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Monday, October 28, 2019

Pizza Files

It's a lovely fall Saturday.  The sky had been blue that day, a crisp fall blue, with some puffy clouds, and the leaves starting to turn yellow and orange.  Now the sun is setting and a light jacket or sweater is called for.  Let's go on a pizza adventure!!

I had been wanting to go to Ops in Brooklyn.  When we arrive we see cool people.  Some in their 50s and 60s, wearing nice sweaters, no doubt discussing "dark" and "profound" literature.  Some of the people are younger, most likely discussing oppression.  The place itself is cozy and very Brooklyn, prodding me to be more bohemian yet affluent, to believe in human dignity and equality yet still wear Patagonia fleece and fly business class.

Let's get down to business: the pizza is good.  Naples style pies fill the menu, and one, with "house mozzarella," onions and guanciale, is a fine specimen.  But Neapolitan pies are not my preferred mode, and thankfully they have a square pie.  The square pie has an airy yet substantial artisinal crust, and they load on grated pecorino (which is not labeled house made on the menu, begging the question).  The square is very good Brooklyn nouvea grandma pie.

On the way back I trip and I'm impaled by a metal rod protruding from a construction site.  A new condo is going up, hopefully followed soon by a new Blue Bottle Coffee.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Department of Pizza

Give me a fresh hot slice!  That's what I always say.  Below are some notes on recent pizza adventures...

Norm's Pizza - Norm's is a new shop in Downtown Brooklyn that serves nouveau New York slices.  They serve round pies and square pies.  I had a slice of the round regular 'roni, and a slice of a round pie with aged and fresh mozz.  First, the 'roni: a very good slice with a sharp, aged mozz, no doubt aided in its tang from the oils of the 'roni.  The glistening 'roni oils spilled on the surface of the aged cheese, which already was emitting its own orange oils. The combination of bubbling orange oils was so rich I immediately, instinctively passed gas.  Next, on to the cheese-only slice.  As mentioned, this was no ordinary cheese slice, because it had aged and fresh mozz.  There were splotches of thick, vibrant sauce amidst the mozz's, plus a little basil.  This is probably what you would call a nouveau margarita slice.  Mixing mozz's is wonderful, as you get the salty tang of the aged mozz, plus the creaminess of the fresh.

Pizzeria Beddia - Beddia is a Philadelphia shoppe that was in New York for an event.  Beddia is the maker of what are now some of my favorite pizzas.  I will not go into the various varieties they produce here, but let the record show that Beddia also plays with aged and fresh cheeses to dazzling effect.  Indeed, one pie excreted orange oils from an aged cheese that suffused the creamy mozz and ended in a brown, bubbly ecstasy.   

Monday, October 7, 2019

Garlic Investigations

I feel that you despise garlic.  Am I correct?  Why do you hate it?  I yearn for garlic.  I love its pungency and bold, rich, sweet, savory flavors.  And aromas.  What is your problem with garlic?


I feel that you despise garlic -- am I correct? 
Why do you hate it? 
I yearn for garlic. 
I love its pungency and bold, rich, sweet, savory flavors. 
And aromas. 
What is your problem with garlic?

Friday, October 4, 2019

Did I Betray The Peanut Buster Parfait?

This is how Dairy Queen described a Peanut Buster Parfait (PBP) on their website: "Our Peanut Buster® Parfait Royal Treat® has loads of peanuts, mounds of creamy, smooth DQ® vanilla soft serve and tons of rich hot fudge layered high for one tempting treat."

In a recent dispatch, this is how I described a PBP: "All decent people know that a Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait consists of DQ's signature thick, creamy vanilla custard soft serve, topped with rich, decadent fudge and peanuts, a middle layer of more fudge and peanuts, and a bottom layer of yet more velvety fudge and crunchy peanuts."

Which description is better?  The DQ description has wonderful superlatives such as "loads," "mounds," and "tons."  However, my concern is that, for someone who doesn't know what a PBP is, the DQ description might not get across the layered, three-tiered structure of the parfait.  The DQ description, at the end, does say "layered high," but how would one understand there is a bottom, middle, and top layer??

Yet, looking at my description, I'm not sure if I'm being completely clear, either.  Yes, I do describe bottom, middle and top layers of fudge and peanuts, but would someone definitely understand that the creamy soft serve comes between these layers??  Perhaps some readers would make this connection, but would all readers? 

