Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I wanted to extend an invitation to lovely sunny Nicaragua. Yes, it may be the poorest country in mainland Central America and I'll be in a small border town, but it is close to beach and, anD, AND the poverty means the almighty dollar goes a long way. Who is in? We could do a family vacation!!!
Ill be there from April 5 till August 23rd. Travelling from Aug 5 till the 23rd. I'm in DC right now till Sunday the 3rd. Who wants to do Asian Cafe for drinks on Sun? Not sure yet.
For your reference: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/nicaragua
Also, I broke my phone (suprise suprise) so please leave me a message if you call. (just this once)
"If I was her, I would hit someone the second I got in there and go into PC, protective custody. Then she's just got to sit in there and read some books."
– Law & Order: SVU star Ice-T, when asked by New York magazine if he had any advice for Paris Hilton before she went to jail
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Pictured to the right is the town of Nerja on Spain´s Costa del Sol, my home for the past six days and until next Saturday. In all honesty, I wasn´t too impressed when I first got here. The buildings are not particularly beautiful, the streets are narrow and kind of claustrophobic, and it´s teeming with old, lumpy, leathery skinned, disgusting British tourists. I also fell into my typical pattern of not talking to anyone when I´m in a place where I don´t know anyone. It´s amazing to me that I still do that. It was like being at EXPLO camp back when I was 15. It all led to some lonely days and to wishing I were still back in New York.
Very impressive stuff.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Let's go witness Sol's weekend "baseball games" next weekend: Sunday June 3, 1pm at Central Park... if it turns out to just be strippers in the ball field, I won't be surprised, but all the better entertainment, anyway.
You need to enter Central park on 100th Street and Central Park West
(take the B or C train to 96th and Central Park West)
Walk down the main path towards the ball fields. We should be on Ball
field #5. Just look for the A's dugout.
Bring some picnic food and beer... I bring the "DL" cups.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Indeed, some candy is created downright poorly—like, it shouldn't have even been created at all.Bad Candy is something of an enigma, like a black hole or dark matter. It really shouldn't exist at all. And yet, it does. And like dark matter, it challenges our basic assumptions about the universe. 250 calories, a chocolate coating, and it doesn't taste good?
(On the other side of this spectrum is the watermelon, which is basically a green boulder that by some miracle is filled with juicey red fruit that you can infuse with vodka. What did the caveman who discovered the first watermelon do? For how long was it considered the egg of a goddess or something? I'm thinking ten to twenty thousand years.)
Bad Candy serves a few useful functions, though. First of all, it reminds us of the diversity of human tastes. Somebody likes Mounds, otherwise Hershey's wouldn't bother distributing it. It's refreshing to know we're not all the same—some people have terrible taste in candy. Second, Bad Candy makes us appreciate the Twixes and Kit-Kats and Whatchamacallits all the more. And finally, Bad Candy proves that the Candyman is fallible—he's not a godlike, Willy Wonka-figure after all.
[It's all there, black and white, clear as crystal! You stole fizzy lifting drinks. You bumped into the ceiling fans which now have to be washed and sterilized. So you get nothing! You lose! Good day sir!]
Following: the lower orders of the candy species. This list is by no means exhaustive (I'm sure there's some terrible "savory" candy out there I don't know about), but in my mind, these are some of the worst of the worst. From the least least desirable to the most…
5. Payday. Here's a good way to ruin caramel—with salt! I mean, why not just sprinkle some paprika on it and call it a day? It also loses points because it looks like a log of caramel that someone stuck peanuts into.
3. Almond Joy. Edges Mounds because it starts with something that tastes like sawdust (coconut) but adds almonds. Not the direction I would have gone in. It's also worth mentioning that Mounds and Almond Joy both have terrible names. Mounds? Yuck. And if you only have one, don't you have to call it a mound? And "almond" joy? Is that possible?
2. Jujubes. A hard, nearly tasteless candy, that gets worse as you chew it, and comes about seven hundred to the box—the problem with that being you can never finish them. Receiving a box of Jujubes is psychological torture: a bottomless supply of candy that you don't want to finish.
