Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Sonata in D, with nitrates and half-sours

Carnegie Deli, paragon of all things Jewish and meaty. To wit: Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda (yes, celery flavored soda, perfect for those of us without a sweet tooth), half-sour pickles (as opposed to full sours, more salty than sour), and the ubiquitous Woody Allen (towering sandwich of the tenderest pastrami and corned beef in all New York).

Inside Teitel Bros. Market

Teitel Bros. is an Italian market on Arthur Avenue. The neighborhood is not just a slice of Italy in the midst of the Bronx, but is also frozen in time (circa maybe 1950). Anyway, as you can see, Teitel Bros. sells all manner of Italian comestibles, including the spectrum of porky goodness. Which is interesting, because it's owned by four generations of Jews, and there's a large star of David tiled into the sidewalk right outside the entrance.

Where do cannoli come from?

They come from the queen. There is only one queen, and it's her job to sit in the case and spawn, with the help of the drone cannoli, while the worker cannoli flit about from block to block, looking for cannoli flowers to pollinate. Seen in a bakery on Arthur Avenue. On the wall: fake wedding cakes inscribed with things like "Congratulations Sal and Emmanuella".

Uglydoll held hostage by NYC storefront


The Platonic ideal of pizza. Thin crispy crust, excellent ratio of sauce to cheese, fresh mushrooms... although this particular slice, purchased on Amsterdam Avenue and 83rd Street, did not quite match up to the slice I had from Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. Bronx sauce = tangy. Amsterdam sauce = sweet. What this says about the Bronx versus the Upper West Side, I'm not exactly sure.

Bagel blitz

Proof that I did more in New York than just eat. A certain huge low-budget retailer now sponsors Friday nights at the MOMA so that the unwashed masses can forego the $20 admission fee and roam the spotless white halls for free. Free! What museums should be.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

But is it really Thanksgiving if there's no turkey?

It makes me so sad that I can't post photos until I get back to SF. Last night Ken and I watched the balloons getting blown up for the parade today. Not quite the icons I remember from my childhood (does anyone even remember who Bullwinkle is anymore?) -- more along the lines of Pokemon and Mr. Potato Head, who was given a vaguely disturbing "modern" update with a digital watch and a nalgene-style water bottle. Huh? But perhaps most disturbing was Ronald McDonald. His head was fully inflated and upright, but his body was completely flaccid, save two bulbous buttocks. As Ken said, they looked like a head and two enormous scrotum. Also, how gross that kids will be literally looking up to this representative of such a gross company. Yuck.

So Thanksgiving is done. Relief, disappointment. I think I'm just too much of a control freak to be happy at big celebratory things like this if someone else is in charge. Especially after last year (where, granted, there was no turkey), when I was the one planning and cooking and taking care of everything to my liking. But really, I can't quite get over the fact that instead of a turkey there was a "spiral cut hickory smoked turkey breast", vacuum sealed in plastic from hickory farms and with a packet of sugar powder for the "homemade" glaze. I'd rather there wasn't any gesture at all towards the iconic turkey than such a lame, pre-packaged, processed one.

But enough sitting in judgment. It was fun to sit at a table with this particular crazy half of the family, and to meet wee Robyn of the Enormous Cheeks. Seeing my macho jock cousin cooing over his little daughter was almost more of a wonder than this little person. Also, he said that the other day he had pulled "a booger the size of Montana out of her nose that was so long I thought it was part of her brain." Also, "she can fart with the best of them."

This is my family, my blood. These are my people. Wow.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Bodies in motion, stasis, corned beef

Waking at 3am to begin the cross country Thanksgiving journey will do wonders for your outlook on life. Especially when your shuttle is late, you sit next to a compulsively sneezing girl with dreads on a gross old plane that smells like farts, you almost miss your connection in chicago, are delayed coming in to laguardia, get stuck in traffic, and you spend half an hour looking for parking in Midtown. Especially when all you've had to eat all day is an airport bagel and a miniscule bag of corn chips (the Luna bar I had brought on the plane had expired in August and was inedible). After all this, my body cried out for something fresh, something healthy, something like sushi. So of course my family ended up at the Carnegie Deli, temple of excess, paragon of towering meats. Photos will be forthcoming; for some reason my brother's laptop is being buggy and doesn't want to let me post them at the moment.

Now: Sated. Happy. Overwhelmed. Underslept.