Does this version work better:

"A Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait comes in a parfait cup, with a bottom layer of rich, decadent fudge and peanuts, followed by a layer of DQ's signature thick, creamy vanilla custard soft serve, followed by a middle layer of more fudge and peanuts, followed by a top layer of more soft serve, followed by a final top layer of yet more velvety fudge and crunchy peanuts."

Would any human being definitely understand a PBP after reading this description?  Would it be possible to misunderstand?  How about if a table was used instead, like this:

Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait Structure
Layer 5
Rich, decadent fudge and peanuts

Layer 4
Creamy soft serve
Layer 3
Rich, decadent fudge and peanuts
Layer 2
Creamy soft serve
Layer 1
Rich, decadent fudge and peanuts

If this chart were used, would every human being have to, by necessity, understand what a PBP is?  One problem is the top layers of soft serve and fudge.  Because of the way the soft serve flows out of the dispenser, tapering up into a final ball and twirl of cream, the top layer of fudge drips down to the base, creating the appearance that there is actually another layer between the top of the cup, and the ball of soft serve that protrudes upwards to the heavens.  

A quick sketch below shows this.  You see, because of the soft serve at the top, it appears there's an additional layer, but it's actually all a part of layers 4 and 5.

Therefore, the question becomes, is it possible, through words only, to convey what a PBP is?

To be continued...

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Chronicles of Cream/Special Alert

Related image
All decent people know that a Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait consists of DQ's signature thick, creamy vanilla custard soft serve, topped with rich, decadent fudge and peanuts, a middle layer of more fudge and peanuts, and a bottom layer of yet more velvety fudge and crunchy peanuts.

On Saturday, September 28, at the Dairy Queen on 14th Street in Manhattan, a Peanut Buster Parfait was served with no top layer of fudge and peanutes!!!


Chronicles of Cream

I've covered choux many times.  For those in need of a recap, choux is a delicate, airy French pastry, commonly filled with cream.  Choux usually just means "cream puff."  And what son-of-a-bitch doesn't love a good cream puff?

There is a recent development on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that is worth going into.  Not long ago, a new cream puff parlour opened -- Barachou, on Amsterdam near 82nd Street.  It's a hip, stylish little parlour opened by a former banker (presumably she rightfully found her job in banking meaningless).  According to the Times, "her little pastries, made on the premises by a Parisian baker, have finesse, delicacy and panache."  I sampled an original and pistachio choux, and they were good.  The cream was a straight-up whipped cream.  This got me thinking, because sometimes choux is filled with a blended cream and custard concoction.

Just a few blocks away on Broadway, Beard Papa's has been churning out choux for years.  This lovable little choux shoppe started in Osaka, Japan, when an artisinal baker, Beard Papa, "decided to make a pastry as fluffy and lovable as his beard."  He decided on cream puffs, and perfected his choux pastry, and then "he proceeded to make the perfect filling, made with a mixture of whipped and vanilla custard cream."  YOU SEE?  Beard Papa uses whipped cream and custard cream!  The question becomes: is this a Japanese bastardization?  Or, were the French also mixing whipped cream and custard cream?  Why does Barachou only use whipped cream? These are important questions.

Upper West Side

Beard Papa
Upper West Side

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Department of Pants

In yesterday's dispatch, I explained my fear that I did not adequately get across an important point in my dispatch from two days ago.  I wrote "In my prior dispatch, I think I failed to clearly communicate an important theoretical model for understanding pants." But now I am worried about my dispatch explaining my worry of the first dispatch. 

If you read my statement from yesterday saying "I think I failed to clearly communicate an important theoretical model for understanding pants," you could think at least two things.  One, you could think "he just didn't bring up the theoretical model at all."  Or two, you could think he tried to explain the model but didn't do a good job.  The word "clearly" perhaps supports the latter interpretation, because you could think he did indeed communicate what the model is, he just didn't do it clearly.  

In a certain sense, in the first post, I alluded to different parts of the model, but I never explicitly state what the model is.  Why did I not explicitly explain it?  I'm not sure.  Laziness?  The assumption that the reader would understand the model through osmosis?  At any rate, I never spell out the model and its structure.  

