Saturday, March 19, 2011

March "Food Holidays" (cont.)

Oh my! I am so full. After a whirlwind trip into Providence I could use a Brioschi and a nap. 

Oysters "Rock"
Let's start with St. Patrick's Day at The Hyannis Yacht Club. We met up at six o'clock and boy was it nice to see everyone again. I am so busy at work I don't get much of a chance to socialize so these opportunities are terrific. Sue-Sue is a member of the club so we were ushered into The Captain's Table (the restaurant at the club) and got a very nice table at the window. The view was really beautiful. We were able to see the ferries going back and forth to the Vineyard from our seat. Let's get to the food. The chef sent us out a lovely "amuse bouche" (amuse the mouth) dish that was some kind of carpaccio with a sauce and a micro-greens garnish. To be honest I could not tell what the carpaccio was or what the sauce was. They had little or no flavor whatsoever. It was a very beautiful plate (I didn't take a photo of that as I was so hungry I forgot to) but it had no flavor at all. The first course I ordered was Oysters Rockefeller which I would not normally order because most cooks are too heavy handed with the Pernod and the oysters usually come out tasting like fish-licorice candy. These were absolutely delicious. There was just the merest suspicion of Pernod and the oysters were plump and not overcooked. Just delicious. I then moved onto the Corned Beef and Cabbage. The plate of food was enormous. Seriously, there must have been a pound of corned beef on the plate plus 3 new potatoes, asparagus, baby carrots, cabbage and creamed onions. The beef was perfectly cooked and not dry or stringy, and not at all salty. All of the accompaniments seemed to have been cooked in the beef's cooking liquid so they were all beautifully flavored. I must say that with the exception of The Contessa's corned beef dinner that this was the best I have had. There was so much left over that I brought it home and will make Bubble and Squeak out of it tomorrow. 

Huge plate of Corned Beef and Cabbage

Buzzy, LJ and me
Now to today. we had planned to go to "The Hill" in Providence to stop at Scialo Brother's Bakery to get our Zeppole di San Giuseppe but of course we couldn't have those for lunch so we went to visit La Reine du Barbecue at LJ's BBQ in Pawtucket. We ordered one item from the Brunch menu and one form the regular menu. The first item was a plate called "The Big Mess". It was pulled pork and home fries topped with poached eggs, dressed with BBQ-spiked Hollandaise sauce. Scott wanted to alter it a little so he did it with cheese sauce and some salsa on the side(?). He said it was absolutely delicious. I had the Pork and Ribs combo platter with pulled pork and 1/2 rack of baby-back ribs, with collard greens and macaroni and cheese. What can I say? The pulled pork literally melted in my mouth and the ribs were succulent. The greens were perfectly cooked with just a hint of sweetness. The mac and cheese had a good portion of crispy crunch on top and a terrific combination of cheeses that made it (next to my own) some of the best I have eaten. I simply could not finish my meal. Linda announced that LJ's has purchased and is retro-fitting a truck to do BBQ on wheels. It is a great idea because I can't imagine not buying something from their truck when you get a whiff of the excellent food they prepare. Check out the notice they get in the Boston Globe on March 30th. I understand that the Globe was suitably impressed. 

1/2 rack, pulled pork, greens and mac & cheese

The Big Mess

Making people fat since 1906
We then hit The Hill and stopped at Scialo's. The owner and her husband were 3rd and 4th grade teachers of mine in elementary school (yes they are still alive) and I introduced myself reminding them that it was Ok that they didn't remember me as I didn't have a beard then. The bakery has been in the same location since 1906 and the Art Deco store has been a great place for pastry for as long as I can remember. The Contessa had brought me zeppole from the Modern Bakery in the North End a couple of weeks ago. These were the classic pate a choux pastries with custard filling and a Bing cherry on top. Since I had already had the classic I decided to go with a variant on the theme and ordered the zeppole with a ricotta cheese filling flavored with orange zest and orange water. It was absolutely delicious. I wish it was St. Joe's Day every day! If you haven't had one of these pastries before make a note of the date of St Joseph's Day on the calendar and get yourself to an Italian bakery and get yourself some zeppole. You'll be so glad you did.