The wind outside is blowing hard and threatening to snow by Thursday. I brought the wrong coat! Will dream of finishing my fat green scarf in time for the first flakes.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Apocalypse bathroom

Appropriately, the remnants of this bathroom are strewn about the beach at Land's End. Beautiful electric orange and purple starfish cover the rocks at low tide, and the air is heavy with the funk of the sea.

Sign me up

Spotted on California St at 23rd Ave.

happy eye wash man

This man has just accidentally knocked a beaker of hydrochloric acid all over himself. Ouch! That hurts. He is so happy to stand under the emergency shower in his lab!

Monday, November 14, 2005

the good senator from minneapolis (someday)

My brother took this picture of Al Franken on the subway in New York. Do I have to explain why seeing prominent people on public transportation is deeply gratifying?

Also, for the record, my brother seems to have some kind of special touch as it relates to seeing celebrities in transit. He also has a picture of him with his arm around Al Sharpton outside of an airport men's room.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

"Talking of patriotism, what humbug it is; it is a word which always commemorates a robbery. There isn't a foot of land in the world which doesn't represent the ousting and re-ousting of a long line of successive owners." --Mark Twain

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Mission Street, dramatically backlit

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A while ago Yahoo did some stupid ad campaign that juxtaposed two different locales in supposedly surprising and humorous ways. One of their marketing managers described it thusly:

"We use the billboards to show a map of the area with locations of two kinds of services, but with a Yahoo! twist... One shows the locations of the nearest modeling agencies...and diet centers. Others show yoga centers and chiropractors, or romantic restaurants and motels."

Um, yeah. Anyway, I saw this doctored ad on Mission Street and thought it was pretty well done.

If I ever got a tattoo, it would probably be this

TV makes me sick

See? It's true what they say: that watching too much tv makes you grumpy and less fun to be around. This is a garage door in the Lower Haight, right across from Rosamunde's, the best little sausage grill in San Francisco. Nay, the world.

Don't mess...

You know the rest. This is a fine example of the goods offered in the "Texas section" of Dillard's, a smallish department store in the middle of San Antonio, a few hundred yards from the Alamo.

Statement of purpose

This blog was inspired by Rob Duncan's photo blog, which mostly documents his trips to and from Fremont on BART. Despite my initial squawking about the evil ubiquity of cell phones, mine is now always on me, and the little camera inside it is like another eye scoping out the myriad little weirdnesses that make up the everyday.

I really should just buy a digital camera. But for now, my itty bitty shitty LG will do. Enjoy.

Monday, November 07, 2005

70 years later, and where are we now?

"How may of you remember the first thing that the Declaration of Independence said? It said, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that there are certain inalienable rights of the people, and among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"; and it said, further, "We hold the view that all men are created equal."

"Now, what did they mean by that? Did they mean, my friends, to say that all me were created equal and that that meant that any one man was born to inherit $10,000,000,000 and that another child was to be born to inherit nothing?

"Did that mean, my friends, that someone would come into this world without having had an opportunity, of course, to have hit one lick of work, should be born with more than it and all of its children and children's children could ever dispose of, but that another one would have to be born into a life of starvation?

"That was not the meaning of the Declaration of Independence when it said that all men are created equal of "That we hold that all men are created equal."

"Now was it the meaning of the Declaration of Independence when it said that they held that there were certain rights that were inalienable -- the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Is that right of life, my friends, when the young children of this country are being reared into a sphere which is more owned by 12 men than it is by 120,000,000 people?

"Is that, my friends, giving them a fair shake of the dice or anything like the inalienable right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, or anything resembling the fact that all people are created equal; when we have today in America thousands and hundreds of thousands and millions of children on the verge of starvation in a land that is overflowing with too much to eat and too much to wear? I do not think you will contend that, and I do not think for a moment that they will contend it.

-- Huey P. Long, "Every Man a King", February 23, 1934

Sesos, lengua, al pastor

Weekends on 24th Street mean sidewalk tacos -- $1.50 for a big scoop of delicious pork al pastor (or sesos, or lengua, or something that translates as "beef hip"), grilled onions, cilantro, and salsa on two nicely absorbent corn tortillas.

Friday, November 04, 2005

hell on wheels

Oddly enough, this car resides in Noe Valley, of all places. Does the devil push a Bugaboo?