Friday, November 18, 2016

It's Still Over

Monday, November 14, 2016
The natural followup to my visit last week to Afghan Kebab House #1 is "Is that all there is?"  No, there is Afghan Kebab House #2 at 1345 Second Avenue (71st Street).  While I haven't been there, the on-line reviews indicate that it is very similar to #1.

As a result of recent events, I will be paying much more attention to sports in the foreseeable future.  In fact, tonight I am going to see the New York Knicks, a professional basketball team (you never know who might read this) play in Madison Square Garden.  It must be 20 years since I last saw them play in person and what makes it even more special is my companion, William Franklin Harrison, on the day before his 16th birthday.  That means he will be eligible to run for president in 19 years at age 35, in time for the 2036 election.  I've explained before that William Franklin Harrison is as presidential a name as you could imagine and I want get on the bandwagon early. 

William and I met at Ben's Kosher Delicatessen, 209 West 38th Street, one of the very few of a vanishing breed.  I had a very good, generously portioned corned beef/pastrami combination sandwich.  The meal was marked with my disagreement with our waiter, a longtime fixture at Ben's.  I was lamenting the disappearance of diet Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray Tonic, a variant of the classic Jewish delicatessen beverage.  (Note that Dr. Brown has been around since the 19th Century, and today offers fully-sugared cream, black cherry, ginger ale, root beer and cel-ray, but only diet versions of cream and black cherry soda.  I find it necessary to drink diet beverages in order to protect my modeling career.)  As unthinkable as drinking a glass of milk with a corned beef sandwich, it was as unthinkable for me to not have a diet Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray Tonic when ingesting any Hebrew National product.  I admit that it is an acquired taste, probably acquired during the forty years crossing the desert to the Promised Land after leaving Egypt.

The waiter claimed that it had been discontinued 27 years ago.  I demurred.  I thought it had been a decade or so since I complained to Ralph Blumenthal, crack New York Times journalist and New York City connoisseur, about the loss of diet Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray Tonic.  While I know that Ralph recognized the importance of this development, the Times kept silent, probably to further distance itself from its Jewish heritage.  In any case, Google led us to the information that diet Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray Tonic was discontinued in 2005, allegedly because of weak demand.  The waiter avoided our table after we passed along this news and we had to go to the front to pay.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
After spending last evening with the youngest generation, I jumped back (ahead?) to my own by having lunch with Irwin Pronin, whom I will always regard as my President (Student Government, CCNY, 1962), at Taste of Shanghai, 42 Mott Street, a tiny, brand new joint.  The place held 8 two tops and was nicely decorated.  One wall was mirrored and the other had wallpaper showing Chinese pictographs.  The kitchen was in the basement, sending food up on a dumbwaiter. 

We shared plump dumplings (5 for $4.99), stewed beef flank ($9.99 for a theoretical 9 ounces), and "Hand-Ripped Noodles" with chicken cooked with green and red peppers.  The sauce for the beef and the chicken were nicely spiced and we zupped it all up.  However, even counting the tendons in the beef dish, it was underweight.  The hand pulled noodles, using the more common name, were very good, although we each had the impression that it was one very long noodle that occupied our plate as we bit off piece after piece in order to consume it.  Our plates, by the way, were styrofoam and an upgrade in tableware is sorely needed if this joint hangs around.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 
As of today, the widely disliked Hillary Clinton leads in the popular vote by around 1 million votes.

Goodbye Joe Siegel, distinguished as a human being, a Jew and an American.

Thursday, November 17, 2016
The Electoral College, now a division of Trump University, is not the only institution 
that distorts the popular will.  Major League Baseball announced certain honors last night including the Cy Young Award given to the best pitcher in each of the two leagues.  The voting in the National League proceeded democratically, if you'll pardon the expression.  However, it seems that in an effort to make the American League great again, the results got skewed.

Here is a fascinating graphic illustration of the too recent presidential election.  For some reason, looking at these maps reminds me of the supposed path to resolving the conflict between the Arabs and the Israelis, "land for peace." Right here in America, they have the land and we ain't getting no peace.

Friday, November 18, 2016
I've been thinking about the spurt of threats and insults directed towards Jews that has accompanied the rise of DT.  See, for example,  I guess that if his vulgarity and misogyny can be dismissed as "locker room banter,"  I just have to accept this anti-Semitism as "concentration camp banter."

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