Postcard from New York

September 3, 2017

Postcard from New York

guitar

New in Town, with Guitar

“Where’s Union Square? I just got into town a few minutes ago.” So asked the young fellow with the guitar over his shoulder (just to the right of the traffic signal post), to the guy standing next to me a few blocks from Union Square on Friday, September 1, 2017. My thoughts wandered back to 1961, when a future Nobel laureate from Hibbing, MN—the Zimmermans’ boy—wandered into town.

As prior posts—here, here, here, and here, and, gentle readers, thanks for indulging me—reflect, I like New York City. Lots. Borrowing from the opening lines of Manhattan, “Chapter one. ‘He adored New York City. He idolized it

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Happy Father’s Day 2017

June 17, 2017

Happy Father’s Day 2017

Well, Father’s Day 2017 is upon us (or here or gone, depending on when you read this post.) This is my 24th as a father, and I shared a total of 44 with my dad.

I like Father’s Day. Lots. I have my two-part ritual, developed over the past 15 years or so and have missed it only twice. In 2009 I attended an old friend’s memorial service back East in 2009. (RIP, SH; we miss you!) And last year I skipped half of my ritual, opting for Raider of the Lost Ark at the Loft Cinema. Details here.

Part one involves watching the last day of the U.S. Open. I don’t

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London—Saturday and Sunday

May 19, 2017

London—Saturday and Sunday

London Saturday

40,802 steps, on Saturday.* Yep, you read that right! Everybody approaches a new city differently. I got many “Do the bus tour” commands. Old friends FF and GF brought their Rick Steves guidebooks, along with leftover money and Oyster cards, and a strong recommendation for ear buds and the Steves’ app on my phone. (I read the books before I left. Very helpful! I wish I could figure out how to use the wireless headphones I bought, so I would be prepared for a virtual tour.) From others I got “see this” and “you must see that.” Spoiler alert, and I do feel like a failure, really: never got to Harrods.

Alas,

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London—The Prequel and My First Day

May 15, 2017

London—The Prequel and My First Day

I learned something when I wrote this post: The United Kingdom includes Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Great Britain includes England, Scotland, and Wales. So, I’m writing about my visit to the U.K. although, in fact, I never left England.*

My trip came together pretty quickly. My GF, LB, planned a solo trip. Still, she graciously agreed to let me accompany her for a chunk of her holiday. She went ahead, to places on the Continent. We met up in London a few days after my arrival, and we returned home together.

I flew to London on British Airways, non-stop from Phoenix. People have been raving about this flight to me for years.

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Passover in 2017 / 5776

April 22, 2017

Passover in 2017 / 5776

My Personal Passover

Passover passed several days ago, on April 18 at sundown. Eight days earlier, on Monday, April 10, it started.

Passover came freighted with emotion this year. No Rochelle Rubin, and no Hirsches, as our dear friend Bob was only two days gone. And we dined at my mom and Irwin’s home, and used my grandmother’s china.

Sadness aside, our Seder offered its moments. We welcome strangers at Passover: Tucson newbies joined us, as well as close friends for whom Passover represents a cross-cultural opportunity. (With respect for Biblical dictates, “new friends” feels more positive and uplifting than “strangers.”)

There were also flat out misses. We had to kindle the Passover lights in

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Update on Max Atticus Finch, Dog!

November 25, 2016

Update on Max Atticus Finch, Dog!

Max Atticus Finch

Max Atticus Finch

Max Atticus Finch turned three last Monday, November 21. I know he turned three because I got him on November 21, 2015, and the rescue group told me he was two. (Museum visitor to guard: “How old is that T-Rex? Guard: “Six billion and 13 years old.” MV: “Wow.” G: “Yep, I’ve been here 13 years, and he was six billion years old on my first day.”)

We have shared 369 joyful days together, me and Max … but for day 368, and a few others. Thanksgiving morning left Max hot and bothered, when I told him the festivities did not include him. Yes, you went last year, I thought, but

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L’Shanah Tovah 5777. Happy New Year.

October 2, 2016

L’Shanah Tovah 5777. Happy New Year. The High Holy Days commence at sundown tonight (Sunday), beginning a period of reflection, remembrance, and renewal for Jews around the world.

I’ll get to what matters in a moment. First, though, there’s challah. No Jewish meal begins without bread, and a blessing in which we gives thank for bread. Challah means “loaf of bread,” but in modern times the term describes a braided egg bread, made round for the High Holy Days.

I have been sharing Jewish holidays with the same group of people for almost 55 years. We—my parents’ generation, truth be told—found one another wandering in the Southern Arizona desert, with everyone having escaped from New York or Havana. In

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Life Lessons

August 13, 2016

I’ve been busy with work, Max, and lots of life lately. Walking this morning, I noted some life lessons which grow out of food and related stuff.

Life Lesson No. 1: Tools Matter. For most of my life I’ve heard about tools. They’re necessary for success, even if they’re not always sufficient. And for an overlapping period of time, roughly, I’ve been making pizza. For many years, the act of making pizza from scratch was enough. “You made that. From scratch?” For a long time how good it was mattered little.

Then, as pizza improved, I had to step it up. Forty years ago my tools were a bowl and a cookie sheet. And now? There’s a scale, measuring

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Sunday Pizza

May 15, 2016

I defrosted pizza dough and Saturday evening plans went awry. I could have left the dough for another day or so—it’s sturdy stuff, bread dough—but I decided to try the Spicy Spring from Prince St. Pizza in lower Manhattan. (The link takes you to An 11-Stop Tour of Chinatown and Little Italy for Under $15 a Head by J. Kenji Lopéz-Alt for SeriousEats.com.)

Anyway, Mr. Lopéz-Alt put together How to Make New York’s Finest Sicilian Pizza at Home for The Food Lab at SeriousEats.com. So I figured I’d use the dough and try to recreate the masterpiece, seen below, which my daughter and I enjoyed almost two years ago.

Prince St. Pizza Spicy Spring (Sicilian square with pepperoni)

Prince St. Pizza Spicy Spring (Sicilian square with pepperoni)

So 

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Moving Day!

February 16, 2016

Moving Day! The Scalia post is written, but it needs to leaven just a bit. I’ve never forgotten the adage that “if you don’t something nice to say, be quiet.” It’s a good lesson, generally, and my add-on—for those times when something less than nice is appropriate—is “it’ll keep for a bit.”

So last night—the 8739th night I resided at my home—called for pizza. I’ve never counted the number of pizzas I’ve made at 5900. (My friend PGR does keep a notebook, with hydration rates, flour mixes, quality ratings, etc. Alas, I’m not that organized.) I’m pretty sure the number is not less than 30 per year, which gets me over 700. Here’s the last one.

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The Curator will

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