopping at one of the two sidewalk stands selling men’s ties. One guy is located on Broadway between Reade Street and Chambers Street, the other on Reade Street, about 10 feet west of Broadway. The guy on Broadway sells his (predominantly silk) ties for $3, 2 for $5, displayed folded in boxes. The other guy sells his for $2, 3 for $5, stretched out in cellophane sleeves. I usually stop by one or the other on the way to the subway after work in nice weather, and the 150 or so ties in my closet show that I do more than pass the time of day with these gents. While you have to keep your eye out for stains or pulled threads (more likely in the folded but more expensive [!!] ties), the quality of the goods from either is remarkably high. You’ll find, if you look carefully, ties from Joseph Abboud, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica, Jerry Garcia, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (being worn at this moment), Lands’ End, Brooks Brothers (verily), and my greatest score, Shakespeare on a medium-blue background from Josh Bach, normally $49, now discontinued. By the way, the labels are not randomly affixed to available merchandise, a practice that seemed to define shopping in Shanghai. Having spent enough time, but as little money as possible, buying ties, I can recognize styles and designs from leading sources. Understand, you probably won’t find the same thing twice. I’ve never found another Josh Bach on either table – the three others that I own were gifts, two from wonderful step-children. So, I bought 3 ties for $5 on the way to lunch, although only one tie spoke to me from the same table yesterday. By the way, I got my Mets tie from the guy on Broadway, but my Rangers tie I found at a flea market upstate.
Friday, May 3, 2013
No work today because the anarchic Jews of West End Synagogue are holding their annual retreat, for which I have some responsibility. We're heading for a campsite in Copake, NY, about 100 miles due north of New York City, a lot closer to where real Americans live. For better or worse, we will remain insulated from the outside world because we will be the only occupants of the facility, which houses a children's camp as well as an adult camp during the summer. In fact, we will be opening the season for them. That might yield pleasure in newly-painted and refurbished quarters, or distress as the staff scurries around looking for missing equipment and supplies. I'll know the results in 48 hours, and, should they be less than satisfactory, I'll hear about it at least until 5775.