Saturday, June 26, 2010

Too Good Not To Share

My friend, Chris, sent this to me and I thought it was too good not to share:

I should try to get the article because I am dying to know who waved at the man dressed as a Snickers bar, the woman in the sumo wrestler suit or her ex-girlfriend.  Pronouns can be so confusing.

Friday, June 25, 2010

No More CNN

Good Lord, CNN has been going down hill for a long time, but I thought they were starting to improve when they got rid of Lou Dobbs after his program became more of an anti-immigration rant than a bonafide news program.

Then today I turn on their morning news show only to be presented with a lengthy promo for a future piece by Soledad Obrien about, well, this is a bit confusing.  A gay couple, two men, who want to have a baby and have found a woman who is willling to donate her eggs so they can fulfill their dream.  I guess there must be a surrogate mother somewhere in the mix.

Now I don't object to the subject matter of Gary And Tony Have A Baby, and if Soledad O'brien wants to tell the story of "a gay couple's journey to have a baby," so be it.  I probably won''t be tuning in though because the subject matter is of little interest to me.  Oh, and by the way, I am sure after all of the coverage their child will, of course, have a perfectly "normal" life.  Anyone see a reality show in the works?

What I do object to is a large part of CNN's morning news show being a Soledad O'Brien interview (repeated over and over) with the couple.  The interview was obviously just being used just to promote the show at the expense of real news.  CNN's morning show used to be one of my favorite news shows to watch, but now it has devolved into something considerably less, in my opinion.

Then, in the What can they possibly be thinking? department, CNN has decided that it would be a good idea to have Elliot Spitzer co-host an evening program.  You might remember Elliot Spitzer, he resigned as Governor of New York as a result of his escapades with a prostitute coming to light and then being threatened with impeachment.  Why CNN thinks this is some kind of a positive addition to their staff is beyond me, but I can assure you that I will not be watching this program, which airs during prime time.

I might still tune into The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.  I can never get enough of Jack Cafferty.  But I can watch that on CNN's International station which is much better.  And I love Richard Quest on Quest Means Business.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What A Sport

I headed out to Staten Island the other day to see my beloved Coney Island Cyclones fall to the hated Staten Island Yankees.  Oh well, the day was nice, the food was almost free, and the beer wasn't bad.  They had Blue Moon which is a credible Belgian White style brew, but I couldn't find any Brooklyn Brewery products, even though I saw a couple of their signs.

After the game I stopped at the nearby Ruddy And Dean.

Ruddy And Dean

Having already filled up on "free" (well, included in the price of the ticket) food at the game I was able to resist ordering here.  They do have a display of aged beef, and a few people were chowing down on tasty looking steaks.  I just sidled up to the bar and tried to blend in with the crowd as I had a Margarita with neon-green radioactive looking salt.

Just Blending In

I like wearing this outfit when I go to a Cyclones game, especially if my little neice is going to be there.  She is a die-hard Staten Island Yankees fan and it embarasses her to be seen with me, for some reason.

Yesterday I headed out early to watch the World Cup.  I had planned on going to Brazen Head, which usually opens early for these events.

Brazen Head

I had scouted the place earlier when I went to pick up the morning papers and they were pretty explicit about saying they would be open at 9:00 AM.

No Ambiguity Here

At about ten minutes to nine the door did open and I started to enter saying that I would be the first customer of the day.  Well, no.  They were just cleaning up and I was told that they wouldn't be opening until 10:00 AM.  When I pointed out the sign I just got a shoulder shrug and was told the bartender hadn't showed up and the sign was wrong.

It Was Not To Be

Oh well, I knew a couple other bars not far away that would be showing the game and opening early.  I opted for The Atlantic Chip Shop where a crowd was already gathering.

The Early Crowd

It looked kind of like a methadone clinic, but I guess an addict is an addict and these people were obviously World Cup addicts.  Well, except for the Mysterious Chinese Woman who was just keeping an eye on me.

As the crowd grew and became more lively the methadone clinic ambience quickly faded.

Showing Their Colors

Not that I am a big England fan, but I opted to have my picture taken with the prettier of the flag bearers.

She Even Had A Cute British Accent

The Chip Shop didn't open until 9:30 AM, but that was still half-an-hour earlier than Brazen Head.  And I got here early enough to get a place in the crowd close to the dooor.

At Least Their Sign Was Correct

And the crowd did continue to grow.

Lot's Of People Skipping Work

They were showing both the England/Slovania and the U.S.A./Algeria games.  To the owner's of Chip Shop's credit, they did relegate the England game to the screen in the back.  Not to their credit were the fact that all of the seats at the bar and at the tables closest to the TV's were reserved for their friends or regulars.  Oh well, we had pretty decent seats so no real complaints.

A Full House

Given the limited staff that was on duty the service was quick and efficient.  Especially so because a lot of people were having breakfast and beer.  I opted for a heathy sausage sandwich and a Scotch egg, a hard boiled egg coated with a lardy sausage and served cold.  I figured the beers would cut the chloresteral.  And I had a Speckled Hen followed up with Tetley's Ale.  Two mighty fine brews, even if they were served in plastic pint glasses.

The game was pretty exciting and it almost looked like the U.S.A. was going to get hosed again by a bad call.  They had one goal called back due to a non-existent off-sides.  But despite a lot of shots at the goal, other than that one nothing was going in.

