Saturday, May 27, 2017


Monday, May 22, 2017
Calista Gingrich?  Calista Gingrich!
. . . 

This weekend's real estate section took an interesting view of New York City real estate  -- by subway stop.  What's the difference in rent for a typical one-bedroom apartment up and down the line?

This is based on a detailed look at the entire  city's subway/rent nexus.   I could spend hours staring at this, unless I take my medication.
. . . 

This test compares to the Saturday crossword puzzle, the hardest of the week.  It proved two things to me -- how much I misuse language and how accepting I am of such misuse.   

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
While we seem to laugh a lot lately, it mostly takes the form of wry snickers.   "Can you believe that?"  "He said what?" "Not again."  

Tonight, by contrast, the Upper West Side's Power Couple and our dear companions Mr. & Mrs. Smithtown enjoyed a couple of hours of hearty laughter without any reference direct or indirect to any U.S. President, impeached or impeachable.  We saw "The Play That Goes Wrong," a farce imported from London, full of slamming doors, stuck doors, doors that open themselves, and doors that fall off their hinges.  It was a sucess not just because of the overarching silliness of the work, but because of the surgical precision of the cast in pulling it off.  These were masterful buffoons, which maybe brings us back to politics after all.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Usually, I report on events after the fact, however, this time I can give you ample notice of something that you don't want to miss.  You can rush out now and get your Greyhound ticket in order to be in the Holy Land by the end of next week for the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl, an all-you-can-eat ice cream festival, to be held June 1-3 at Bryant Park, adjacent to the New York Public Library.  

The event raises funds for pediatric and adult cancer care and research and, truth be told, will also be held in Boston the following week.  The link provides all the details about the New York event.

Thursday, May 25, 2017
Right now, the nutsiness and craziness in Washington overshadows almost all else, but the following obituary brought back a concern that never really goes away -- racial justice.

Very simply, Barbara Smith (she added Conrad to avoid confusion with another performer) was removed as a lead in an opera before it opened at the University of Texas, because she was black.  That was in 1957, during my lifetime and many of your's.  

I sent a copy of the obituary to a former law school professor of mine, a brilliant man with fabulous credentials, who has been an eloquent voice for conservatism for almost 30 years.  Along with a wide range of topics that he has explored in leading journals, he remains fixated on the "relentless focus on race and ethnicity in [college] admissions, and at times even more so in faculty hiring."  He has taken his own background as the son of the chairman of an investment banking firm who then attended Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard College, Oxford University and Harvard Law School as a sign of pure merit.  There are no Barbara Smiths in his world.   
. . . 

Five members of the Boyz Club helped me celebrate my 14th wedding anniversary today at Jing Fong, 20 Elizabeth Street.  As a tribute to my absent young bride, I thought that I would record each dim sum dish as it hit the table.   However, the pace was too fast and furious and I am only able to provide summary data.  We consumed 17 items at $3.50 each, a deal that you won't get on weekends.  With beverages and a generous tip, as always, we spent $13 each.  I can hardly wait until next year.
. . .

There was a moment at lunch that caused me serious concern.  Jon Silverberg, connoisseur of Chinese food, black-and-white movies, and bluegrass music shocked me by announcing that he doesn't like ice cream and only eats it three or four times a year.  I've known Jon for over 25 years and yet this was a complete surprise to me.  Had I known earlier, I would have definitely staged an intervention.  Now, at best, I may organize a prayer vigil.  

Friday, May 26, 2017
While yesterday was our 14th wedding anniversary, we waited until today to celebrate.  Accordingly, Stony Brook Steve and I went to Ben's Best Delicatessen, 96-40 Queens Boulevard, Rego Park, for lunch, where we shared a #9, corned beef, pastrami, rolled beef, sweet pepper and cole slaw on rye bread (inevitably) ($21.95).  Ben's, in support of the local community, names its special sandwiches after prominent personalities and enterprises.  Our sandwich honored Farber, Rosen & Kaufman, a nearby law firm.  In the past, our dear friend Michael Ratner had a sandwich named for him, turkey, pastrami and chopped liver, as I recall.   Michael, always the gentleman, bears no resentment for being replaced by a municipal officehoIder.  I still don't know of a better Kosher delicatessen in all of the Holy Land.
. . .

Having gotten the sentimental portion of our anniversary celebration out of the way by visiting Chinatown and Ben's, I took America's Favorite Epidemiologist to dinner at Print, 683 Eleventh Avenue, a new restaurant planted amid the showrooms of almost every major extant automobile brand.  It is a lovely place, with a contemporary decor and very attentive service.  It boasts of its locavore character, but I did not allow that to interfere with my enjoyment.

We shared an asparagus flan ($17), accompanied by morrel mushrooms, a brilliant dish.  I had roasted duck ($31), the breast in quarter-inch slices and the leg and thigh intact.  It was not a great duck, but it was a very good duck.  The entire experience was of a very high quality and you can buy a Toyota right next door.

No doubt Print's desserts would have measured up, but I led us to Gotham Market, 600 Eleventh Avenue, to enjoy, in Jon Silverberg's absence, the superior ice cream at Aspen Hills Creamery.  My young bride had a cup of pistachio, judging it fabulous.  I over indulged by having a large cup containing dark chocolate ice cream and bourbon brown sugar ice cream with homemade maple cookie dough (given a name that eludes me).  It speaks for itself.


  1. I am amazed. It is possible to rent a 1 BR in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn for less than in Uptown Charlotte and in the subway hinterlands for much less. Happy Anniversary BTW.

  2. Success rather than sucess dear boy.