What I should have done is say, "here is the model, this is what it's called, this is the structure and the constituent parts and how they work."  But I don't quite do that in my first post. I refer to different parts of the theoretical structure to different extents, but I never clearly lay out what I need to lay out.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Department of Pants

In my prior dispatch, I think I failed to clearly communicate an important theoretical model for understanding pants.  I've been so worried and have felt so incomplete, because I know my last post was sent for all the world to see, and it's horrifying to think that untold numbers read my treatise without understanding an important point.  Were these people confused?  Did they take away something completely different from what I wanted them to take away?  How can I make sure EVERY person who read my prior post can read this clarification?  Let's say many people subscribe to my posts.  Great!  They will get this update in their mailboxes.  But what if someone just happened upon the page, read the post, but does not subscribe?  He may go about his business for years not understanding what I was trying to say!  How can I find that person?  How can I find the person who read the post but is now out there in the world and will not see the clarification and will potentially go about his affairs with an incomplete understanding of what I was trying to say about pants?

One possibility is to get a list of every single human being in the world.  Then I can start calling, e-mailing, and going from place to place, asking people if they read the post from last week.  If they did, I can find out if they read my update.  If they did, great.  If not, then I can explain the clarification!  If I do this process for every single human being, assuming my list is complete, then, once complete, I can feel pretty confident that every person who read my post now has a correct understanding?  Right? 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Department of Pants

Let's not consider color or fabric: let us just consider the fit of the pant. 

The waist should be comfortable, but you don't want it too loose.  You don't want the pants to sag below your cheek line, or, if wearing a belt, you don't want the material to be pinched and folded by the belt.  You also don't want the waist to be too tight.  Like I said: the waist should be comfortable and fit just right.  The crotch and buttocks area should also fit just right -- not too much fabric and room, but not too tight, either. 

As we move downwards, it's here where good men can begin to differ.  There is a range that can work.  Perhaps a slightly roomier, straight leg cut, but not too roomy.  Perhaps something a little sleeker and closer form?  Perhaps a slight taper?  Yes, perhaps.  But there is a range: too roomy in the thigh or moving down towards the break, and it won't work.  Too tight, and it won't work.  And speaking of break, there is also a range that can work for the length of your pant.  But too short and you have a problem, or too long and you have a problem.

All of these questions I've been considering in a vaccum, not accounting for body type.  Body type matters: within these various acceptable ranges, certain moves in one direction may better complement a certain body type more.  But even considering body type, there is still a range that can work for that particular body type, a little roomier or a little slimmer.

Once you've found your range, do you need to pick your particular cut within that range and stick with it across all your pants?  Or can you wear a pant that is on the roomier end of your spectrum one day, and then switch to a pant that is on the slimmer end of your spectrum the other day?  It's this question which no one has yet satisfactorily answered.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Confessions of a Notebook Addict

I am not well.  When did it start?  Years ago  I walked past a stationary store in the Village.  Hm, I need a new notebook, I thought!  I had been meaning to start a writing project, so why not begin with a fresh new notebook?  I walked into this little shop and found it filled with downtown artists and intellectuals.  Someone who looked like Trotsky was yelling about how he hated himself because he was a white European man. 

I walked around until I came to the main notebook section of the shoppe.  So many artisinal notebooks, mostly of German, Swiss, or Japanese origin.  To me, this was new.  Until this point, I had not thought much of quality notebooks.  A legal pad from Staples would do the trick.  I think I had had a few Moleskins, which now I know are highly regarded by the proletariat but are really rather pedestrian journals.  So to be in this Greenwich Village stationary store looking at handcrafted notebooks was quite an experience.  I quickly looked through a few, and then I picked one with spiral binding and yellow, grid-lined sheets.  I don't even remember why I picked it!  Perhaps I liked the color of the binding. 

Once I got home I sat at my table and opened my new notebook.  It was raining outside.  I picked up my pen and began writing.  Hm.  This is a nice notebook!  The paper is of high quality, created with the pulp of humanely raised and chopped trees.  And the construction of this notebook is superb!  But I didn't write for long.  Something tugged at my soul.  What was it?  Why couldn't I concentrate?  It was because I wasn't sure I picked the right notebook!

