Friday, June 5, 2015


Monday, June 1, 2015
A real Chuppah – Saturday, May 30, 2015

The "World’s 50 Best Restaurants" announces its 2015 list later today. I’ll print the link tomorrow. Last year’s list is found at For those who prefer your information predigested, I’ll summarize 2014’s top 10: #1 in Denmark, ##2, 6 and 8 in Spain, #3 in Italy, #4 in New York, ##5 and 10 in London, #7 in Brazil, #9 in Chicago. Chinese food seems to make its only appearance at #24, Amber in Hong Kong, but "the food is fundamentally French." New York’s best, and "the leading restaurant in North America" by that account, was Eleven Madison Park, 11 Madison Avenue. The New York Times gave it four stars (its top rating) just 10 weeks ago.
Currently, it serves more than a dozen courses at $225 per person, all but two chosen by the kitchen, taking more than three hours. So far, I haven’t been able to spare the time.

Speaking of good food: "BEIJING (AP) — Restaurant operator KFC said Monday it filed a lawsuit against three companies in China whose social media accounts spread false claims about its food, including that its chickens have eight legs."

It has rained heavily on and off here over the last 20 hours. This produced a 30 degree drop in temperature in the same period, 86 to 56. That gave me reason to go to Jaya Asian Cuisine 888, 90 Baxter Street, hoping that it would achieve the status of Chinatown’s leading Malaysian restaurant (May 15, 2015, April 17, 2015). About two weeks ago, they started opening the walls and windows to the hot and humid (not yet) summer air, so I planned to skip eating there until after the Jewish holidays. Today, however, the outside stayed outside and the inside was comfortably inside. And that was lucky for me.

I ordered Seafood Scramble Egg Chow Fun ($8.95), described as "Stir-fried Flat Noodles On Light Brown Egg Gravy Sauce Topped Shrimp Squid Scallop & Vegetable." When the large bowl was put in front of me, the ample contents looked decidedly goopy. One taste and I was delighted. The large portion of chow fun noodles and seafood were swimming (well, floating really, their swimming days past) in near-lobster sauce, missing only the pellets of ground pork. A small dish of white rice would have been handy to help with the very generous amount of sauce. I used a tablespoon to get myself into the Clean Plate Club. I have to compare this to the unpublished shrimp and lobster sauce over fried rice concoction that Wo Hop, 17 Mott Street, has offered me lately (May 27, 2015) for $14. In this instance, Jaya rules. Keep those doors and windows closed.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Here's the 2015 list of allegedly the world's 50 best restaurants.
Eleven Madison Park, 11 Madison Avenue, has dropped from #4 to #5, and Chicago has fallen out of the top 10.  Check out the rest for yourself. 

I had a bit of nostalgia this morning as I rode the Flushing line from Times Square to Grand Central to avoid some ugly weather. Car 1939 had a stuck door. Whether the result of better manufacturing or more careful repair and maintenance, subway car doors rarely stick these days, unlike the good old days. What else of our past will we lose next?

The warriors at Fox News appear to express their indignation about Benghazi and the American invasion of Iraq in inverse proportion to the number of American deaths. It’s no wonder then that they are hyper-belligerent about Iran, since no one has died there yet.

Thursday, June 4, 2015
Last night, the anarchic Jews of the West End Synagogue had their annual congregational meeting, and repeated their error of electing me secretary of the congregation. My primary duty is to record the minutes of the monthly meetings of the Board of Trustees. This gives me the opportunity to subtly distort the ideas propounded by the leaders of our congregation, which is the true meaning of Reconstructionist Judaism.

I have a friend who has been happily married for decades. However, when we were both single and running around together, I observed that he seemed to go overboard in his wining and dining of female companions. Whether the lavish treatment was rooted in precoital anticipation or simple generosity of spirit, it irked me. I used to say, "Don’t drop the atom bomb on Luxembourg." I was reminded of this looking at the editorial page today in the New York Times. All the space, one-half page, was devoted to one editorial, "Let Transgender Troops Serve Openly." I don’t object to the contents of the editorial, an issue that probably involves several handfuls of active and prospective military service members. Some editorial attention by the Times is warranted, but with ISIS, FIFA, Rick Perry, income inequality, and other bad news to deal with, Don’t drop the atom bomb on Luxembourg.

Jon, Eddie and Nathan Silverberg joined me for lunch at Jing Fong, 20 Elizabeth Street, that palace of dim summery. It was somewhat busy, but most of the several hundred Chinese retirees who were present last week, stayed home today, or drifted over to another establishment. As a result, fewer wagons came rolling up to our table than usual, or so it seemed. It took us a while to get 17 plates delivered and consumed. All but one cost $2.50; a plate of mei fun was $5.95 and Nathan and I fetched that from the table in the back center of the room where sloppier/slipperier than ordinary items are served up a plate at a time. Weekends, the price rises as even bigger crowds seek out dim sum for brunch, if only for lack of decent bagels and lox in their own neighborhoods.

Friday, June 5, 2015

When I saw this on the way to work, I asked if it is Milt Jackson’s birthday, but no one seemed to know what I was talking about.

I faced the abyss today. It is the 12th annual Caren Aronowitz Unity in Diversity Program at the courthouse. As I have observed in prior years (June 6, 2014, June 7, 2013, June 10, 2011), this event breeds intergroup understanding and tolerance by having hundreds of people jammed unto lines waiting for free food served by co-workers whom you suspect were employed only at the behest of some influential friend or relative. Since overeating is my normal response to such events (in 2013, I confessed to sampling "a dumpling, quiche, Vietnamese summer roll, Mediterranean cigar, sushi, potato knish, ribs, shepherd’s pie, Irish sausage, smoked salmon, Korean chicken, southern fried chicken, sticky bun, jerk chicken, shrimp lo mein, franks in a blanket, macaroni salad, before ending with tiramisu, a chocolate chip cookie, chocolate pinwheel, and a cream puff"), I decided to exercise restraint, if only briefly. Ducking the crowds, I went off to Wo Hop, 17 Mott Street, for, well, duck chow fun.   

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