Friday, July 31, 2015

Bagels and Bad Guys

Monday, July 27, 2015
Or, in the words of an expert local baker, “San Francisco has struggled with the bagel.’’

Wok Wok Southeast Asian Cuisine, 11 Mott Street, is brand new.  It opened yesterday, replacing the quirky Lobster Boat Restaurant that served garlic bread with everything.  The premises were completely gutted and the new interior is very spacious, holding 50-60 people at tables with light natural wood surfaces.  The walls are freshly-painted cream color, and the floors are an off-white ceramic tile.  Only 7 other people were eating while I was there, but I hope that patronage improves.

The menu is wide ranging over several national cuisines.  There are distinct Indian, Chinese, Malaysian, Vietnamese and Thai elements, with a thread of Indonesian cooking.  I was in a Malaysian frame of mind, so I ordered roti canai ($3.50) and satay chicken ($5.50).  The roti was perfectly balanced between flaky and flexible, but so large that it long outlasted the tasty curry dipping sauce.  The four skewers of chicken, grilled over an open flame, were, by contrast, too skinny.  There just wasn’t much meat there, and it was gone before the interesting peanut sauce was finished.  Still, the quality was evident, and the long, diverse menu warrants more extensive examination.

On my convoluted way back to the courthouse, I found good-looking donut peaches at my favorite fruit stand, southeast corner of Mulberry Street at Canal Street, 12 for $2.50, weighing close to 2 pounds.  If they taste as good as they look, it will be the buy of the year.

A woman is mugged, her diamond engagement ring stolen.  It is uninsured, and never recovered.  She subsequently breaks the engagement, and her former affianced, who purchased the ring, demands reimbursement, pursuant to New York law, which normally supports return of an engagement ring.  Believe it or not, this has never been litigated.  Do you have an opinion?
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Another hot day, perfect for cold sesame noodles, but not at Cha Chan Tang, 45 Mott Street. However, old favorite 69 Bayard Restaurant, 69 Bayard Street, came through with flying colors.  The walls there at each visit are even thicker with layers of dollar bills pasted on.  It’s hard to measure, but the surface photographed here on August 29, 2012 may have been entirely covered by new contributions since then.  The bills are not just pasted on, but messages of all sorts are written on the currency, a federal crime pursuant to United States Code, Title 18 - Crimes and Criminal Procedure Part I - Crimes Chapter 17 - Coins and Currency § 333.  

The cold sesame noodles earned a high grade, A+ ($5.50).  The portion was huge, a critical element in Jewish cuisine.  A lot of sesame seeds and even more bright green chive ringlets topped the dish. The noodles were thoroughly coated with the characteristic sticky, salty, sweet sesame sauce.   

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Trump/Jenner ‘16

The Boyz Club met for lunch at Shanghai Gourmet, 23 Pell Street, on this very hot day.  Even though a heat advisory was in effect, we cool dudes dug into a scallion pancake, cold sesame noodles, soup buns, steamed vegetable dumplings, hot and sour or egg drop soup, chicken with orange flavor, beef with scallions, shrimp with egg sauce, sauteed filet of fish Szechuan style and sauteed filet of fish Shanghai style.  The seven of us paid $12 each, except for the two guys who left early paying me $20 for the privilege of an early departure.

Thursday, July 30, 2015
The donut peaches have peaked and are delicious, one or two cut up in your breakfast cereal.  I’ll look for them again tomorrow to carry me through the weekend.

I was delighted to get an e-mail message from the lovely and talented Sharon C. mid-morning asking for a restaurant recommendation since she was downtown for jury duty.  Better than that, I suggested that we have lunch together. Thus, we went to Kori Tribeca, 253 Church Street, the best Korean restaurant in the area (May 28, 2013, July 15, 2013, March 26, 2014, April 11, 2014).  Well, also the only Korean restaurant in the area.  However, even with competition, Kori would stand out. 

We both ordered lunch boxes, which might be called Bento boxes if Japan has not been such a brutal occupier  of Korea.  Each box had romaine salad, a fried dumpling, cold Japchae, slices of omelette, potato salad (I don't know why), rice - brown or white - and beef short ribs ($14.95) for me and tofu ($11.99) for Sharon (so she's not perfect).

Japchae are sweet potato noodles stir fried in sesame oil. Delicious.  They are not offered as a course by themselves, although other noodles are on the menu.  I intend to go to Kori at some off hour and ask for a pile.  Then, I probably will have found the best cold sesame noodles in Chinatown.

Friday, July 31, 2015
There are Big Bad Guys and Little Bad Guys.  Much of the time, I am agitated by the destructive conduct of Big Bad Guys, Madoff, Mugabe, the Koch brothers, impelled by their lust for wealth and power.  They take a large toll of people and institutions.

By contrast, Little Bad Guys only hurt a few people, usually quite close to them.  However, often the stupidity or ugliness of their behavior leaves me despairing for the human condition, ready to tear up my ACLU membership card.  

Today's paper has a couple of ripe examples, although tragedy was avoided in the first instance.  Sheldon Richardson is one of the best defensive players in the National Football League, playing for the New York Jets.  He is currently suspended for the first four games of the upcoming season, because he violated the league's substance abuse policy.  In spite of that, he managed to get arrested a few days ago for driving his car, a 2014 Bentley Silver Spur, MSRP $200,500, at 143 miles per hour.  According to the police report, the car also contained a 12-year-old, a fully loaded handgun and smelled of marijuana.  

No one in Sheldon's car or in any vehicle in his path was injured, although the potential for disaster was very high.  Will he ever understand the benefits of delayed gratification?

The other story was a real tragedy that seems to confirm my belief that the moral arc of the universe bends towards chaos.  T.R. is a Brooklyn teenager.  Her story just came to light, because she was charged with murder yesterday.  According to the New York Times, "[a]t 14, she went into labor with her first baby before her mother even knew she had conceived a child.  A year later, prosecutors say, she secretly gave birth to a second baby, this time in the bathtub of her apartment.  That baby has disappeared.  The Brooklyn teenager kept yet another pregnancy secret from her family, giving birth in October 2013 in the bathroom of a friend’s apartment in Queens. The birth came to light only because the next day, she and her friend were arrested on shoplifting charges at the Victoria’s Secret store in Manhattan’s Herald Square.  A security guard, smelling a faint rotten odor, found a dead 8-pound boy in her tote bag, along with a stolen pair of pants."  

Spare me the sociology. That's evil.

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