Friday, April 8, 2016

Same to You, Fella

Monday, April 4, 2016
"In reality, the anti-abortion movement is grounded on the idea that sex outside of marriage is a sin, and the only choice a woman should have is between abstinence and the possibility of imminent parenthood. It may be politically unwise to say that the sinner ought to pay, but she should at minimum have to carry an unwanted child to term."
Gail Collins, New York Times columnist. has an interesting feature on police body cameras, an update on the old saw that the camera never lies.
It shows how easily we may be misled by camera angles and perspectives even before software gimmickry is used to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.  It is best viewed on a computer, not a smartyphone.

From the ethnocentricity corner:

Tuesday, April, 5, 2016
I've lived at the intersection of Amsterdam Avenue & West 69th Street for almost 13 years, but, until last week I never approached Old John's Luncheonette, 148 West 67th Street, and only entered it today for the first time.  It looks very modest, befitting its location off the beaten path.  I thought that it would be a good spot to have a quiet rendezvous with Moshe the Mossad Secret Agent, away from celebrity spotters, roving reporters and snoops in general.  Well, it was not to be.  Old John's may have been unknown to me, but its 60 or so seats were almost all occupied during our visit.  It was not possible to exchange microfilms, pass weapons or distribute electronic eavesdropping gear in that crowded setting, even if we wanted to.  Instead, we ordered from the predictable luncheonette menu and discussed completely other-worldly philosophical issues.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
69 Bayard Restaurant, 69 Bayard Street, was a reasonable backup for Wo Hop when classic Chinatown Chinese food was your target.  If you were a claustrophobe, it allowed you to stay above ground with the front door steps away.  The food was not quite as good, but a buck cheaper here and there.  Finally, it had the distinction of having every vertical surface, and many of the horizontal surfaces as well, covered with dollar bills, mostly pictures of George Washington, but other currencies, too.  On June 28, 2011, I observed "in one small corner, currency from Bermuda, Brazil, Iceland, Cuba, Fiji, Korea, Trinidad & Tobago, and Colombia pasted on the wall." 

All of this is past tense, because a few weeks ago 69 Bayard closed, the walls stripped, new tables and chairs installed, and WK Restaurant emerged.  I was fortunate to have Stony Brook Steve accompany me to the new establishment today.  The waiters and the menu look very similar to the old regime, prices a little higher, but there was new management along with the new name.  No one was able to tell me where the old money went, which, even as a retired lawyer, got me thinking about the tax treatment of these funds.  Were they capital gains or ordinary income?  Steve sagaciously observed that the government will almost certainly not be given the opportunity to ponder this issue.

We had beef chow fun ($7.25) and honey crisp chicken ($10.50) and some brown rice.  Sorry to say that the food was mediocre, although the company was excellent.  Stick to Wo Hop for your echte Chinatown experience.

Thursday, April 7, 2016
The Poloner children gathered for dinner tonight at etc. Steakhouse, 1509 Palisade Avenue, Teaneck, New Jersey.  Aside from the price differential, the difference between a New Jersey steakhouse and a New York City steakhouse seems to be the amount of jewelry worn by the customers.  In New Jersey, the women wear more jewelry than the men, in New York the opposite.

Thanks to Paul Hecht for sending along these Yiddish curses for Jewish Republicans, authored by Rabbi Aaron Spiegel:
  • May you sell everything and retire to Florida just as global warming makes it uninhabitable.
  • May you live to a hundred and twenty without Social Security or Medicare.
  • May you make a fortune, and lose it all in one of Sheldon Adelson’s casinos.
  • May you live to a ripe old age, and may the only people who come visit you be Mormon missionaries.
  • May your son be elected President, and may you have no idea what you did with his goddamn birth certificate.
  • May your grandchildren baptize you after you’re dead.
  • May your insurance company decide constipation is a pre-existing condition.
  • May you find yourself insisting to a roomful of skeptics that your great-grandmother was “legitimately” raped by Cossacks.
  • May you feast every day on chopped liver with onions, chicken soup with dumplings, baked carp with horseradish, braised meat with vegetable stew, latkes, and may every bite of it be contaminated with E. Coli, because the government gutted the E.P.A.
  • May you have a rare disease and need an operation that only one surgeon in the world, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine, is able to perform. And may he be unable to perform it because he doesn’t take your insurance. And may that Nobel Laureate be your son.
  • May the state of Arizona expand their definition of “suspected illegal immigrants” to “anyone who doesn’t hunt.”
  • May you be reunited in the world to come with your ancestors, who were all socialist garment workers.


  1. Love the curses for Republicans! Also, Old John's isn't always so crowded and online it is said that they have the best french toast especially the Brooklyn French toast.!

  2. B&H Dairy on lower Second Avenue is my choice for French toast.