I went back to the stationary store.  This time, I more carefully perused the notebooks.  Some were spiral bound on the top, and some were spiral bound on the side.  Some were bound in other manners, also on the top or on the sides.  Some had heavy, sturdy covers, and others were lighter.  The paper?  Some white, some yellow, but so many different shades.  Many different consistencies.  Sometimes the paper was lined.  Sometimes grid lined.  Sometimes no lining at all.  The combinations seemed infinite!  This time, after about an hour, I picked a new notebook.  Still spiral bound on the side -- that has remained my preference -- but the paper was thicker and an off-white color, college rule lined.  I had the perfect notebook!

Back at home I sat once more at my table, and the rain continued to fall.  Time to start my writing project!  I picked up a pen, but this time it happened to be a different pen than the one used on my first attempt.  Hm.  I like this pen.  I had never really thought much about pens before, either, but this one I liked.  It was a .5mm black pen.  Then, almost on a whim, I decided to try this pen on the first notebook I purchased, just to see what it was like.  And then I realized I actually liked the first notebook more, because the way this .5mm black pen wrote on it was divine!

So I returned to the first notebook and wrote a bit, but then I realized it was all wrong!  I had already started writing using a different pen, a plain old Bic ballpoint pen as it were, and it was no good to have the notebook filled with writing from a different pen, much less a subpar ballpoint!  But since the first notebook was a spiral bound notebook with sheets of paper you could easily remove, problem solved!  I simply tore out the sheet of paper and started from scratch.  But as I wrote, I wondered:  what if there were a better pen I could be using that would match up perfectly with the paper in this notebook?  I returned to the stationary store.

Years later, I have not yet found the perfect combination of notebook and pen.  Sometimes I think I've found it, and I get underway on my writing project.  But then a couple of days will pass, and I'll return to the stationary store to see if there is a new shipment of notebooks and pens.  Perhaps a brand or model I don't know about?  I'll weigh the variables and compromise.  Well, I really do love this notebook, the paper is perfect, but I don't like how its bound!  But perhaps I can just look past that?  And I'll return home, thinking I can overlook the nature of the binding, and start writing, but then realize after not too long that no, I can't overlook the binding!  So I go back to the stationary store to find a new notebook and I start over again and the process repeats.

I've tried it all.  Therapy.  Hypnotism.  Acupuncture.  But peace doesn't come, and I doubt it ever will. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019


Are you obsessed with artisinal graph paper?

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Philip Roth

I am 37.  It was around 10 years ago.

I was on the Upper West Side.  I believe I was in the 90s, and I think it was around Columbus Avenue. Was I really on the Upper West Side?

I was walking and I saw Philip Roth.  He was walking in my direction.  I'm almost sure it was Philip Roth.  It would make sense -- he had an apartment somewhere on the Upper West Side.  I'm fairly certain it was him.

We made eye contact.  I'm pretty sure we made eye contact.  I definitely saw him, and I definitely looked at his face and saw his eyes, and I'm pretty sure he also looked at my face and saw my eyes, at the same moment.  I'm not completely sure we made eye contact but I think we did.

I think it was Philip Roth and I think we looked at each other but I'll never be 100% sure.


Ten years ago, on the Upper West Side, did I really cross paths with Philip Roth and make eye contact with him?


Ten years ago, on the Upper West Side, did I really make eye contact with Philip Roth?

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Critic

When young, do we ever know how we will end up as adults?  I remember my life as a boy in the woods of Pittsburgh, building forts, planning attacks on other forts built by rival neighborhood gangs, and I don't think I ever thought I would end up as a burger critic with a pant disorder.  But that is how it is.

There's a new "retro" diner called Golden Diner downtown, below Canal and near the water. As soon as a diner is meta and is paying homage to the golden age of diners, it's no longer a diner. Golden Diner has a burger, with some sort of "housemade" special sauce, and you can order it "deluxe."  The place is filled with cool people and loud hip hop music is blaring -- wow, it's so cool that they play hip hop in a "retro" diner.  The burger arrives and is quite rare, comprised of aged cuts of beef.  The special sauce is stupid.  It's really not a special burger.  The fries are pretty good. 

