Saturday, September 26, 2015

few reservations

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America has campuses in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

It’s a place to learn how to cook; a “professional culinary education” is how the CIA describes itself.

The NY campus is upstate, 
just north of Poughkeepsie in Hyde Park.

I visited the California campus for dinner back in February.

It’s nestled in the vineyards just a couple miles north of St. Helena.

That’s in Napa, about 2 hours north of San Francisco.

I visited by day to walk the grounds and check the menu.

Students live right on campus in dorms, and seniors work the Greystone Restaurant at night. 

(That’s the herb rosemary growing in the foreground.)

It looked like fun so I made reservations for later that same evening.

As you can imagine, the whole experience is very Californian.

A Pre Fixe at $56 offered tastes of paired wines, 
and the wines are very good!

I gobbled icy oysters, warm duck confit and very hot, pink lambchops.

Crispy skin seabass arrived with 1990-ish saucey drizzles!

The ginger poached pear was as expected, but very tasty.

Service was charming as you’d also expect, 
but uneven because they are still learning.

And the food? 

It hinted at great now and then and displayed a growing confidence.

Overall it was very good and these young folks are on their way!

Friday, September 25, 2015

pope spelled with an h

survival of the hittist

When the Trammps, (Disco Inferno) Billy Paul, (Me and Mrs. Jones) and Elvis Presley (duh) record covers of a song you wrote, you can bet it’s a pretty good tune.

Written and sung by Jerry Butler and released in the fall of 1968, this soul classic soared all the way to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"Only the Strong Survive" was the first ever single certified platinum by the RIAA, selling well over a million copies.

Now 75 years old, 
Jerry’s been working in Chicago City government since 1985.

Oh yeah, and he married Annette, 
one of his back up singers.

This great song is a strong memory from high school!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

hidin' on the back streets

What do Jon Bon Jovi 
and Bruce Springsteen,


have in common?

If you said “rock stars” you’d be right, 
but they are also farmers.

And as farmers they receive part of the $100’s of billions paid out each year in corporate and farm subsidies.

Bon Jovi paid just $100 in property tax because he has an employee keep some bees.

A New York City Rockefeller heir was paid $342,634
to *not* farm his land in Idaho.

While, y’know:

Turns out each year per family we pay about $6000 in taxes for these business subsidies.

But what do we actually bitch about? 

If you are in the 99% you’re getting screwed.

But if you’re The Boss, 
Baby, we were born to run.

 a farm.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

play that funky music

Happy Holiday!

golden rule

Civilization came together in Japan about 12,000 years ago. You can read something more about that here:

Ancient temples are the rule and we approached the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto with the reverence it deserves.

It dates back to 1397, already 500 years old in 1886 when our ClockTower was built.

1886, wiki

The grounds are maintained as meticulously as the golden building itself.

Coatings of fine, clear Japanese lacquer protect extensive gold leaf gilding on the second and third floors.

A roof ornament Phoenix stands watch over everything else.

But things are not always as they seem.

This Golden Pavilion was actually built as a replica, 
in 1955.

A schizophrenic monk burnt the original to the ground in July of 1950.