On St. Joe's Day I'm like a swallow heading for Capistrano!
This place has not changed one bit since I was a kid. I love the round glass cases filled with Italian candies.
Zeppole di San Giuseppe

March "Food Holidays"

St. Patrick's Day is over for another year. We had a delicious dinner at The Hyannis Yacht Club. I have photos and a review from that meal coming up. Today we travel to Providence for the Festa di San Giuseppe and Zeppoli! On the way to the bakery we are going to stop at the maison of La Reine du Barbecue, LJ's BBQ. I'll have more on those stops later too. Tomorrow is Purim and that means some sort of celebratory food as well. I'm leaning towards Brisket Sandwiches with Latkes as the bread. Yum! I'll post more soon!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Listing: Townhouse in the East 80's

Looking for a little "pied a terre" in Manhattan? Got $90 million burning a hole in your portfolio? Here's a little something you may want to consider:

Completed in 1916, the imposing limestone façade of this neo-French Renaissance mansion features a central foyer opening to a grand entry hall providing access to the main residence. With a massive fireplace, the enormous entry includes three closets and an elegant powder room, access to a kitchen in the rear as well as the wide landing of the grand master staircase.

The parlour floor begins with a front drawing room spanning 35 feet with a huge fireplace, three floor-to-ceiling windows and a sensation of immense scale. Ceilings reach over 14 feet and the center landing affords a large sitting room that connects the front drawing room to the deep formal dining room. With the capacity to seat over 50, the dining room features a large fireplace and that ends in a rear solarium morning room ideal for breakfast as it is positioned next to a serving kitchen. The kitchen includes a seating area, ample storage and a dumb waiter to the service kitchen below.

The third floor includes a 35 foot-wide wood-paneled library, wet bar, and powder room. In the rear there is a two-bedroom suite with two large full baths and ample closet space. The fourth floor master suite encompasses a grand bedroom, two sitting rooms and two full baths with dressing rooms positioned on opposite ends of the master suite. The fifth floor features two large bedrooms with full baths and a gym.

The first five floors are capped by a brilliant stained-glass skylight positioned above the staircase. Above, the sixth floor is an additional level presently built out for a private office with a full bath and a powder room and the seventh floor is a two-bedroom staff suite with two full baths, a separate kitchen and elevator access. The lowest level includes a suite of offices and outdoor space. An elevator services all levels.

While the other great mansions that have come on the market in New York have been shells requiring total renovation, this is the only mansion to be formally available that has been fully renovated in a traditional prewar style. Never before could one acquire such a magnificent building in this condition - truly a rare opportunity not to be missed.
Also available for rent at $210,000/month.

"For the Bible tells me so"

Marriage = One Man + One Woman... it's in the Bible. That's what the Christianists say.

The truth of the matter is that the Bible is not a good source supporting monogamous and mutual marriage that our society and culture has evolved to embrace. 

More systematically than considering a favorite passage here and there, Vaughn Roste, the son of two Canadian Lutheran pastors with a seminary degree of his own, has undertaken a comprehensive study of passages in the Bible, researching more than 800 Biblical references that deal with marriage. He distilled from that study what he refers to as "The 12 Biblical Principles of Marriage." In summary, in the Bible:
  • Marriage consists of one man and one or more women.
  • Nothing prevents a man from taking on concubines in addition to the wife or wives he may already have.
  • The concept of a woman giving her consent to being married is foreign to the biblical mindset.
  • If a woman cannot be proven to be a virgin at the time of marriage, she shall be stoned
For those who claim these are all Old Testament laws and that the New Testament supersedes them, consider in the New Testament that:
  • Women are allowed to marry the man of their father's choosing ... because women are the property of their father until married and their husband afterwards.
  • Interfaith marriages are prohibited.
  • If a man dies childless, his brother must marry the widow
  • Divorce is forbidden, and finally ...
  • It's better, according to St. Paul, to not get married at all.
The point is this, anyone can pick and choose a verse or phrase from the Bible which, taken alone and literally, will appear to support their argument. While people of the Judaic-Christian tradition may disagree on the propriety of same-gender marriage, can we at least agree to not misuse the Bible in the process?