Afterwards I stop at Macy's to check out the Dockers Department.  I currently own a pair of 36x34 Slim Tapered All Season Tech Khakis in grey.  They are some of my favorite pants -- the fit is excellent.  So why not get another pair? I grab some in a different color and try them on: what the hell!  They fit completely different!  The pants hug my thighs and look ridiculous.

What a miserable day -- an unmemorable burger and bad pants.  I should have stayed a little boy playing in the woods.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Spread Report

Who doesn't love a good spread? It was a hot and steamy night in Washington, D.C. -- what better thing to do than partake in spreads!?!?  And therefore I went to Zaytinya, Jose Andres' ode to Mediterranean indulgence. We were seated and an army of servers immediately served the spreads.  There was a silky, luxurious nutty hommus pulsing with garlic, with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and lemon.  And of course a fine baba ghannouge that tasted rich and smokey and was also throbbing with...garlic!  Bring the fresh, warm pita!!!!  It was brought.  But this was no ordinary pita.  It was tender yet crisp and hearth-baked, pockmarked with charcoal blisters.  My compliments to the hearth master!  I didn't think spreads could get any better, but later, when our chicken kebabs arrived, so also arrived garlic toum, a spread which almost defies description.  It's white.  It looks like it could be Crisco.  It tastes of pure garlic transcendence.  As I took my first bite my eyes rolled back into my head.  Later, when I came to, I browsed the menu some more.  Is garlic in EVERY dish?  I've come home.

Washington, D.C.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Marvolous Cuisine From a Different Point of View

     I vaguely remember the day that I went to Washington DC. It was, well let's just say it was boiling outside. Erica was very interested in going to the city until she mistook the parking prices for $27 an hour. Eventually we found "Cheap" parking. We walked a block to Point of View, a very overpriced restaurant that overlooks the city. I ordered a water, 5.6% ice and 94.4% water. It was a little bland, but it was overall preferable. Erica got an order of hummus that tasted a little bit like szechuan chickpeas. But for a main course I got a dreaded wedge salad with a whole bottle of buttermilk ranch. That being said, it was not preferable🙄. After the chaotic jumble of talkative people conversing about going to a museum, Erica stepped in and showed everyone who's boss. It's her if you didn't get that. She dictated that we would not be going to the museum and instead she suggested we take a stroll down to presidential scoops. It had a wide variety of nonexcruciating flavors. I chose cookies and cream, the only acceptable flavor. And lastly, Erica took one last selfie.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Pop Quiz (The Annals of Dockers)

You walk into Macy's.  You head to the Dockers Department.  You start browsing.  These All Weather Alpha 360 Flex Slim Tapered Fit Chinos look nice!  Ok, I'll grab 36x34 and also 38x34.  But wait?  Mixed in with these pants are a pair that are labeled slightly different, with a different sticker signifying the size.  They seem pretty similar.  But wait.  These are Alpha 360 Flex Slim Tapered Fit KHAKIS.  Ok sure I'll grab some of these, too!

Soon you're in a dressing room.  First, the CHINOS.  Ok, the 36" waist feel a bit too snug, and the 38" feels a bit too big.  Both pretty good, but perhaps I should lose a little wait to fit perfectly into the 36's, or gain a little for the 38's?  Or perhaps I need skinny summer pants and fat winter pants?  But wait!  Right now, I only wearing a polo shirt while trying on these pants.  Often, I would be wearing a dress shirt and undershirt.  So with the two layers, perhaps the 38's will fit well?  Ok, but what about the khakis?  Ok, these seem slightly THINNER, but they seem tighter!

You head back out to the racks.  Oh, there is also STRAIGHT fit.  Perhaps a 36" waist in the straight will be good, because it's a fuller cut?  But actually, the waist is the same, it's really just the cut of the leg that is fuller, and you have relatively slim legs.


