Friday, June 11, 2010

Lil' Him Comes Up Big

My neice Katie is here for a visit, so I don't have a lot of time to post, but I had to say that Nate Robinson did himself proud again last night as the Celtics evened the series by beating the Lakers 96 to 89 last night.

Nate put in 6 points and 2 assists in the fourth quarter as the Celtics overcame a 2 point deficit to get the victory.  He had 12 points for the game, just one less than Kevin Garnett.

Something tells me David Lee wishes he were still playing with Nate, but obviously not for the Knicks. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This Is Embarassing

Who would ever think that I would live to see the day that New York grovels before a single man, even if that man is King James.  And if this isn't the most pathetic groveling I have ever seen, I don't know what is.

Okay, LeBron is probably going to be a billionaire one day and he is already worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  So what is New York's big plan to lure him here?  Gene Lemay, CEO of Moishe's Moving and Storage (their motto is "Our Rates Are Low, But You Better Tip The Movers Well") is parking a trailer outside of Madison Square Garden so fans can fill it with gifts for LeBron.

So now New York is in the position of begging someone to come play here, and donated stuffed toys, T-shirts and toys are going to be used as a lure.  On the other hand, this might be a good place for my New York Jets Brett Favre jersey.  Oh, wait, that might be too painful a reminder of what happens when you get what you beg for.

How far the mighty have fallen.

And what makes it so much sadder is that there is seldom this kind of outpouring of generosity to help those who are truly in need.

On a vaguely related topic, Avery Johnson has reached a verbal agreement with the Nets to be their next coach.  Avery, you might remember, compiled a 194-70 record over three seasons with Dallas.  That is the hghest winning percentage of any coach in NBA history.  Not good enough for Mark Cuban, though, who fired him in 2008.

And I happen to think Avery is one of the funniest men in basketball.  If this doesn't work out for him, he should defintely try stand-up comedy.

Oh, and totally unrelated, but with all the news lately about Kim Basinger, How many of you remember what is arguably the creepiest video ever made - Mary Jane's Last Dance with Tom Petty?  It just happend to be playing on VH1 Classic as I was writing this.  Kim doesn't really emote too much.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

A Bit Of A Change

Last Sunday was a pretty nice day, kind of hot and humid, but no rain.  The Mysterious Chinese Woman found a restaurant over in the Greenpoint Fort Greene area, not too far from where we live. It is just on the other side of Monsignor McGolrick Park, not that I have ever heard anyone call the park by this nam. Fort Greene Park. Everyone just calls it Greenpoint Park and I doubt if anyone knows who Monsignor McGolrick is anymore.

It is a very nice little park though with playgrounds for the kids and, very unusual, restrooms that are both open and clean. People in the neighborhood like to sit on the benches around the park and just lounge around or catch up with their friends, often times with a bottle of vodka.

Abistro, just a block away, is an easy place to pass by. It is right around the corner from Myrtle Avenue, a fairly busy commercial strip, but sits on a largely residential block with brownstones.

Abistro - Look Sharp Or You Will Miss It

This really is very small place.  I think it might sit about 25 people maximum and at one point while we were there I counted 23 in the place.  Nothing at all fancy here but the food is very good and it is obviously very popular.  Most of the people eating here seemed to be regulars, but the people were so friendly that we kind of felt like regulars too.

Small, But Comfortable

The food is kind of a combination of West African and French.  The owner and his wife are Senegalese which explains the West African influence but they also had mussels and steak frites on the menu.  We saw the brunch menu and that didn't have either of those.  But a few of the in-the-know customers ordered the mussels anyway.  They looked delicious and I may have to make a return trip to check them out.

The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I decided to split the Senegalese fried chicken and it was plenty for the two of us.

A Mighty Fine Brunch

The chicken sat on two jasmine rice cakes that were flavored with pineapple.  They were delicious and you could easily eat them as a desert.  The rice cakes sat on greens of some sort that were also quite tasty.  And the chicken was very good.  Nice and spicy, and I did break a bit of a sweat.  I think that was the Senegalese salsa on top.

Abistro is a BYOB place and almost everyone in there had a bottle or two of wine.  A couple of people had a bottle of Proseco and were mixing it with grapejuice.  A variation of a mimosa, I guess.  I regretted not bringing a bottle myself, but not enough to go across the street to buy one.

The Bottles Are Handy

While we were eating some kind of a bicycle rally went by and there must have been well over a thousand people peddling away.  Kind of like Rolling Thunder, only quieter.

No Playing Cards In The Spokes

We had a most enjoyable brunch and will certainly get back here again.  I really liked the coffee, too.  It had a nice cinnamon flavor.

