Saturday, July 01, 2006

    Firecracker, Firecracker, Boom Boom Boom

    "Black birds slow and
    softly breaks a glass of wine / Broken bluesy whisper sing to me tonight/Well, everybody wants to go on forever / I just wanna burn up hard and bright / I just wanna be your firecracker / And maybe be your baby tonight." -Ryan Adams, "Firecracker"

    "The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lustly enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious...."
    -Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

    Something Old: Me. I rolled past my mid-20s like a tumbleweed last week. To celebrate, and for something completely different, Jon and I took the 3-hour Circle Line cruise all the way aaarrround the isle of Manhattan. I did the cruise with my good pa Al six summers ago, and wanted to do it again because I understand so much more about the City now and could better comprehend and apply what the guide told us.

    When you're stuck in the ho-hum of work, sleep, work, it's easy to forget how much variety, from toe to crest, Manhattan has, from the Financial District, on up to SoHo and the Lower East Side, to Times Square, to the Upper West, to Harlem, to Washington Heights. The latter is named after Fort Washington, as in George Wasington, which, in 1776, was the site of a Revolutionary War battle. Pa Al and I trolled around the lovely Fort Washington Park one afternoon a few years ago. The tippy top of the island, including Fort Tyron Park, and The Cloisters, looks ridiculously lush from the boat. As I subcribe to the hi-lo-/shabby-chic aesthetic, I toasted the isle by drinking an Amstel Light out of a can with a straw.

    Something New: Odd. Very, very odd. Makes me miss bag phones and parachute pants.

    Something Red: Courtesy of, the perfect Fourth of July tomato sandwich recipe:
    1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice; 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
    1/3 cup mayonnaise; 1/4 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
    1 (1 lb) loaf French bread; 3 large tomatoes, thickly sliced
    In a small bowl, combine lemon zest and juice, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
    Cut eight slices (about 1/2-inch thick) from center of bread loaf. Toast lightly under the broiler if desired. Spread mayonnaise mixture on each slice of bread. Arrange tomato slices on 4 bread slices; top with remaining bread slices, mayonnaise side down. Cut each tomato sandwich in half to serve. A delicious lunch sandwich, served with chips and pickle slices, or with soup. Serves 4.

    Something White:
    Also new, my appreciation of the New Jersey version of a Sloppy Joe, courtesy of Millburn Delicatessen (Anne Hathaway hails from Millburn. Wonder if she's ever tried a Sloppy?). Imagine this: a layer of white rye bread; a layer of freshly sliced roast beef or turkey; a layer of coleslaw; a second layer of rye; a layer of more coleslaw; a layer of Swiss cheese; another slice of rye. Super sloppy, super fine. 20 napkins up for this hella sandwich.


    Something Blue: As I was sitting down to write this post, Shayne called to say she was waiting in line at Shake Shack wearing a blue shirt. Amongst peels of laughter, I cued up the SS Webcam to see her and Tracy for myself.

    Webcam report -- 12:22 p.m., July 1, 2006. 83 degrees Fahrenheit. Camera 1, at Southeast corner of Madison Square Park, above Shack, top of the last "K." Line short, rapidly moving. Blue-shirted girl on cell phone moving up, moving up, moving out of camera view. 2 Shack Burgers, 1 fry, 1 lemonade, 1 Black and White shake. Satisfaction level indicated as "high."

    Next week: A sip of Beantown

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