Friday, June 28, 2019

Annals of Dockers

As previously chronicled in these volumes, Dockers has undergone a resurgence in the past several years. Frankly, they now make some of the finest mass-produced pants. Indeed I've owned some Dockers these past few years that have fit me -- gulp -- perfectly? Recently Dockers has been experimenting with stretchy materials, and I acquired a pair of breathtaking trousers -- rugged and casual yet refined enough for work. Comfy pants with a nice stretchy waist but also a well cut silhouette. The problem? I don't even know which pants I actually purchased, because the Dockers catalog has become absurdly massive, with different styles that are really just slight variations of one another, to the extent that one feels like the entire multiverse of pants is represented in the Dockers line.  Additionally, the naming is extremely confusing and inconsistent, and I would bet a chicken wing or two that the pants are sometimes mislabeled.  A quick rundown of just some of the styles from the Dockers website:

Dockers® Alpha Khaki Pants With Smart 360 Flex™, Slim Tapered Fit
94% Cotton, 6% Elastane

Dockers® Alpha Chino Pants With Smart 360 Flex™, Tapered Fit
95% Cotton, 5% Elastane

Downtime Khaki Pants With Smart 360 Flex™, Slim Tapered Fit
96% Cotton, 4% Elastane

Original Khaki All Seasons Tech™ Pants, Straight Fit
60% Cotton, 37% Polyester, 3% Elastane

A note on Elastane: I'm all for stretch material in pants, but it undoubtedly complicates things. How do I find the perfect fit now with all these Elastane possibilities?  Perhaps a pant with a 38'' waist is ok with 2% Elastane, but perhaps a 36" waist is better with 7% Elastane? 

I recently ordered 34 pairs of Dockers on Amazon to compare.  But the styles, as listed on the Amazon website, don't necessarily match the naming conventions used on the Dockers website, and there are a multitude of fabric ratio permutations: 92% cotton and 8% Elastane, for instance, although such a permutation is nowhere to be found on the "official" roster.  

What is one to do? The search for the perfect pant continues...

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Sundae

Definition of "sundae" from Wikipedia:

"The sundae is an ice cream dessert. It typically consists of one or more scoops of ice cream topped with sauce or syrup, and in some cases other toppings including sprinkles, whipped cream, marshmallows, peanuts, maraschino cherries, or other fruits."

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Coupes Gourmandes/Pleasure Cups

I've never taken much note of Amorino, an Italian-based gelato company that began opening parlours in New York sometime in the last several years.  I thought the gelato was certainly good.  And I seem to recall someone saying they serve complimentary house-made whipped cream.  But for whatever reason, I had it and moved on with my life.

That all changed this weekend when I decided to stop by Amorino after dinner.  I was not in the greatest of spirits, for I had just had some really disappointing mozzarella sticks.  Please god, make up to me the monstrosity of those mozz sticks with some good ice cream!  I perused the creams and scanned the menu when my eyes stopped: "Coupes Gourmandes," or Gourmet Cups, if you will.  Hm, what are those!?  Two scoops of your choice of gelato, crunchy chocolate balls, your choice of sauce -- chocolate, Nutella, or caramel -- and whipped cream!

I ordered my coupe with a scoop of tiramisu and stracciatella and Nutella.  The coupe was a receptacle of pleasures, and the whipped cream was incredible!  Ok god, we're back on good terms!  But I don't even believe in you! Hahahahahah.

Amsterdam Avenue

Sunday, June 2, 2019

F' It

The summer is beginning, so shouldn't we all be happy?  I'm sitting at home, thinking.  I like my job, but in some ways I don't, but does it matter?  My wife is mad at me, but she says she isn't, but she really is, or is she?  Oh what the hell!?  I'm going on an adventure!  I ride the subway deep into Brooklyn, past the godforsaken pretend people, to where real people live.  I enter a Chinese noodle parlour and order rice noodles with minced pork and chile oil.  As I wait, the phone rings and one of the store owners picks up.  "Hey!  Can I get an order of chicken with baby corn?"  Really?  This is a real Chinese noodle parlour, not take-out American Chinese.  No they don't have chicken with baby corns, or General Tso's, you idiot!  My noodles come, filled with scallion and cilantro, and the noodles are good!  I walk back to the subway and stop at a cannoli joint.  I get a pistachio cannoli and it's filled to order, and I eat it as I wait for the subway to come and return me to my groundless existence in Manhattan.  THE END.

