Saturday, June 21, 2014

sum of the some of the parts



Arthur Avenue, the Bronx

skatebored? Never!

You’ve seen these lying along the beach, right?

They are skate egg sacks; a bottom dwelling, cold water fish closely related to the shark. 

And like a shark they have no bones, just cartilage.

We eat the meaty and lean wings. 
Their corrugation becomes more pronounced with cooking.

Skate Meunière starts with whatever dredge you like; flour works fine but I like cornstarch for the light, crisp coating it renders.

Coat on all sides and shake off the excess while half butter and half olive oil heats to nearly smoking.

Slip them into the hot fat.

Don’t splash and when they settle down, 
salt and pepper them well.

While they bubble and spit chop some garlic and capers together into a small mince.

Right on top.

After a bit, check the bottom. 

It should be crispy and beginning to brown. 
Add a bit more butter.


And now just flip them over. 

A few minutes more and finish them off with a big squeeze of lemon, then serve with the sauce drizzled right out of the pan.

Crunchy on the outside, white and steamy on the inside. 
No bones and all delicious!

Spread your wings and fry!

Friday, June 20, 2014

oh voh dee oh doh!

At the peak of prohibition in 1927, Al Capone was earning almost $60 million a year--and almost all of it from beer.

He controlled the sale of illegal alcohol to over 10,000 speakeasies and all distribution from Canada to Florida.

But by 1929 the party was over. 

The stock market crashed and with it the devil-may-care
 Roaring 20‘s mentality.

But not on Governor’s Island, 
not while Michael Arenella is on the bandstand.

And thus, the Jazz Age Lawn Party was born!

Cited by the New York Times as the most memorable event of 2011-12, dressed up New Yorker’s in vintage clothing pretend they are wealthy socialites while watching flappers and their fops out on the dance floor.

This is Arenella’s brainchild and he leads his Dreamland Orchestra with period authenticity.

He handscribes all the music arrangements from period 78 rpm records.

Between sets, Victrola’s are DJ’d with Charleston lessons and Fox-Trot contests.

Everything is the cat’s meow from the elegant cars and dancing shows, to the drinks and the catered “Retro Noveau” food.

We ate Roast Beef and watercress, 
with grilled squab on buttered toast!

Everyone sets up on blankets on the midway and by afternoon when the shows begin, the long, triangular lot is packed.

Just when you think all elegance is drained from modern living, there is this!


Most memorable Father’s Day ever, really, the Bee’s Knees!

Thank you Selina!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

hammer-wielding power trip

Extensive marketing secured the “manly motorbike” image for Harley Davidson, but that’s ironic.

Bikers know this little Yamaha from 1985 was the hairy-chested monster of its day. 

Still is. 
I found this gently worn V-max parked on lower Broadway.

Designed as a dragster, the V-MAX straight-line handling was just okay, like riding an upright piano with jet engines strapped to its sides.

In the corners this bike had a tendency to drift and wallow, and you can actually see the rear tire has squared off from modest cornering.

So it’s no canyon carver. 
Mr. Max is pure power; eyeball flattening, heart racing, ohhh-fuck-ME-I’m gonna die terrifying power.

A huge 1200 cc engine, four cylinders, 16 valves (!) gives no pretense: this scoot is ruggedly bolted together and all about getting there first. 

Yamaha used disc brakes front and rear-- two upfront in fact-- in the false hope of keeping this insanity under some control.

But whack open the throttle on this machine and you’ll see why the designers built a backstop into the seat, and used a passenger backrest as stock equipment. 

It jammed 143 horsepower to the rear wheel with a shaft-drive, unlike conventional chain-driven superbikes.

The air scoops were fake. 
They hid the horns.

The gas was actually under the seat to lower the center of gravity, so the gastank was fake, too. 

A keyed entry flipped it up for hidden storage.

My old Beemer was the high-speed, gentleman’s express.

The Yamaha V-max is god Thor’s, blunted war machine.
Here he is kicking Ducati’s effete ass at about 1:12 in: