Friday, February 10, 2017

Read Any Good Books Lately?

Monday, February 6, 2017
We spent the weekend in the Boston vicinity celebrating Boaz's ninth birthday with reckless abandon.  We were in no way inhibited by the sight of almost every man, woman and child outside our family wearing New England Patriot garb.  You remember the New England Patriots, the football team unable to defeat the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.  They must have breathed a sigh of relief when they learned that they would only have to face the Atlanta Falcons in this year's Super Bowl, which they eventually won in overtime.

By the way, these two teams, as well as the New York Giants, are among the 10 National Football League teams owned in whole or part by Jews, which caused Rudi, my favorite Latvian, to write: "Bottom line, if you went to Hebrew School you are more likely to own a team than play on one." 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017
However.  Professor Irwin Corey, the World's Foremost Authority died yesterday.

Without question, the New England Patriots have proved to be an outstanding football team led by the prettiest quarterback in professional football.  I refer you to  the following article, not because of its content (why Tom Brady is disliked), but because I believe that it is the first time and probably the last that the word schadenfreude appears twice in an article in a sports section, even the New York Times sports section.

I don’t expect that you share my sense of wonder, but I was surprised to learn that Sara Lee, Entenmann's, Thomas' English Muffins, Freihofer, Stroehmann's and, indeed, Wonder Bread are owned by the same company.  This information was contained in today's obituary of Lorenzo Servitje, who built the enterprise.  Of course, this dramatic triumph of vision and industry took place in the great land of opportunity ----- Mexico.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017
While the geography may be a bit off, I think that the campaign promise to drain the swamp has been achieved.  At least, here in New York.  We seem to have shipped so many of our miscreants to Washington, the "so-called capital" of the United States, that things  have brightened up around here.  I had several examples today as I walked one mile and back to lunch.  At one corner, bubbly young people were handing out "Next Healthy Grains" bars; I accepted a cinnamon oat bar and a peanut butter dark chocolate bar.  A couple of blocks further on Broadway, even bubblier kids were giving out containers of "Noosa Finest Yoghurt (Aussie culture · Colorado fresh)"; I took a lemon and a blueberry.

With these items sitting in my New York Public Library tote bag, I continued walking to Kung Fu Little Steam Buns Ramen, 811 Eighth Avenue (48th Street), a place seemingly far too small to carry such a big name.  Before I got there though, I had another heartening moment at the corner of Eighth Avenue and West 56th Street.  As you see from the sign below, a vegetarian, vegan, gluten free joint is being replaced by Sophie's Cuban Cuisine, the ninth in a local chain, with a completely kale-free menu.  

Kung Fu's 36 chairs at seven tables and 2 stools at a small ledge were almost all occupied.  Four waiters scurried about, bringing cooked-to-order food at a fast clip and refilling water glasses with some regularity.  

The menu is roughly divided between dumplings/dim sum and hand-pulled noodles, which they choose to call ramen.  Prices are reasonable, considering the real estate it occupies in the theater district.  I had a scallion pancake ($4.25), pan-fried Peking duck buns ($6.95 for 2) and Shanghai spring rolls ($4.50 for 2), too much food for one person it turns out.  The scallion pancake was very good, thin, somewhat crispy.  Although no dipping sauce was served with it, I quickly made my own from the soy sauce and vinegar on the table.  The 3" round Peking duck buns were the highlight and would have made a good lunch with a small soup.  Note that Kung Fu adds a 15% "service charge" to all bills, but still leaves room for tips on credit card slips. 

Help me with this.  The president warns us of terrorists invading our shores and poised to do unimaginable harm.  "People pouring in.  Bad!” However, I wonder if these bad guys might be deterred when they learn that they can no longer purchase Ivanka Trump merchandise at Nordstrom, or will they be energized by this offensive treatment of our Royalties Family. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017
Hard to disagree with Kellyanne Conman when she lamented the lack of “a certain respect for and recognition of the dignity for the office of the president,” although we may have different culprits in mind.

Friday, February 10, 2017
Happy Birthday, Cindy wherever you are.

The Alabama Republican Party showed an unexpected concern for minority representation when it picked Luther Strange as successor to the US Senate seat of Jeff Sessions.  Strange is a lobbyist, certainly a woeful minority in the State of Alabama, which is probably riddled with truck drivers, farmers, school teachers, carpenters and barbecue restaurant owners, among others who have figuratively pushed lobbyists to the back of the bus.

A judge in Loudoun County, Virginia recently accepted the prosecution's recommendation of punishment for 5 teenage boys who vandalized a historic black schoolhouse with racist and anti-Semitic graffiti.  The defendants, 2 white and 3 unspecified minorities (unlikely to be Alabama lobbyists, however), are required to read one book each month for the next 12 months and write a report about it.  The list that they must choose from is worth considering.
"The Color Purple," Alice Walker
"Native Son," Richard Wright
"Exodus," Leon Uris
"Mila 18," Leon Uris
"Trinity," Leon Uris
"My Name Is Asher Lev," Chaim Potok
"The Chosen," Chaim Potok
"The Sun Also Rises," Ernest Hemingway
"Night," Elie Wiesel
"The Crucible," Arthur Miller
"The Kite Runner," Khaled Hosseini
"A Thousand Splendid Suns," Khaled Hosseini
"Things Fall Apart," Chinua Achebe
"The Handmaid’s Tale," Margaret Atwood
"To Kill a Mockingbird," Harper Lee
"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," Maya Angelou
"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," Rebecca Skloot
"Caleb’s Crossing," Geraldine Brooks
"Tortilla Curtain," T.C. Boyle
"The Bluest Eye," Toni Morrison
"A Hope in the Unseen," Ron Suskind
"Down These Mean Streets," Piri Thomas
"Black Boy," Richard Wright
"The Beautiful Struggle," Ta-Nehisi Coates
"The Banality of Evil," Hannah Arendt
"The Underground Railroad," Colson Whitehead
"Reading Lolita in Tehran," Azar Nafisi
"The Rape of Nanking," Iris Chang
"Infidel," Ayaan Hirsi Ali
"The Orphan Master’s Son," Adam Johnson
"The Help," Kathryn Stockett
"Cry the Beloved Country," Alan Paton
"Too Late the Phalarope," Alan Paton
"A Dry White Season," André Brink
"Ghost Soldiers," Hampton Sides

If you don't count the movies, I don't break into double digits. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the kind birthday wishes. You can find me in Edinburgh until February 28 after which we will be in Charlotte, most likely hiding in a bunker. I like your book list.