Inhuman Swill : NYC : Page 8

Exploding news

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Gawker is reporting a "huge explosion" at Times Square, in front of the Conde Nast Building. I hear sirens.

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Bad news for Starbuck's

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From the New York section of this morning's Sun:

Mormons Make Inroads on Upper East Side

I'm just thinking of all the poor coffee vendors on the Upper East. How many of them do you think stock Postum?

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Okay, Greg's news about Rush is pretty damn cool, but how about this?

The Police at Madison Square Garden

(Yes, I know, sounds like the Republican National Convention, but hey.)

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29 of 365

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I sneaked out of the office for a while this afternoon and met photographer+ Bill Wadman at Grand Central Station. The goal was to shoot portrait #29 for his excellent 365 Portraits project, where he shoots and posts a portrait a day for a year.

We—I say we but it was really he—tried various high-concept shots in and around Grand Central, but the one he ended up using he took while I was leaning against a mailbox at Madison & 41st, signing the photo release. Bill's a nice guy, and it was a lot of fun. I hope I get to see some of the shots that didn't make the cut.

The photo is on the 365 Portraits home page for the next day or so. The permanent link is here.

I heard about the project from [info]steelbrassnwood, who was 6 of 365. If you're in NYC and you want to participate, you can hunt around Bill's sites for his email address and get in touch, or write to me and I'll send it to you. He's got plenty of white people on the roster, he tells me, and is hoping to have more people of color sign on.

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Happy birthday, Robert Burns!

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Yesterday's Times had an interesting and often amusing article about how haggis in America has mutated into something rather tastier than one can gets in Scotland, thanks in part to the fact that FDA regulations and other factors prevent the use of much of the offal that traditionally gets used as ingredients.

The article was strange to see when Laura pointed it out to me, because just Tuesday night we had met Paul and Kim for dinner and scotch—lots of it—at what purports to be the only Scottish restaurant and pub in the city, St. Andrews on 44th Street near Times Square. We had a fabulous time, and the haggis was very tasty indeed. (Not that Laura and I are afraid of traditional haggis, which we have eaten in Scotland and more or less enjoyed.) So was the other delicious food, which for me and Paul both included an entree of fresh brook trout stuffed with crab meat and oatmeal, in a whisky-maple sauce. Dessert for Laura and me was the cranachan, which is essentially whisky and whipped cream with berries and oatmeal.

Take note that it was painfully easy to get a table on a Tuesday night.

But while it was the prospect of haggis that drew us all there, it was the amazing scotch selection that had us arrive early and stay late afterward. I mean, 200 whiskies? Please. The bar at St. Andrews is our new favorite place in the world.

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Il a neigé

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Holy shit, it was snowing when I got out of the subway!

Of course, by the time I got to the office I could see blue sky and the snow had almost petered out.

And now the sun is shining through my office window.

All in ten minutes.

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It must be a year now since we moved from our old place. Last week we received a whole mess of holiday cards, automatically forwarded from our old address, from folks who apparently didn't get the memo about our change of address.

Today, though, I got word from a friend that a holiday card they had sent to the old address was returned as undeliverable. This means two things:

  1. Our 12-month forwarding order has just expired.
  2. There is no longer a house at 23-33 31st Avenue where the mail carrier can deposit unforwarded letters.
Yes, our old house is gone. Not a brick remains. It's now a giant hole in the ground surrounded by a tall plywood fence (though the Google satellite image, off by a couple hundred feet, still shows the happy house unmolested). We need to go take some pictures.

I hope there's no critical snail mail out there on its way to the wrong address, because it ain't gonna reach us.

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More on the gas smell

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Gothamist has a roundup of reports on the Manhattan gas smell. Turns out my wife is one of the (numerous) folks who called 911 this morning to report it.

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What's that smell?

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There are a lot of sirens racing to and fro in midtown, maybe in search of the source of this mysterious smell that's hanging around:

I didn't smell it on the street, but I sure smelled something funny in the elevator.

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You know ... fry sauce!

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One of the stranger things about Utah fast-food joints is the ubiquity of a condiment known simply as "fry sauce." I didn't exactly realize how strange it was, though, until I moved out of Utah.

An alert reader (sadly anonymous) of this blog brought a recent Associated Press article about fry sauce in Utah to my attention:,1249,650220850,00.html

It seems to have awakened a craving in me for the pinkish stuff, which I rarely think about unless I'm actually in a Utah fast-food joint. Fortunately, the craving can be overruled and outclassed by a visit to that Belgian frites joint on Second Avenue that has fifty varieties of mayonnaise, but fry sauce remains a weirdly compelling taste sensation, not just for me but for people all over the West, it now seems.

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

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William Shunn