1. Good & Plenty. Another boxed candy that comes thousands to the box, but pill shaped, and infused with the (universally disliked) taste of licorice. I mean, I know people who like coconut—I know people who say Mounds it their favorite candy. But the continued production of licorice is a total mystery to me. Does anyone out there like the black jelly bean? And given that black jelly beans are always, always the last to be eaten, how is there demand for Good & Plenty? Bottom line—if you give me a box of Jujubes, I'll eat them. I won't enjoy it, and it will take me six or seven weeks to finish the box, but I'll eat them. Give me Good & Plenty, and I'll throw them away unopened.
Man, writing about Bad Candy is no fun at all! In fact, it's depressing. Next installment, back to Good Candy! And I'll close with a recommendation, too: The Wonka Bar. I just had what I think was my first one. Chocolate with bits of graham cracker. Not to be missed!
Friday, May 18, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
The bootie party is upon us again and why not make it an event like last time. Chessy dance music, drinks a plenty and will give everyone a chance to dance off their burritos/tacos/chimichangas!!
Wear your pirate-iest outfits and lets dance dance dance the night away. Who is with me??
PS. same place as last time, dont forget to RSVP so we can get in for six bucks this time (and maybe a chance to win a bottle of grey goose)
Tiramisu: 4 pounds tiramisu in 6 minutes (Timothy Janus)
let's hear it for america and food!!!!!
We here at the Official Chile Cook Off Review Board (OCCORB) greatly appreciate your efforts to uphold the tenets of competition excellence championed by OCCORB since 1814. Due to the persuasiveness and compelling rhetoric of your letter, we have chosen to investigate this incident, despite the fact that it was not an officially sanctioned OCCORB event. Please be advised in the future that you must register future Cook Offs with OCCORB at least 90 days prior to the event and you must follow all OCCORB protocol in conducting the Cook Off in order to be considered for future OCCORB discretionary review.
Our highly skilled OCCORB investigators launched their inquiry into your “Chile Con Carne (-Val)” event shortly after receipt of your letter. Our team interviewed witnesses, participants, neighbors, chile experts, and psychologists specializing in the field of Sexual Influence in Chile Competitions (SIICC). Furthermore, they obtained the discarded bowls used for the taste test in the dumpster in your building’s basement. From these bowls, our scientists were able to pull samples of the different entrants and conducted several tests.
Based on our findings, OCCORB has concluded that the results of your “Chile Con Carne (-Val)” are legitimate. In fact, we would like to officially congratulate your taste testers on conducting such a professional and thorough analysis of the chiles entered while being unaware of OCCORB’s longstanding “Taste of Excellence” judging guidelines. Furthermore, based on our scientific studies of the chile samples themselves, we must applaud the quality and consistency of the chiles involved.
In conclusion, we are grateful for your concern and willingness to sponsor and police a competition related to our area of expertise. Please feel free to order the following publications (available at bookstores everywhere) for your future events.
The Official Chile Cook Off Review Board Guidelines
Some Like it Hot: A Guide to Spice in Chile Competitions
Hotter than Hell: When Chile Goes Too Far
Chiles of the World: A 22 Month Calendar
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Behold the burrito, something you can't get in Basel for less than $22! And no, I am not kidding! Anyway, I am breaking out the exclamation points because I am returning to New York! Briefly! And if you are reading this blog, I want to see you!
Thursday night I am thinking drinks at McSorley's!
Friday night I am thinking dinner at the Taqueria in Brooklyn!
Saturday I am thinking an 8AM flight to San Francisco! On Jet Blue!
[Setting aside the exclamation points for a moment, I think it'll be 9:00PM at McSorley's (having dinner with my sister) and 8:00PM at the Taqueria. Please either email me or leave a comment if you can come, and I will make a reservation. Undoubtedly, dinner will be followed by drinks somewhere.
By the way, Chef Schwartz, I expect you to quit your job in order to attend both functions.]
I really miss all of you, and I can't wait to see you in a few days!!
[Tarantino or someone who allegedly looks like him will be there!]
Monday, May 14, 2007
First, shout out goes out to Jon Ross for eating 3 hot dogs in 3 minutes! Kobiyashi watch yo' back.
Ashley and Cassie proved themselves to be Hustling Poker Queens...by cleaning up at the impromptu Gowanus poker night.
Thanks to Christy for making friends with the owner(s) of the Gowanus Yacht Club.
Because of Christy's heroics we were given approximately 3 rounds of free "Black Label" beer.
No wonder...I woke up with a splitting headache!
Bloomberg in 2008!
