Saturday, February 16, 2008

Let's Be Frank

Well, here I am in lovely Puerto Vallarta, where the weather is beautiful and I once again meet old friends from past visits. One of those friends is Frank who hails from my state of origin, Minnesota. I grew up in the relatively cosmopolitan metropolis of Minneapolis though while Frank mostly lived underground up on the Iron Range where, I think, he was raised by trolls.

Most people after not seeing you for a year ask "How are you?" or "How was your year?" something like that. Frank, however, just wanted to know why I hadn't put his picture up on my website. I have to admit, it was an oversight. The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I went to dinner with Frank and his lovely wife Carol and pictures were, indeed taken. Why they never made it to my website I just don't know. Maybe I was trying to spare you from this:


Somehow I don't think posting this will placate him too much and it is a bit unfair. He is much, well okay, a little better looking than that picture would lead you to believe. Here is a picture even he might approve of.

Frank And His Lovely Wife Carol

These pictures were taken at a great Cuban restaurant right across the street from the malecon and you can look out over the bay as you eat. The food is fantastic too with pork dishes being their specialty. I will certainly be visiting again this year and will post more pictures when I do. I have already taken some pictures this visit and will be posting them soon, maybe tomorrow.

Here is one last picture of us all enjoying ourselves last year.

Bar Man, Chris, Mysterious Chinese Woman, Carol, and Frank

Oh, I will also be sure to let you know if Frank is still my friend after he sees this post.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Well, not really, just that it is now the Year of the Rat according to the Mysterious Chinese Woman and about five billion others. It is supposedly a very fortuitous year, the rat being clever, industrious, and accumulative. It is also the first animal of the twelve animal cycle, so that also makes the rat a leader of sorts. He was the first guy at the party.

We headed to Chinatown last Saturday for a celebratory feast. We were going to go early to see the parade but the weather was so nasty that we decided to forgo that part. Here is the wintry scene that greeted us when we got out of the subway at City Hall in Manhattan.

Don't Shake The Snow Globe

There were still a few revelers in the street but they were kind of a sorry looking lot.

Wet And Cold

Our destination wasn't far though, a fairly small place right across from a police station.

Oriental Garden

It looked cheerful enough, but the greeter at the door was a bit crabby.

A Crabby Greeter

There was a more cheerful fellow inside though.

A Bit Heavy On The Rouge

Of course any Chinese feast is really all about the food.

Shrimp And Noodles

Lobster, Of Course

Shrimp And Rice

Steamed Sea Bass

There was more too, pork in a garlic sauce, chicken with Smithfield ham, some kind of green vegetable, dumplings, and who knows what else. I would have liked to have gotten pictures of everything but there were a lot of hungry people who were quick with their chopsticks.

After finishing all of this we headed up to Little Italy for desert. It was quite a day, lots to eat and lots of fun.

Tomorrow the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I are heading to Mexico where we will be spending the next six weeks. Be sure to stay tuned because there is always a lot of fun stuff to write about down there.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Being A Good Influence

Ah, you have to love kids. My little niece has always been impressed by certain of my abilities. You know, things like being able to burp really loud and cross my eyes. Apparently she is also impressed by my ability to hang a spoon from my nose.

Impressing The Kids

She decided to put her artistic abilities to use and presented me with a picture she had drawn commemorating my spoon-hanging skills.

Suitable For Framing

Apparently some of my other abilities impress her as well because she also presented me with this lovely picture.


I guess it is my own fault for teaching her to sing 99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall. I heard she was a big hit at recess. I think her mother heard about it too. Oh well, what are Uncle's for if not to get their nieces into trouble. Once I read her a book, Walter, The Farting Dog. She liked it so much she wanted to borrow it. Imagine my pride when she took it to school to share with her friends. Her mother heard about that as well.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

No Strollers

Interestingly, a few days after I first wrote about how I was seeing more children in bars since they banned smoking The New York Times wrote a similar article. A few readers of my blog pointed this out to me and how some of the wording in the article was very similar to what I had posted in my blog.

A few days ago I again posted about children in bars and, specifically, how Union Hall, a bar in Park Slope, had banned strollers. Well wouldn't you know it, today The New York Times had an article on, drum-roll please, Union Hall banning strollers.

Great Minds

Apparently the whole issue of whether or not small children should be allowed in bars is now a hot topic and a bit contentious. I still maintain that it is perfectly acceptable to have children in the restaurant portion of a bar for a family dinner, but having them in the bar area itself is not only inappropriate, it can be dangerous. This may be hard to believe, but often times people drinking at a bar aren't really expecting to find a stroller at their feet. Most bars, especially in New York, aren't really child friendly, unlike pubs in Europe (and some pub-style bars in New York) which are much more family oriented.

I also find it strange that the same people who take their small children into a bar are probably the same ones who would complain about unsafe conditions at a local park because the new artificial grass contains harmful chemicals or that the rubber padding around the swings has become a bit worn.

Oops, I Dropped Him Again

My favorite scratch your head and ponder this part of The New York Times article was when, in support of allowing children in bars, Christen Clifford proudly recalled breast-feeding her son at the bar before ordering a martini. She must be running for the Britney Spears Mother Of The Year Award. Certainly gets my vote. On the other hand, her son, Felix, was probably really looking forward to his next hit of mother's milk. Unless he got dropped on his head first.