Saturday, September 13, 2014

burgher royale

Sirloin sliders with caramelized onions, melted morbier, Farmer’s Market tomatoes and basil leaf on Eli’s brioche, with homemade kirby-dill pickles.

not Burger King.

easy as pie

End-of-season fruit is plentiful and inexpensive, but a pie takes so much time!

Instead, let’s make a galette; a rustic, free-form tart for busy people.

The beauty of a galette is in not being fussy, but it’s just as rewarding as a pie.

Start a piecrust. 

Put your rolling pin into the refrigerator and measure 20 tablespoons of flour.

Add four tablespoons of cornstarch, four tablespoons of vegetable shortening, and four more tablespoons of cold butter.

Salt it well and add a heavy pinch of baking soda. 
Now add four tablespoons of icy water from the fridge and cream the fat and water into the flour with a large fork.

Work quickly so the fats don’t warm and you can mold it into a ball.

Flour your surface and grab that chilly rolling pin.

If everything is cold enough the butter won’t melt and diminish the texture of the finished pastry.

Roll it out but don’t worry too much about the shape. 

“Roughly round” is good enough and moving quickly is the point.

Fold it over twice to lift it into your baking dish,

...then unfold and paint the bottom with melted butter.

Butter will help the dough resist getting soggy in hot fruit juice. 

I found gorgeous plums and handpicked raspberries at the Farmers Market, but you can use almost anything you like. Peaches!

After pitting I quartered the plums to what would become soft, bite-sized pieces.

And that’s it, just dump your fruit in. 

You can toss the fruit first with a bit of cornstarch if you think it’s going to be too juicy.

Fold the pastry edges up and over, brush the top with milk, 60 minutes at 350〫on a cookie sheet just in case it bubbles over.

Piece of cake, in a manner of speaking.

Don’t burn your mouth.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

maybe someday


I ran out of 225 Fifth and watched the second plane hit the second tower from 24th Street on 9/11.


Three years later I took the train down and walked to the eastern chainlink enclosure, to look in and see how it felt. 

This pic is from 10 years ago, June 12, 2004.

Little memorials of pics and ribbons and bears and deflated balloons were still all around.

I couldn’t keep it together and left shortly after. 
The rest of these photos aren't actually mine.


I haven’t been back since.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

the promised land

In 2006 Mayor Bloomberg announced plans for the South Bronx Greenway with a foot bridge connector across the Bronx Kill as first priority.

That hasn’t happened but it is getting closer.

“Kill” is a Dutch word meaning water channel. 
That’s where we get Catskill and Fishkill and Peekskill. 
This offshoot of the Harlem River is seen in the foreground below, very close to our ClockTower just off center in the pic.

It separates Mott Haven and Port Morris from Randall’s Island, 400 beautiful acres of picnics and fishing, automatic batting cages, 66 ball fields, a golf driving range and


But the closest way ClockTowerTenants can get to Randall’s is to negotiate the Triborough Bridge walkway which is a bit harrowing.

So the idea is to link our borough to Randall’s at 132nd Street, running under the Amtrak trestle and over the Bronx Kill. 

You can see the red bridge framework under the trestle in this Google satellite image.

But the politics have been complicated. 
This land is owned the NY State Department of Transportation.
They lease it to developer Harlem River Yard Ventures, a subsidiary of the Albany-based developer Galesi Group, and they in turn sublease it to the New York Post, FedEx, FreshDirect and the Waste Management trains we hear at night.

So it wasn’t until after New York City’s Economic Development Corp negotiated easements that this pathway to Randall’s Island could be completed.


It’s still not finished.

At the moment the “Randall’s Island Connector” looks like this.

They keep promising, someday, they will complete it.


Par for the course.

Randall’s MiniGolf

Monday, September 8, 2014


Loot, Pillage, Plunder, Prize, Swag

Happy Monday!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

religious splinter group

Maybe it was the brooding, overcast skies that day.

Maybe it was the squeal and groan of straining lumber as the coaster-cars thundered by. 

Many say a near-death experience will bring you closer to your God and so we took it. 
We took the back seat, too. 

Bad move.
There is something distinctively rumbly about a wooden roller coaster.

This National Historic Landmark (like our ClockTower) doesn’t feel completely under control.

The Cyclone in Coney Island turned 87 this past Summer, and looks every minute of its age.

Built from bits of bolted lumber back in 1927, it got much needed steel reinforcement in later years.

But not enough.

The entire track-carriage shudders and lurches as the cars roar through, then swings back to its original position.

It is terrifying.

This coaster doesn’t look so large until you clear the summit...

... plunging 8 and one half stories under almost 4 g’s of force at sixty miles an hour. 

A few people have met their maker riding the Cyclone but I only wanted a confirming glimpse. 
Would I see God?

My life did pass before my eyes and I did, in fact,
 see God. 
I’ve been converted!

But it cost cash just like in church.
Wooden you know.