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September 23, 2007

The World's Gone Mad


I woke up this morning to find the talking heads on TV discussing Rudy Giuliani's speech to the NRA.

I just don't understand.

I mean, seriously. Strip down all the things that make him one of the most terrible people in the world and it still doesn't make sense. Ignore the fact that he was arguably the most divisive mayor in the city's history. Ignore the fact that before being elected, he led the police union in a riot on the steps of city hall, then made a point of barring any and all protests on the same steps when he was elected.

Ignore the fact that he married his cousin.

Ignore his callous disregard of abuses on the part of the NYPD toward the black community. Ignore that this 'hero' released the irrelevant juvie record of a man murdered by police officers. Ignore that much of the carnage happened on September 11th 2001 because he outfitted his Fire Department with shoddy equipment and because he chose to create an emergency operations base in the only building in the entire city to ever be the target of terrorism.

Ignore every terrible thing that he has done and said in and out of office. Forget all of it.

If I had never stepped foot in New York and all I knew about the man was that he was mayor the day that the towers were attacked and that he carried a bullhorn and soothed many in the city and the country, I would think that he deserves a medal. Maybe even a statue.

I can't fathom thinking that these actions on one day would merit the leadership of the United States of America. Those actions on one day did not make him competent or qualified to lead the free world. It does not mean that suddenly he has an understanding of international politics, domestic issues or the federal tax laws.

It doesn't make any sense to me that this man is really, genuinely considered by anyone to be someone that might deserve a single vote for the presidency.

My faith in American common sense diminishes every day that Giuliani is considered a 'frontrunner,' even this ridiculously early in the primary race.

September 20, 2007

Bye Bye Barcelona

Sagrada Familia 1.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

For the time being, Barcelona will have to remain a memory. Last week I canceled our thanksgiving trip.

While I like to say that this vacation was sacrificed to the Wedding Gods, in truth it was to the much more frightening Responsible Adulthood Gods. These Gods don't leave you alone after the big day. They stalk you for the rest of your life making demands.

For the first time in a while, I have no destination to plan for. There's no lonely planet I need to go out and buy, no place for me to research in the dozens of travel magazines or newspapers I hold onto for just such projects.

I've said for a long time that the only way I make it through the daily routine is by looking to my next destination. Planning my travel has been the counterweight to work and other such nonsense. I guess I'd better find something else to keep everything together before everything falls apart.

September 11, 2007


Note to self (and anyone else reading this):
I have to go here.

September 10, 2007

The Red Hook Ball Fields

IMG_5307, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I -finally- made it out to Red Hook to check out the food at the ball fields that I've been hearing so much about since last summer. It was fantastic.

Despite the picture above, I didn't have any corn. All the food that I actually ate was gone long before I even considered taking a photo of it.

We scarfed down the best empanadas I've ever had, followed by tasty taquitos filled with juicy, braised beef. Then, while in line for something else, Tammi, the love of my life, brought a gigantic pork quesadilla and a pork taco about the same size. They were so long that they had to span two paper plates to hold them.

It's hard to say which of the food I had there was my favorite. The empanada was amazing and unlike any I'd ever had before. Inside it there were olives, raisins and boiled egg whites. Instead of ground beef, the meat was chopped into small cubes. With my first bite, I was intrigued and a little confused. The olives were stationed in each corner. I didn't expect the vinegary taste and firm crunch. When I looked closer to find all these unexpected ingredients adding wonderful nuances and striking contrasts, I wanted another one before I was done with the first.

The pork quesadilla was incredible. It was gigantic, rolled rather than flattened and full of thick, gooey cheese and exquisite chunks of porcine incredibleness. I can't say any more on this or I may burst into tears.

My one disappointment was with the Pupusas, thick doughy tortillas filled with meat and cheese. I had heard talk about them before and then the longest line in the park was in front of the Salvadoran table offering them. I was sure this was going to be the star of the show. Eh. Not so much. I found them to be too grainy and doughy. The meat and the cheese were there, but not nearly prominently enough.

The service behind the table was so chaotic that I had to get my Spanish-speaking friend who came out with us to tell them that I hadn't paid and ask how much I owed. They are probably a victim of their own success. I can't imagine how the influx of business from foodies and hipsters who've read about the place on Gothamist or the New York Times has affected the quality of the food. There were 20 people, at least, in that line. I'm sure the pressure behind the table is to get everyone fed, even if it's a bit underdone. Or maybe I'm totally off and I just don't like pupusas.

In either case, I hope to make it out there one more time before they close up for the season. If I manage to get there early enough to avoid a line, I'll definitely try it again.

September 5, 2007

Nesting Season


Where did the summer go?

It's only been a couple days since Labor Day, yet summer already seems to be long gone. This August was one of the coolest on record, but I'd swear I already feel a chill in the air that wasn't there last week.

Tammi and I spent much of the weekend feathering our nest. We mostly stayed in, finally decorating the apartment and stocking up on groceries. I think that from Friday to Monday I may have spent the most time at home since moving in. It was good to settle in a bit after being out of town so much, but I was a little stir crazy by Monday.