Public Safety Announcement

From the TSA:

Oh, alright... but would you at least buy me a drink first?

Public Service Reminder

Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich would like to remind everybody that that marriage is between one man and one woman whom you abandon riddled with cancer on her hospital bed while you fuck the shit out of your mistress whom you later marry and cheat on with a third woman while screaming with Godly moral outrage about the infidelities of the president.

However it must be noted that Newt screwed around on his wives because he loved his country so much. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Nothing to see here...

No one seems to care that the girl on the sofa is choking.

No big deal.


Say Cheeeeeese!

Oh Mary... Don't ask!

Speaker Boner... Where's The Jobs?

From Daily Kos:

You're outta scotch??!!??
Last November, House Republicans rode to an overwhelming electoral victory on three little words: "Where's the jobs?" And since taking over the House in January, Republicans have worked tirelessly to answer that question by attempting to curb equal rights, defund family planning (except for horses), and tackling that top-of-the-list-concern for voters, redefining rape.

And now that horses can safely screw like rabbits, the GOP is making their next bold moves, and have:
... introduced the English Language Unity Act of 2011 on Friday, a bill that requires that all official United States government functions be conducted in English.
H. Con. Res. 13, the “Reaffirming ‘In God We Trust’ as the official motto of the United States and supporting and encouraging the public display of the national motto in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions”
The potential job creation from those two acts alone are practically limitless ...
And not only that, Republicans have answered that question they asked so many times last year: They don't know. And apparently they don't care.

Hog Calling Champ

Just watch this! From the 2010 Illinois State Fair's Hog Calling Contest.

Thanks to Cilla for the tip on this one.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

NYC SitCom Map

Today's Estate

An 1850's estate in Palmetto, GA. It is beautifully restored. It is also over-the-top when it comes to decor. They used beautiful everything but it is so "WOW" that I don't think I could live there full time. What do you think? 

Incredible Southern Estate built in 1858 offering extreme privacy & original charm. The home was completely restored over recent years and is being offered fully furnished for $4 Million, or unfurnished for $3.5 Million.  Offering nearly 5,000 Sq. Ft. of  thoughtfully decorated & designed space, the home includes Four Bedrooms, Two Full Bathrooms and One Powder Room.  The property which is entered through large metal gates includes an in-ground Swimming Pool with a covered fireplace area and arbor as well as a Guest Cottage, 7 Stall Stables and Fenced Pasture.  The Interiors of the home are filled with light and offer a very classical feel.  Most if not all of the spaces are formal including the Formal Dining Space which features a round table & large chandelier, the large Living Room or the expansive glass encased porch with tons of seating, ceiling fans and rugs.

Beautiful view of the front of the house

A porte-cochere on the side of the house

I really like this kitchen for the counter tops and the cabinetry but my goodness is it decorated to death.

There is absolutely nothing I can say here that I haven't said above.

I actually really like this room. The Empire chairs are quite nice as is the hand-painted Chinese wallpaper. The chandelier is perfect. Well done.

I don't think I could sit still for too long in this room. There is way too much going on here.

This veranda is quite nice. I like that they have it enclosed so that it can be air conditioned

My goodness what a fussy room.

See above

Ditto. However I do like that crib. And the pagoda valences on the windows. Just sayin'.

Out by the pool

Just thinking about having something sweet...

When I visited Paris a couple of years ago I spent most afternoons, after the usual museums, shopping, wandering, at Ladurée a wonderful tea/pastry shop on the Rue Royal. It really is a lovely place and a great spot to people watch over a tisane and a "religieuse", a puff pastry confection. Quelle dommage... there is nothing like Ladurée anywhere in these parts so I suppose I'll have to settle for some vanilla wafers and a grape soda. Oh well.

In the meantime, have a look at what is offered at Ladurée. Click on the photo for a close up if you dare!

The Religieuses are the purple and white puffs in the upper right.