Friday, May 11, 2007
or rather, beer, will be manufactured at my place tomorrow afternoon. Stop on by to join in the madness:
88 Livingston St, Apt.10
Between Court and Boerum
1) At the end of the day, the beer will not be ready. That takes 3 more weeks.
2) BUT to make beer, you need beer. Brewing can not be done sober. We'll be supplied but BYO for extra kudos.
3) PLUS participation guarantees a piece of the results down the road.
No candy brings a smile to my face the way this one does: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I'm not saying it's the best candy out there, but to me it's the most fun--and when you are eating candy, that counts for a lot. The fact is, eating Reese's Peanut Butter Cups is an experience. It's not something you can do as you walk out of the RiteAid on your way to the subway. You've got two flat, circular cups to deal with. And not only that, they have paper on them. Talk about momentarily delayed gratification being all the sweeter! A Reese's without the paper on it would be like a velcro bra strap: much more convenient, about a thousand times less interesting.
Further, the fact that you get two cups in a standard package means that you can enjoy two totally different candy experiences. As the (pithy and insightful) old slogan had it, there is no right [or wrong!] way to eat a Reese's. You can eat the firmer chocolate edges on the first cup, and on the second eat the peanut butter middle. You can hurry through one, and take your time with the other. Ingestion permutations are almost limitless, making this a candy that really rewards the thoughtful eater.
(A quick note about the Big Cup, the super-sized single serving version of the conventional Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. If Hershey's packaged Big Cups in two-in-one wrapping, I am certain sales would more than double. No matter how big they make the Big Cup, you always feel like you are only getting one peanut butter cup--inevitably disappointing. It would be like McDonald's having the SuperSize menu feature only a bigger burger, and keeping everything else the same. If Hershey's wants to capture the obese/trucker/weed-smoker demographic, they'd do better to give them (us?) the option of buying a Big Ol' Pair O' Peanut Butter Cups.)
Finally, the taste of the Reese's Peanut Butter cup is the soul of elegant simplicity. Chocolate. Peanut butter. Boom. So, so much greater than the sum of its parts. KitKat, again, always leaves me feeling a little unfulfilled. Reese's, on the other hand, despite having even fewer ingredients, always seems like an indulgent candy event. Obviously, you can't give all the credit to Reese's--chocolate and peanut butter just belong together. But they may never have been joined so perfectly as they are in a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Starting now, I'm going to use this space for the purpose blogs were intended for: posting a detailed discussion of a topic mainly of interest to me. Without further ado... CANDY!
Today's subject: The KitKat Wafer Bar!!
First created in 1931 and certified kosher (OUD), KitKat remains a staple of any bodega candy bar display. KitKat has perhaps the best crunch of any major candy bar on the market. It achieves this crunch, though, without sacrificing the taste of chocolate--I believe it accomplishes this by dividing the layers of wafer with thinner layers of chocolate. Other wafer-coated chocolate bars simply dip wafer in chocolate and call it a day--the result is a candy that tastes far too wafery, and hence, too bland. The KitKat avoids this, to its credit. It employs the texture of wafer without letting it overwhelm the taste.
Another positive of the KitKat is its structure--the bar is pre-divided into four parts, making it easy to share and allowing you to eat it in innumerable ways. This shouldn't be overlooked. The conventional "meat-loaf" structure of a candy bar (think Snickers or Milky Way) pretty much demands a front to back eating experience. With a KitKat, you can eat one bar at a time, nibble the chocolate that breaks off when you separate one bar from another, etc.
Still, I would argue KitKat is the Karl Malone of candy bars: it undeniably belongs in the Hall of Fame, but its greatness remains debatable. The taste of a KitKat is easily replicated and often duplicated. There are many, many chocolate-coated wafer bars. The KitKat is just the one that crossed over into the popular candy market (though again, its balancing of flavor and texture is admirable). I like its simplicity, but that is also its downfall--with a KitKat, there just isn't enough going on for a truly first-rate candy experience. Granted, I'm never disappointed with a KitKat, but again, I'm never really fired up. To use a non-basketball analogy (for the ladies!!!), KitKat is like Reese Witherspoon--attractive, talented, but are you ever really, really excited to see a Reese Witherspoon movie? Of course not.
[Reese and a KitKat: A woman and a candy you can bring home to Mom...]
All-in-all, KitKat continues to delight and is a never-fail safe choice. But I prefer other bars when I really want to get my candy on.
Which bars!?!? Tune in next time!!