I strongly recommend popping in here, as out of the way as it might seem to be.  You will be pleasnatly surprised. Oh, the owner, he used to be a sous chef at Aureole, one of the top restaurants in Manhattan. Although he doesn't work the stove anymore he still hovers around and his cooks says he still sneaks "secret spices" into the dishes when they aren't looking.

Abistro on Urbanspoon

I was a bit disconsolate about not bringing a bottle to brunch so I decided to stop into Thomas Beisl for a beer. I had a bad dining experience here one New Years Eve, but I still like their beers.

Thomas Beisl

It looks bigger than it is from outside, but is kind of narrow inside.  They do have a little kind of outside eating area under the red awning.  They don't have a large selection of beers, but the ones they have I do like.

Small Selection, Big Taste

And do check out the little reflections in the silver beer station. Another artistic picture.

I had a Czechvar which is brewed by Budweiser Budvar Brewery in Germany. Yes, the original Budweiser. You can't get the Budvar Budweiser in North America, only the Czechvar. And, for reasons that are too tangled for me to untangle here, Anheuser-Busch markets Budvar Czechvar in the United States.

Complicated, But Good

The beer is a nice golden color with a small head. Not a lot of an aroma and kind of a typical light Czech lager. A nice change from a Pilsner Urguel, but a lot harder to find, at least here in the United States.

The Mysterous Chinese Woman opted for a Gosser, an Austrian beer in the Marzen style. It was a nice golden yellow and quite refreshing, but nothing particularly disquishing in terms of flavor.

Went Down Nice, Though

Both of these beers would have gone really well with my Senegalese chicken, though.

Oh, and read the comments. I had my Greenpoint and Fort Greene confused, as well as the name of the park.

Monday, June 07, 2010

I Laughed So Hard...

After visiting Pacific Standard for a few pints I decided to head to Pete's Waterfront Ale House for a little lunch.  I passed Hank's Saloon on the way and was pleased to see it looked as disreputable as ever.

Forever Seedy

I am glad to see there are still a few bars around here that aren't cluttered with strollers.

This has nothing to do with anything, but I thought it looked kind of cool.  It was sitting outside a store on Atlantic Avenue that sells all kinds of neat old stuff, from a pinball machine to old LPs.

The Cock Of The Walk

When we got to Pete's the dining area was packed.  It looked like there were at least two large groups celebrating something and then the rest of the tables were filled with people just stopping in for lunch.  No big deal because I like to have a beer or two at the bar before sitting down at a table for my meal.

I started out with a 21st Amendment Golden Doom, a strong - 7.8% ABV - Belgian style golden ale.  Very good, crisp and spicy and very refreshing.  Maybe I should have had this at Pacific Standard because 21st Amendment is a California brewery.  Actually, I don't think they had it there.

After finishing my beer and chatting a bit with Gaid, the World's Friendliest Bartender, the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I found a table and sat down for lunch.

I ordered a Blue Point Rasta Rye to go with what I had hoped would be my Duck Burger with Ginger Onions.  The beer was good, another strong one at 7.5% ABV and a nice coppery color with a creamy white head.  Similar to the Golden Doom in that it was also a bit spicy but with a little more hoppy bitterness.  Quite good and very quaffable.

Unfortunately the large lunch crowd beat me to the Duck Burgers, they were all gone.  But they still had the Soft Shelled Crab Sandwich so that is what I had.

One Of The Best

Went Well With The Beer

The Mysterious Chinese Woman said something funny and I laughed so hard I had a crab-leg come out of my nose.

Milk Is Bad Enough

The Mysterious Chinese Woman seemed to think this was most amusing.  Especially after I reminded her that crabs that are just about to molt and could have the hard outer shell peeled off are called snots.  Crabbers used to brake a joint of the claw leg to see if the crab was developing a second skin underneath, in which case it could be peeled. The term snot comes from the fluid that emerges at the break.

She Laughed Until She Cried

The Mysterious Chinese Woman had Chicken Wings and I am glad to say she had no mishaps.

Dynamite Wings

She seemed to be very pleased that she got through the meal with no bones coming out of her nose.

So Proud Of Herself

The wings here are always good, and you get a really nice portion.  But it is hard to pass up the crabs when they are in season.  I still wish I had been able to get the Duck Burger.

Waterfront Ale House on Urbanspoon

And my man Nate Robinson shot two for two including a three pointer and made both his free-throws to put up seven points (one more than Kevin Garnett) in the fourth quarter as the Celtics evened the series last night.