Congratulations Mike!

"Your life as it has been, is over. From this time forward, you will service us." Your assimilation is complete.

Anti-Gay (Dem) State Senator caught in bribery-payback crime involving secret gay lover

Carl (Closet Case) Kruger
The sly, nasty things! They don't get anymore sordid than this... From This nasty hypocrite deserves everything he gets... and more!

Carl Kruger is a Democratic state senator from Brooklyn. His vote against gay marriage last year was crucial in stopping the measure in New York. Funny thing: He lives with his gay lover, who's the bagman in their bribery racket. 

Yesterday, a criminal complaint against Kruger was unsealed in federal court in the southern district of New York, lifting the veil from what must be one of the most satisfyingly convoluted and brazen cases of self-loathing gay political figures in our time.

Kruger & boyfriend, gynecologist, Michael Turano
First, the bribery: Kruger, the feds charge, conspired with a state lobbyist named Richard Lipsky to shake down clients for Kruger's vote. He's charged with accepting bribes from Lipsky to funnel state money to various New York City projects being developed by Forest City Ratner, as well as trying to curtail the state's recycling laws. When the feds raided Lipsky's Upper West Side apartment, they found "$102,000 in cash from a safe in a closet and $4,000 'in crisp, large denominational bills from the pocket of a suit belonging to Lipsky,'" according to the New York Post.

According to the New York Times, Kruger used the money to "bankroll a lavish lifestyle, financing a four-door Bentley Arnage and a $2 million waterfront home originally built for a boss of the Lucchese crime family."

Now, about that lifestyle! Kruger, who was one of four Democrats who killed gay marriage in New York last year (along with face-slasher Hiram Monserrate), ostensibly lives with his sister in Brooklyn. But according to the Post, neighbors there "said either that they did not recognize him or that he was rarely, if ever, there." That might be because he actually lives in this gaudy 7,000 square-foot home with the Turano family--Michael, his brother Gerard, and their mother Dorothy. Kruger is, according to the complaint, essentially a member of the Turano family. "He helped manage the household and shop for groceries," the Times says, and even help pick out a gravestone for the family plot."

Dorothey Turano, who is, at 73, much older than Kruger, was often seen out in public with him, "and some neighbors described the two as a couple," the Times says. But "it was the oldest son, Michael, to whom Mr. Kruger was closest, and they forged a relationship in which they 'supported and relied on one another,' according to the complaint." Indeed, Michael Turano, the complaint says, created the shell companies that Kruger used to launder his bribe money and "finance the Bentley, pay credit card bills and make mortgage payments on the house."

So what, exactly, are we to make of all this? Let's see what the Post says: "GAY POL'S $1 MIL 'BRIBE' OUTRAGE: KRUGER & BEAU IN PAY-FOR-PLAY ROUNDUP." Oh!

Gaudy Queens love nest
Michael Turano and Kruger lived together, they co-mingled their finances, and Kruger helped look after Turano's aging mother. There have been plenty of secretly gay politicians who opposed gay marriage; Kruger appears to be the first secretly gay-married pol to have done so.

To add the craziness: The home that Kruger and Turano share was built by an architect named Anthony Fava, who was murdered in 1991 by the his client and the home's original owner, Lucchese crime family boss Anthony Casso.

Also named in the complaint were Lipsky, Turano, and state Assemblyman William F. Boyland Jr, who is accused of accepting a no-show job at a health care company in exchange for helping the company secure state contracts.


Source: Chris Britt, (State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL), Cartoon submitted by JekyllnHyde

"But you are Blanche... you are in that chair"

Little Shirley

Sorry to be "going back to the well" on this one but it is so damned infectious. Here's Shirley Temple singing "Be Optimistic".

WI GOPer lives outside district with 25-year ol mistress - Wife

A little story about the very good people of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. To whit:

Philandering Scumbag

Protesters who marched at the home of Wisconsin state senator Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) were met with something of a surprise on Saturday. Mrs. Hopper appeared at the door and informed them that Sen. Hopper was no longer in residence at this address, but now lives in Madison, WI with his 25-year-old mistress.