Mama's Noodle House, Bensonhurst Brooklyn
Cannoli Plus, Bensonhurst Brooklyn

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Poetry Corner

Goldfish Poem
Wouldn't you like to eat some Goldfish?
(the crackers)

Saturday, April 20, 2019


It was a nice spring day, so I called out of work and went on an adventure!  First stop, David Chang's newest street cart-style shawarma parlour in the Time Warner Center, Bang Bar (bang is the tender, pita-like bread that serves as a receptacle for the meats).  I had been before, but I wanted to stop by for a morning mortadella.  "I'll have a mortadella and cheese, please!"  "Um, sorry sir, we actually don't have mortadella right now."  "Damn it! Ok, well I guess I'll have the cinnamon sugar bang, then."  What a let down!  I take my bang to the overlook and view Columbus Circle and Central Park while eating my bang filled with a sugary drizzle.  It's...ok.  But what's that sound?  Drip drip drip.  Oh god!  Drizzle is oozing from the bang and falling onto the floor.  Time to fly!  Next stop: Ole & Steen, on Broadway and 19th Street, a classic Danish bake shop and coffee house.  I order a "copenhanger," a poppy seed pastry lightly filled with marzipan.  Delightful!  Ok, what now?  A pizza lunch sounds good to me!  I head over to Massoni, Dale Talde's new pizza parlour inside the Arlo Hotel.  I order a pie to go and take it to Madison Square Park.  The pizza is what you might call Detroit nouveau, a delightfully caramalized, browned crust, bubbly mozz, and pepperoni cuppolas bathing in their own oils.  It's a bubbly bastard, to be sure!  Now I need a break, but that's because I have a date for 5:30pm at Au Cheval, the hip new Tribeca tavern.  Fast forward to 5:30, and the wait at Au Cheval is only 1.5 hours.  My companion and I head downstairs to a secret speakeasy for cocktails and chicken tenders.  The tenders are pretty good, not bad, but not mind blowing tenders.  When we are finally called to our table, we quickly get down to business.  "We'll have the cheeseburger and the bologna sandwich!"  "Um, we're out of bologna, sir."  "Damn it!"  Why am I having so many processed meat problems??  We make do with the cheeseburgers, which are sort of a cross between a Shake Shack, all American style, and a Minetta Tavern prime beef mineral funk style.  The burger is good, almost too salty.  The end.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019


When we consider the nature of consciousness, it's funny to look back at ancient mankind and realize they were closer to the truth than the so-called moderns, many of whom viewed ancient man with condescension.  Let us take the ancient Israelite religion as an example.  The ancient Hebrew "nephesh," the word for what might be called consciousness today, meant literally breath, an animating breath that brought the body to life.  Thousands of years later, scientists talked about the brain, neurons, synapses, all of that.  But we know it's easier and better to conceive of the mind as a mist, not contained within a brain, but spread throughout space, yet able to concentrate in smaller pockets,  but also able to concentrate in multiple places at once.

It wasn't just the ancient tribes of Israel that sensed the true nature of things.  As another example, many of the Buddhists also had a much better picture of reality, while the mass of men led lives of quiet ignorance.  One of the Buddhists who was on to something once said "the biggest illusion is I'm in here and you're out there."

But as far as we can tell, it wasn't until the year 3,027 (to go by the calendar used at the time) that man really learned of mindspritzing.  Yes, there had been isolated moments prior that came close - in dream states, through meditation, drugs, etc. - but not until 3,027 did what we know as mindspritzing truly and completely enter the human world.

The first man to mindspritz was...

To be continued...

Monday, April 15, 2019

Medieval Bread

Sweeping vistas, oh the vistas.  You float north past the fjords and njords, the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, it's all there.  Heavenly Denmark, smoke pouring out of the chimneys into the foggy morning air.  The hearths are blazing with baking bread!  Dark, brown, baker's ryes.  Hearty peasant loaves, sourdough starter you better be sure.  Rolf!  Achectern fie der shwopzein rye!  Rolf hands me a rye loaf and I chew off a piece and savor the rich peasant bread.  I then ask for a proper slice with pickled herring and beets.  The aromas of medieval bread pervade all.

Great Northern Food Hal
Grand Central Terminal

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Two Poems (updated)

Last Title Was Stupid
Sometimes I become so despondent,
So sick and sad.
I don't care about anything.
The universe will end up destroyed, 
Or a black, empty expanse.
Then all I want to do is eat stroopwafels.


Sometimes I become so despondent,
So sick and sad.
I don't care about anything.
The universe will end up destroyed,
Or a black, empty expanse.
Then all I want to do is eat stroopwafels.