Saturday, February 21, 2015

Going South, Going East, Going West

Monday, February 16, 2015
Bill Armistead is the chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, and just think that he even gets paid for doing such a fun thing. Addressing the controversy over same-sex marriage that resulted from the conflict between state and federal judges in Alabama last week, Bill wrote that the "State of Alabama and the United States of America will reap God’s wrath if we embrace and condone things that are abhorrent to God, such as redefining marriage as anything other than a union between one man and one woman."

Considering where Alabama rates by most socio-economic indicators, one might believe that it has already reaped God’s wrath, over and over again. The non-partisan United Health Foundation rates Alabama 43rd among US states in the health of its population (; the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative organization, places Alabama 44th on its "Report Card on American Education" (

Maybe Alabama has failed to embrace and condone things that God really likes, accounting for its woeful condition. Get it on, Alabama.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015
The Boyz Club met at Shanghai Gourmet, 23 Pell Street, after the snow stopped falling. We had scallion pancakes, soup buns, soup (hot and sour or egg drop), orange flavor chicken, beef with scallions, shrimp with egg sauce, and spicy string beans. Everyone seemed to have enough to eat for $11 each, the tip almost double the percentage that a smaller group might fairly leave.

I understand that Israel has begun a new campaign to lessen the scrutiny of its actions by Western European nations. It will henceforth respond to provocations by beheading Egyptian Christians which has drawn little attention or outrage when performed by the misunderstood lads of ISIS.

It’s too long in the past for me to remember whether there was a parents’ association at Stuyvesant High School when I attended. Today, apparently, there is an active association supporting the school’s endeavors and their children’s accomplishments. Reflecting the current demographics of the school, once the haven for little nerdy Jewish boys, the April 17th Parents’ Association Spring Feast will be held at Jing Fong, one of my favorite Chinatown dim sum emporia. The invitation does not mention the availability of a Kosher food option. Plus ça change, plus ça change.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
New Asian Cuisine, 153 Centre Street, three weeks old, is a hole in the wall. The front space is 8' x 12', with a kitchen behind. There are two short ledges with 4 stools if you wish to dine in. It features hot and cold beverages, but also offers a surprising number of food items for an establishment of its type. No menu has yet been printed, but numbered pictures on the wall make choosing relatively simple. However, when I asked for a lamb burger, hoping to compare it to the excellent version at Xi'an Famous Foods, I was told that, while it remains on the wall, it has been dropped from the repertoire. I had, instead, a scallion pancake ($1.50), a bargain at the price, and a beef roll egg pie ($4). The latter is an interesting concoction; an eggy pancake rolled around beef, sauteed onions and cucumber dressed with soy sauce. Messy, but good, although one out of three slices of beef resisted chewing.

The joint was busy, since it is located next to a subway entrance, just a few feet off of Canal Street. Service was hectic; the kitchen apparently still getting accustomed to what it was preparing. Both women at the counter were very friendly, but only one had a command of English. Pointing to the menu board was effective, however.

Thursday, February 19, 2015
Gut yuntiff, it’s the Chinese New Year, Year of the Goat/Ram/Sheep according to which side of China you got up on this morning. Even on this cold day, dragons were dancing up and down the streets of Chinatown at lunchtime in celebration.

Whether it was the holiday or my pretty face, the portion of beef and chicken chow fun that I received at Wo Hop, 17 Mott Street, was enormous. Delicious, I expected, but it was even more than I could eat. Imagine that.

Friday, February 20, 2015
We are flying to San Francisco today, in order to spend time with America's Loveliest Nephrologist.  We are spending the first three days at the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, a rather grand name for, in fact, a grand property in the hills above Berkeley.  It is a resort with all sorts of amenities, but, in order to avoid confusion with certain resorts on the East Coast, they don't play Simon Says at poolside.

However, I managed to get our trip to San Francisco off to a rotten start with the help of the inefficiencies and inattentiveness of Delta Airlines.  Not inclined to linger in airports, I arranged for us to get to JFK, with boarding passes in hand and only one bag to check in, at 10:49 AM for a 11:29 AM flight.  This proved undoable, and the 11:29 AM flight took off without us, leaving us to enjoy the comforts of Terminal 4 until the departure of the 3:15 PM flight.  Adding that little gridgit of annoyance to our experience, the 3:15 PM was delayed for several reasons and did not take off until well after 4.  I must acknowledge my contribution to this mess, and will display some contrition (until next time).

On the other hand, we gained almost 60 Fahrenheit degrees by shifting to the left coast.

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