Blogging Blue reports that the conservative Republican's much-younger new flame, Valerie Cass, is currently employed as a lobbyist for right-wing advocacy group Persuasion Partners, Inc., but was previously a state senate staffer who worked on the Senate Economic Development Committee alongside Mr. Hopper. Her bio has been scrubbed from the Persuasion Partners' website, but a screen-grab is available here.

Cheap Floozie 25 y/o mistress
Sen. Hopper has worked closely with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to implement the state's new anti-labor laws and enact policies favorable to the interests of big business. Like Walker, Hopper is one of the Republican politicians named in a massive recall effort spearheaded by Wisconsin Democrats.

According to Wisconsin law, state elected officials who have served at least one year of their current term are eligible for recall by voters. Hopper was elected state senator for district 18 in the fall of 2008, making him eligible for recall, whereas Governor Walker will not be eligible until 2012.

Blogging Blue also reports that Mrs. Hopper intends to sign the recall petition against her husband. The petition has already been signed by the family's maid.

Someone puts truth serum in the water cooler at Iowa State House

Caught on live mic: Iowa GOPer calls GOP sponsored gun bill "the crazy, give-a-handgun-to-a-schizophrenic bill".

The Republican-led Iowa state House is considering a bill that would allow Iowans to carry a weapon openly or concealed in public without a license, permission from a sheriff, background check, or any training. The bill is known as “Alaska carry,” or the “Alaska bill,” because Alaska was one of the first states in the country to implement it. Arizona and Wyoming have similar laws.

In a “snafu” on the House floor yesterday, House Speaker Pro Tem Jeff Kaugmann (R) was caught privately acknowledging the danger of the bill while speaking near a microphone he thought was off, but was in fact turned on:
REP. STEVE LUKAN (R): The Alaska bill – what’s the Alaska bill? [...]

KAUFMAN: The crazy, give-a-handgun-to-a-schizophrenic bill.

AIDE OFF CAMERA: His microphone is on.

[Microphone goes dead]
Watch it:

“Rep. Kaufmann’s characterization of this bill and the entire conversation proves that even Republicans know HSB 219 is a dangerous piece of legislation that jeopardizes public safety,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky.

Sure... Pharmaceutical companies don't need no stinkin' regulation!

If this isn't one of the most egregious examples of corporate greed and the need for regulation of "Big Pharma", I don't know what is. When are those creatures in Congress going to do something that helps us?

Next week, the cost of preventing premature childbirth will skyrocket when a drug given to high-risk pregnant women goes from around $10 a dose to $1,500 a dose. The drug, called Makena, which has been made cheaply for years and is given as a weekly shot, could make the total cost during a pregnancy as much as $30,000. Why? Because KV Pharmaceutical of St. Louis recently won FDA approval to exclusively sell Makena last month. 

By receiving “orphan drug status,” KV’s subsidiary Ther-RX Corp. will now be “the sole source of the drug for seven years.” In justifying the 14,900 percent price hike, KV Pharmaceuticals says that pregnant women will be willing to pay the new price because if they don’t, they could have a premature baby, or “preemie,” which could cost much much more:
The cost is justified to avoid the mental and physical disabilities that can come with very premature births, said KV Pharmaceutical chief executive Gregory J. Divis Jr. The cost of care for a preemie is estimated at $51,000 in the first year alone.
“Makena can help offset some of those costs,” Divis told The Associated Press. “These moms deserve the opportunity to have the benefits of an FDA-approved Makena.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not involved in setting the price for the drugs it approves.
The question, however, is not whether high-risk pregnant women would elect to offset further cost by using the drug, but whether they can afford the elevated price in the first place. The issue, doctors say, is that “the price hike may deter low-income women from getting the drug, leading to more premature births.” “That’s a huge increase for something that can’t be costing them that much to make,” said Massachusetts’s Medicaid deputy medical director Dr. Roger Snow. “For crying out loud, this is about making money,” he added. Ther-RX launched a patient assistance program Tuesday to help alleviate the cost for some women.