Saturday, April 28, 2012

Kobe filled the room

Kobe beef is a bit like French Champagne: a high end product of national pride with the name reserved only for the real thing. Sparkling white can be made anywhere but Champagne comes only from the Champagne region.

Kobe beef only comes from Kobe, Japan.
The cattle are from a strict genetic strain, raised within a geographic region on specific feeds and with handling methods that include massage and careful grooming.

The result is the fattiest and most succulent and certainly the most expensive beef anywhere.
Selina suggested we take a train to Kobe for a steak.

“One less thing on the bucket list, Dad.”
We found a place that prepared the beef in the teppanyaki style, literally on orange-hot iron plates.

This beef can cost well over $200 a pound at retail, so it is cut and weighed out carefully.

It is skewered, salted and grilled to take up charcoal flavor.

Then it is sliced and piled on the hot plate, covered with white onion and a bit of spinach...

...a touch of red onion...

...a few deep fried potatoes and a big pat of seasoned butter.

Then the chef douses it with some flammable liquid and all hell breaks loose.

It literally cooks from the top down and the bottom up.

The restaurant just filled up with smoke! It was kind of hilarious, but wow. 

The food continues to soften all through the meal until everything on the bottom is a warm puddle of pure, beefy succulence. I’ve never tasted anything like it.

When I opened my suitcase on return that smokey steak in Kobe filled the loft.

Friday, April 27, 2012

I guess Biden would know

everybody takes this photo


“In this June 5, 1908 photo, the Manhattan Bridge is less than a shell, seen from Washington Street. It wouldn't be opened for another 18 months and wouldn't be completed for another four years.”
I snapped my version in DUMBO back in April 2005.

Like NYC “Before and Afters”?
See more here:

I just like her hair

Why... do the birds... go on singing?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

not some wussy replica

Just three years after our ClockTower was built in 1886, University of Minnesota student Halsey William Wilson invested $400 to start a bookselling business.
That $400 investment in 1889 would require just under $10,000, today.
from Manhattan
It was a success, and he purchased a 5 story Bronx building along the Harlem River for his headquarters.
As the company grew he added a new 8 story building next door. And then in 1929 he installed a 30 foot copper lighthouse replica on the roof.

Why a lighthouse?

Because the company mission was (and remains) “To give guidance to those seeking their way through the maze of books and periodicals, without which they would be lost.”
Halsey William Wilson died in 1954 at 85, but his lighthouse, his company and his mission are very much alive.
from the south
This, by the way, is a real lighthouse.

And this:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I miss the shuttle


The program commenced on April 12, 1981, with Columbia, the first shuttle orbital flight.

The space shuttle program finished with its last mission flown by Atlantis, in July 2011, retiring the final shuttle in the fleet.

The Space Shuttle program formally ended on August 31, 2011. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

and the bill did not kill afterall

Sure, this Tokyo restaurant is a tourist trap but come On! KILL BILL was filmed here!
Well, at least that iconic fight scene was.
GONPACHI has a lot going for it besides Tarantino’s choice of set; it’s beautifully located right on the edge of Tokyo's Roppongi nightclub district.
It’s large enough that you can usually just walk in and the food is much better than you’d expect, at prices lower than you might anticipate.

The room is big and lively and packed with foreign languages, although mostly not Japanese.
KillBill fans will recognize this room right away, despite the tables and lanterns and other things added to make it function nightly as a restaurant.
We ate several appetizers. The asparagus grilled in bacon was heavenly, and a very good Blue Fin Tuna Tartare was only 950 Yen, about $11.65.
Best of all, Gonpachi is only a stone’s throw from the Tokyo apartment my daughter had rented, so it was perfect for the day that I landed quite weary, a bit grimy and very hungry.
This was an ideal welcome and I recommend Gonpachi for a fun and tasty gateway to the Japanese culture. 

Uma certainly enjoyed herself there. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012