And then, pandemonium.  In those minutes that somehow mysteriously get tacked on to the clock, Landon Donovan kicked one in and the U.S.A. was on its way to the next round.

Man Hugs All Around

It was pretty exciting, too.  England had already won their game and if the U.S.A. had just tied they would have been eliminated.  Now I will grant you that "soccer" is still catching on in the United States, but this was as passionate a crowd as I have ever seen watching a sporting event at a bar.

It was just a bit past noon and the Waterfront Ale House, which didn't open early for the game, was open now.  That seemed like a good place to wind down with a beer and shot of Van Gogh double espresso.

Just Chillin' Out

It was a very good day and the Mysterious Chinese Woman said she was glad she followed me around.  Probably because she got to order chicken wings.

On Saturday there will be a bit of a dilemma.  I am supposed to be going to Chinatown for dim sum to celebrate a Mysterious Sister-In-Law's birthday.  Then a whole crowd is coming back here for an ice-cream cake.  Somehow, watching the game with a house full of ice-cream cake hyper-energized little kids and in-laws won't be quite the same as catching it at a bar.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Nothing Says Beer Like...

Well, like Oktoberfest and Australians.  And what could be better than drinking beer with a bunch of Australians at Oktoberfest?

I have mentioned the Thirsty Swagman before in this blog.  They sponsor what one can only say are extreme beer drinking experiences.  And they have one coming up with room for another two or three people.  If I hadn't already made plans for a river cruise that includes visits to Berlin and Prague early in September I would seriously consider going myself.

Kenneth Hart, one of the organizers, sent me an email saying they had openings for two or three more people, so this is your chance to have what might be the ultimate Oktoberfest experience.

Check it out at

I have already decided that I am going to be joining them next year.  The Mysterious Chinese Woman isn't so sure, but I have the vague feeling she wouldn't let me go alone.

Even if you don't plan on going you should check out the Thirsty Swagman website, it is a hoot.  And if it doesn't make you thirsty for a beer there is something wrong with you.

There is a fairly new Australian bar not far from me, Sheep Station, that I popped into the other day for a nice Coopers Sparkling Ale.  Australian beers, other than Fosters which is about as Australian as Budweiser, are not that easy to find so I look forward to visiting Sheep Station again in the not too distant future.  The food looked good as well and the people at the bar I talked to said it tasted as good as it looked.

The bartender, obviously Australian himself, was very friendly as was the crowd.  I would have liked to have lingered longer, but the Mysterious Chinese Woman tracked me down and hauled me out so we could meet my neice and a couple of her friends across the street for dinner at Ghenet, an Ethiopian restaurant.

Sheep Station on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 21, 2010

Katie's Visit Continues

First, a bit of a flashback.  Before we left Coney Island we stopped at Footprints for some mighty fine Caribbean food, some of the best in the city, in my opinion.  A nice escape from the hustle and bustle of Coney Island proper.

I can't remember all of what we had, the Zombie that I started with might have had something to do with that.  I do know we had fish fingers.

Who Knew They Even Had Them

They came with an assortment of condiments and Katie really like the pickled red cabbage.  They were nice enough to bring her an extra side of it, too.  Just be careful of the habanaros.  They are deadly.

Obligatory Embarassing Picture

If you are ever at Coney Island and are getting a bit tired of the beach food I urge you to give Footprints a shot.  Beach food of a different kind.

Footprints Cafe on Urbanspoon

Later that evening we decided to pop into the Greek Orthodox street party just down the block from where I live. Great stuff, much of it cooked by the church ladies so it is the real deal. And they have great gyros too. Always a lively time.

Party In The Street

We Settled For The Gyros

They used to have Retsina, a Greek wine with a decidedly pine taste to it. But, alas, they haven't had that beverage here since, oh, for a couple of years, at least. I settled for an Ouzo.

The next day we headed to Chinatown for dim sum. It was Katie's first time and she was quite impressed by the variety of food that was available.

Loading Up Our Table

Digging In

Katie seemed to like most of the stuff, but there were a few things she wasn't quite sure about.

Monkey Paws Or Chicken Feet

Afterwards we took a stoll down Mulberry Street to grab a desert at Ferrara, a somewhat touristy Little Italy institution.

A Couple Of Heads With Cones

Eating your way through New York when you visit is kind of a tradition. While, actually, drinking your way through New York is more up my alley, but I was sensitive to Katie's delicate condition.

I've got a few more pictures of her trip, and I will try to get them posted tomorrow. Katie visited the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens with The Mysterious Chinese Woman and she took a bunch of pictures. Maybe I will throw some of those up as well.

I can't help but thinking that Tony Hayward, BP's CEO, is one of the most obtuse people in the world when it comes to public relations.  The only thing that can be said in his defense regarding his yachting around this weekend is that BP's Chairman Carl Henric-Svanberg has decided to push Hayward aside and turn over his duties to BP Managing Director Robert Dudley.  Still, you would think someone would have advised him to just lay low and not provide anymore fodder for a press looking to hang him out to dry.

Of course if I had been President Obama's PR guy I would have suggested he spend the week-end down in the gulf, not playing golf.

It is funny that nobody has hired me, considering all of the great ideas I have.