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Today is Smuttypalooza which means they will have a bunch of beers from Smuttynose Brewery (generally a top-notch outfit) paired with cheeses from Murray's (and tacos).
The Blind Tiger is on Bleecker and Great Jones Streets. Smuttypalooza starts at 4pm.
Friday, May 4, 2007
Anyone who wants to pay respects, or just booze it up and hit Karaoke Sing Sing:
DATE: Friday, May 4th
PLACE: Duke's Bar
129 Ave. C, New York, NY 10009
nr. 8th St.
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of All Ages,
It's time you forget about bees and think instead about beans.
You've heard it discussed, you've heard it dissected. Now it's time you heard it planned. Announcing:
Chile Con Carne(-Val)
Who: The Family (and Family friends, of course)
When: Monday night, 14 May, 2007. 5:00pm.
Where: 225 West 12th Street, Apartment 3H, New York, NY 10011.
What: The Chile Con Carne(-Val) is a two-part program combining a great chile cook-off (where you can each demonstrate your culinary skills by preparing your best chile recipe) with game night (which means we stay in and save money).
Why: Why not?
RULES AND REGULATIONS:
1.) Your dishes can be any variety of chile: red bean, black bean, white bean, vegetarian, chile dogs, frito pie, whatever you want.
2.) I only own scrabble, playing cards, and dominoes, so bring some games (note: the xBox is out of commission because the TV is broken).
Come get your grub on. But beware the killer beans.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
I'm sure many of you have heard about the mysterious bee disappearances. http://news.nationalgeographic
Keep in mind that the bees are disappearing without the beekeepers finding any dead bees. I have had a theory that the bees are not dying but rather all assembling somewhere to attack the human race. I think I have figured out where.
First, take a look at this headline. http://www.zwire.com/site/news
Bees from Arkansas have not been affected by the mysterious bee disappearances sweeping the nation! Sound odd? I agree. Read on.
Now, it seems as though the bees have begun reconaissance missions to test the human race's response to bee attacks in Little Rock, Arkansas. http://www.breitbart.com
While in the rest of the country, bees are disappearing, in Arkansas there are enough to shut a whole hospital! It's not just a coincidence. The clues are all here. Arkansas, and specifically Little Rock, is the perfect launching pad for the bees' resistance against the humans.
- The Arkansas Bee Virus, a real virus of which little is known, has, in my expert opinion, made super intelligent bees capable of galvanizing the bee population of the world against humans. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/BODY
- Earlier in November, Arkansas dropped its quarantine regulations against the small hive beetle, a mite that lives off of bee colonies. Obviously this greatly angered the bees and they are seeking revenge. .http://deltafarmpress.com
- A University of Arkansas professor published an article critical of Einstein in an episode involving Einstein's submission of a paper for publication. An unsubstantiated quote by Einstein reads, 'If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, then man would only have four years left to live.' Now, whether or not Einstein really said this, I believe the bees have taken it to heart. Thus, any man criticizing Einstein would be vulnerable to the bees' revenge. And, since this man is financially supported by the State of Arkansas, the State is the one that will feel the backlash. http://dailyheadlines.uark.edu
- Cheerios was invented at Central Missouri State in Warrensburg, MO. The Honey Nut Cheerios mascot is the bee. Warrensburg is less than TEN miles from Fayetteville, MO. Arkansas also has a town named Fayetteville, home of the University of Arkansas. I do not have evidence to back this up, but it is quite possible that Warrensburg, MO, and Fayetteville, MO, have a town rivalry. The bees, while in Warrensburg to pay homage to the creation of Cheerios, inherited the Warrensburg hatred for Fayetteville. Throughout the years, they became confused and thought the hated Fayetteville is the one in Arkansas and imputed their hate of the city to hate of the state. I wouldn't put it past them.
- BEE Branch - 57.4 miles North of the city
- BEE - 36.2 miles Northeast
- De Queen - 170 miles Southwest
- Willow BEAch - 14 miles East
If I have yet to convince you, consider this: the state insect of Arkansas is...the honeybee. http://www.stateanimals.com
I hope I am wrong. I really hope I am wrong because I do not think that we can defeat the bees. Perhaps it is not too late.
What can you do to protect yourself? Either purchase one of these to shield yourself from the bees or purchase one of these to assimilate with the bees or to hide amongst them. Your pets can also be saved if you plan accordingly.