Friday, July 3, 2015

Right Reason

Monday, June 29, 2015
I continued my trip down Sesame Street today.  However, Ping’s Seafood, 22 Mott Street, one of the nicest restaurants in Chinatown, did not serve cold sesame noodles, nor did Hop Kee, 21 Mott Street, sitting directly beneath Shanghai Asian Manor, where I started on a high note.  I turned the corner and found cold sesame noodles at Sichuan Hot Pot Cuisine, 34 Pell Street ($5.25), but I was disappointed.  The portion was large and sesame seeds were sprinkled on top, but the sauce was salty and sharp, almost acrid.  I only ate half of what was on the plate.

Reviewing the US Supreme Court’s opinion on same-sex marriage, much attention had been paid to Chief Justice Roberts’ dissent, wherein he is unable to find same-sex marriage in the Constitution.  Allow me, a mere New York State law clerk to edify him.  First, marriage of any flavor does not appear in the Constitution, but that has not removed it from constitutional law.  Most appropriately, we have a precedent in Loving v Virginia, 388 US 1 (1967), where the Court held that a state violated the 14th Amendment by prohibiting “white” and “colored” people from marrying each other.  The state law deprived plaintiffs of liberty, the “freedom to marry [that] has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men [and maybe women?].”  Roberts and many conservatives choose to agonize over what is marriage, when the issue is what is liberty.  

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
We went to the bris for Bari and Howard’s son this morning.  If you stand far enough back, a bris is a very lovely event.  The food afterwards was superb.  I concentrated on the sable (smoked cod) and whitefish, not even pausing at the lox.  In order to save room for the rugelach and pain au chocolat, I skipped the blintzes and the omelet station.  The coffee was very good, too.  Mazal tov to all, including the caterer.

It would have been piggish (decidedly not Kosher) to go out for lunch after such a big late breakfast. Also, the airconditioning in my office was particularly effective as the afternoon heated up, so I stayed at my desk.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
A birthday for a beautiful granddaughter.

Bite of Hong Kong, 81 Chrystie Street, is brand new.  It is bright, decorated in white and brown. There are 9 large 4 tops and three large booths which can easily hold 6 people.  Fresh pink carnations were on every table, about 2/3 of which were occupied, only one other by a non-Asian.  The menu is pretty typical and includes 35 lunch specials, either $6.25 or $6.75.  That also gets you soup, a small bowl that looks like dishwater, but tastes a bit better, rice and tea.

I was hungry so I ordered seafood siu mai ($4.95) to start and beef with pepper and black bean sauce ($6.75), a lunch special.  It was fortunate that I chose two things because the portions were small.  In fact, the siu (shu) mai were tiny, four small spheres barely 1/2 inch in diameter.  The contents were so finely ground that you could not tell whether they originated on land, in the air or in the sea.  The beef dish was very good, however, containing green and red peppers, red and yellow onions, celery and sliced beef in a pungent black bean sauce.  The area, still the informal terminal for a lot of Chinatown buses, is getting "nicer" and Bite is a sign of that.

I have excluded my sex life, real and imagined, from these writings for prudential and practical reasons.  Ultimately, it has been relatively ordinary and I would be more embarrassed by boring you rather than scandalizing you.  This distinguishes me from Tavon White, an occupant of the Baltimore City Detention Center, who has fathered five children with four of the female guards while inside the prison.  He seems to be the natural successor to Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Stony Brook Steve is here for lunch and we returned to Sesame Street.  We went to Yeah Shanghai Deluxe, 50 Mott Street, and found it to be as reliable as it has been in the past (February 19, 2010, July 12, 2010, April 12, 2011, May 8, 2013, June 12, 2013, September 19, 2013, November 6, 2103, March 18, 2015).  We shared cold sesame noodles ($3.95) and two lunch specials, orange flavored beef ($5.75) and diced chicken with black bean sauce ($4.95).  Each lunch came with a tasty bowl of egg drop soup.  The beef was very good, with the sticky, gooey sweet sauce that you spoon up after the plate is otherwise clean.  The chicken was well prepared, but the black bean sauce was bland, in contrast to yesterday's at Bite of Hong Kong.

The sesame noodles were very good, the portion medium to medium-large.  A few sesame seeds were sprinkled on top and the sauce very good, but not quite as good as Shanghai Asian Manor's.  Overall, though, we ate well, in decent quantity, at a very reasonable cost.  I'll continue on Sesame Street next week.

Friday, July 3, 2015
The jurisprudence of Antonin Scalia:
On voting to uphold DOMA -- "We have no power to decide this case.  And even if we did, we have no power under the Constitution to invalidate this democratically adopted legislation.”
In oral argument before voting to repeal the Voting Rights Act -- "That’s the — that’s the concern that those of us who — who have some questions about this statute have.  It’s — it’s a concern that this is not the kind of a question you can leave to Congress.”

This inconsistency is quite characteristic of the Supreme Court.  Felix Frankfurter was probably the last justice to attempt to practice a consistent jurisprudence, and he wound up isolated and ignored by his peers, and many legal scholars as well.  Scalia simply pretends that he is not peddling his politics, while his chirpings sound right at home amidst the ever-expanding roster of Republican presidential candidates.

Paul H. forwarded this article on Yiddish, which should evoke nostalgia in many of you.  The rest should envy us.

This is the Birthday of all Birthdays.  We have, in order of seniority, David G., Aryeh G., Nate P. and Meredith S.  Happy Birthday to all.

Finally, a little puzzle to start your holiday.  It's simple, but has some serious implications, or not.

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