grey marble

February 20, 2008

Begging for chilis

Monday night Yw came over to make dinner out of her Thai cookbook Hot Sour Salty Sweet (not to be confused with Top Chef host Padme's Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet). We shopped for ingredients in Chinatown, but when we unpacked we had forgotten the bird chilis.

I told Yw I'd check at the Korean deli on the corner. I remembered seeing them there in the past, but when I asked they said they had only jalapenos. I went to the deli across the street; same story. I walked to the Japanese grocery store; only jalapenos. Walking back to the house, I passed Kittichai. I stopped in and asked the Maitre d' whether their kitchen could spare some chilis. He told me to wait and he'd ask.

A woman appeared and said they had eight different types of chilis and asked what I needed. I told her and she asked me to wait a moment. Five minutes later she came out with a small bag of them. I thanked them profusely and they told me I now had to bring them some of the dinner. I laughed and said we couldn't compete with their kitchen.

Our dinner was fantastic.
Posted by eugene at

February 12, 2008

Die Walkure

Two Saturdays ago I met Yw for brunch and then we donned our helmets and took the train to the Metropolitan Opera for its production of Die Walkure. As we climbed the stairs to our seats, spontaneous applause broke out. A woman sitting in the row before us lamented that we were not sitting with her. The woman beside us complimented us on our choice of accessories.

Later, the woman in front of us offered chocolate covered macadamia nuts to the couple beside us. The woman said they were from Stop and Shop. She offered some to us; they were delicious. They exhibited a familiarity that prompted me to ask if they knew each other. The woman beside us said they were both season ticket subscribers and had developed a friendship over the years. Zita, she pointed to the woman before us, had missed just one performance from a subscription in the 13-odd-years they had been coming. She said that on that night, there was a terrible snow storm. Zita and her husband had dressed, got into their car to drive in from New Jersey, and then had been turned away at the freeway. The state police had shut it due to the weather.

The production was exhilarating. From the level of singing, the staging, and the set direction, the total affect was completely engrossing. it was perhaps the best I had seen at the Met.
Posted by eugene at

February 7, 2008

The future is yours

This evening, after a Chinese takeout dinner, I reached for a fortune cookie. Teru said the fortune didn't count unless you had eaten the cookie. I ate half and looked at my fortune. It read "Your present plans." On the other side was a single word: "Milk." I tried to unfold the paper, but discovered it had been neatly cut in half. Kavita told me my fortune was open-ended. "isn't that great?" she asked. I laughed and said it was.

Happy Chinese New Year!
Posted by eugene at

February 5, 2008

Fonts for change

Last week I had lunch with Guillemette. She was in town to cover the campaign up to and through super Tuesday as well as do research for a new book. She suggested we have brunch at Coffee Shop. She wanted American food.

Midway through brunch, two women sat next to us. Their conversation drifted from fashion to politics and back again. They talked about McCain, they talked about Romney. Soon, they began to talk about Obama. One woman said she wasn't sure if she would vote for him. She said she thought the font he used for his "Change" sign was the same font as that of Chanel. She thought that was bad form.

Later, Guillemette apologized for being distracted. She said she couldn't stop listening to the conversation at the table next to ours. She told me that her readers in France had asked her to write about how Americans make their decisions when voting in elections. She said she should write about fonts.
Posted by eugene at


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