Friday, June 19, 2015

I Scream

Monday, June 15, 2015
A&W is not just root beer anymore. It now signifies the newest engaged couple on the North American continent.  

All New York court employees statewide are on the same email system, thousands in number. That explains the following message that I sent this morning:
"In the 21st century, our email system should not require searching on a first name basis. We may be friendly, but there are simply too many Johns, Marys, even Alans, to have to scroll through myriad alternatives to find the person you need to communicate with."

According to today’s New York Law Journal, the 100 largest law firms in New York State employ about 21,500 lawyers in New York State, ranging from 778 employed to 85. Manhattan is where most of these lawyers are concentrated. In fact, over 88,000 lawyers are registered in New York County. Less than 10 of these firms have only one office. Other locations seem to be London or Hong Kong as likely as Los Angles or Chicago. Total number of lawyers employed by these 100 firms worldwide is almost 88,000 (as of December 31, 2014). Wow! Is that good news or bad news?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Can you suggest another side dish? "No support for eating placenta." New York Times headline.

I started the MilkMade superexpensive ice cream last night. It was sheer coincidence that America’s Favorite Epidemiologist was away delivering a paper to other epidemiologists. A Midsummer Night’s ‘Scream, containing Ronnybrook Farm Dairy milk and cream, sugar, egg yolks, lavender, organic pansies, and crisp (sugar, flour, brown sugar, butter, oats), can only be described as interesting, the wonderful adjective that deflects judgment. Much more enjoyable was the June Gloom, containing Ronnybrook Farm Dairy milk and cream, sugar, cream cheese, blueberries, and Mast Brothers chocolate. Note that MilkMade is proud of its local suppliers. This was excellent blueberry ice cream which did not benefit from the addition of chocolate. In fact, the chocolate clumps were a bit of a distraction. If they wanted to include my favorite food, they should have used those chocolate slivers that Häagen-Dazs calls chocolate chips, or those chocolate shavings found in good stracciatella gelato. In all, we had a C+ and an A. My future with MilkMade does not look bright.

Reuters: "Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said he had settled a libel suit against the Forbes magazine group over its reporting on his fortune, which he claimed was billions of dollars larger than the magazine estimated." Has anyone written about the size of his penis?

I was actually glad to receive an e-mail message this morning from my cousin Barbara informing me that she was in Kharkiv, Ukraine, where she hurried on short notice to aid an ill cousin suffering from kidney disease. She explained that she needed $2,550 to transfer the patient back to the USA for a transplant operation, a much better venue than downtown Ukraine. Barbara said that her credit card couldn’t work there. It had been a while since I gotten such a plea and I feared that I had been forgotten by my many friends whose overseas travels so often entailed a financial crisis. I am so pleased to still be regarded as someone with something to offer.

The large bowl of soup offered by Wo Hop, 17 Mott Street, isn’t very large, but it usually has wall-to-wall wontons, leaving little room for the soup. This makes the special that they run early each week (I think Monday-Wednesday only) in the warmer months more special. $2 a bowl, half price. Add their unequaled crispy noodles ($1) and you have a very good lunch. I didn’t think that I was hungry, but I had a second bowl for an even better lunch.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
What a special day. The Boyz Club headed for lunch at Shanghai Gourmet, 23 Pell Street, to see how well it continues to turn out superior scallion pancakes. It turns out that the entire joint was sold out for a Bar Mitzvah or the Buddhist equivalent thereof.  So, we went next door to Joe's Ginger, 25 Pell Street, and consumed scallion pancakes, soup dumplings, Yellow Fish Filet with Rice Wine Sauce, Spicy Pepper Salt Fish Filet, Orange Beef, Crispy Pork Chop with Pepper Salt, and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce.  The food was very good, even excellent. The scallion pancakes went right to the top of the list. We paid $20 each.   

Oh, it is also my bedmate’s birthday. Almost forgot.

Thursday, June 18, 2015
To celebrate that special birthday last night, I bought ice cream sandwiches from Jacques Torres, his fabulous chocolate chip cookies (slightly reduced in diameter) holding one of his ice cream flavors. We shared one made with "Wicked" flavor ice cream, a dark chocolate with ancho chilli and chipotle chilli, a bracing combination. We have another sandwich, with hazelnut ice cream to share tonight. I must note with sadness that the MilkMade ice creams played no part in our celebration. I don’t question the care in selecting and combining ingredients by MilkMade, but the final product is simply priced several times higher than the results warrant. The best ice cream that I have ever had was at Berthillon, Glacier Depuis 1954, 29-31 rue Saint Louis en l'île, 75004 Paris. It is also sold at other sites, but, as my favorite hotel is just down the block, going to the source is the natural choice. Current prices are 1 scoop for 2.5 euros, 2 scoops for 4 euros. Don’t hesitate.

Friday, June 19, 2015
Good Good Taste, 13A Market Street, will not be found in any travel guide.  In fact, it's hard to find even if you are standing ten feet away.  It's a long, narrow space, about 50 feet south of East Broadway, in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge.  It contains 4 two tops and 4 four tops, with little folding stools to sit on.  I have no idea how long it has been operating, but its surfaces need a good steam cleaning.  Even if a tourist wanders in, the menu will discourage lingering -- Crispy Pork Intestine, Duck Tongue, Fish Head w. Bean Curd Casserole, Pork Blood w/ Baby Chive. 

I ordered Pan Fried Oyster, Home Style ($12.95) and got a good good tasting 12" oyster and scallion pancake.  The young waitress asked me several questions about maybe what I was ordering, maybe how I wanted it prepared, maybe what else I might want, or maybe not.  By combining hand gestures, lip twisting and brow lifting, I indicated that I'll take it the usual way.

My communications skills failed me however when I tried to get a cup of tea.  Nothing that I said came close to anything that she and several fellow homeboy customers recognized.  When I switched to asking for Diet Coke, she brightened up, but told me regular Coke only.  I wonder if the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement would have made a difference?

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