"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Monthly Archives: June 2012

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Taster’s Cherce

Because of all the screwy weather this year, which has been dreadful for farmers, peaches have arrived earlier than excpected.

Dig this recipe for Peach and Creme Fraiche Pie over at Smitten Kitchen.

[Photo Credit: Annuus Naa]

Put the Needle to the Groove

It’s rare that I suggest trooping out to Williamsburg but this here Classic Album Sundays event sounds more than worth it.

[Images by Mark Weaver and The Swinging Sixties via This Isn’t Happiness]

Beat of the Day

And now, for a short musical interlude…

And then more cool grooves from a way out west…

[Photo Credit: v.a.l.e.n.]

New York Minute

I remember watching people talking on pay phones when I was a kid. I waited for them to hang up to see if they would stick their finger in the coin return, looking for a dime, or later, a quarter. It seemed like a reflex, as if they were scratching a morning lotto ticket.

Hey, you never know, right?

They were different from the schnorrer’s who walked up to a pay phone and stuck their finger in the slot looking for change without any intention of making a call.

[Photo Via Retro New York]

Morning Art

“Still Life with Black Knife,” By Henri Matisse (1896)

Success, Success, Success: Does it Matter?

Beautiful day in New York, not too hot, not muggy, as the Yanks looked to sweep the Indians.

What could go wrong?

Well, C.C. Sabathia was placed on the DL before the game with a groin strain. Chad Jennings has the skinny:

“I talked to our doc and he was talking to me about the DL situation,” Brian Cashman said. “(Steve) Donahue was telling him CC was like, ‘Well, maybe miss a start, I don’t know about DL.’ I said, ‘Well start preparing, because I’m going there tomorrow and he’s going on the DL.’ I came in here and it was a one-way conversation. I did all the talking. I know what he wants to do, but this is what we’re going to do. You have to protect players from themselves. He’s a competitor and he wants to be out there. He feels he can pitch with it right now, but we’re not going to mess with it.”

Okay, they are being cautious, it’s not so bad.

Then Andy Pettitte got whacked in the ankle by a line drive off of Casey Kotchman’s bat and before the game ended the word was in and it was not good–a fractured ankle and Pettitte will be lost for a minimum of six weeks. Let’s call it two months. Most us figured that Pettitte would get hurt at some point this summer, perhaps just not this soon. The only blessing here is that he’ll hopefully have the chance to get healthy and return for fall baseball.

Freddy Garcia, who pitched well in relief today, will take his place. I expect that Mr. Cashman will work some sort of deal in the near future as well, though right now it’s like shopping for an umbrella in the rain. Maybe he trades for a decent starter but why not roll the dice and make a boffo move for a guy like Cole Hamels?

Be bold, Mr. Cashman: Be Bold.

In the meantime, today’s come-from-behind 5-4 win, led by Robinson Cano’s go-ahead home run, feels like an afterthought. That despite a tense ninth inning– a bona fide “I Miss Mo” moment–where Rafael Soriano loaded the bases and walked in a run before retiring Assdribble Cabrera to end it.

It is rare when a five-game winning streak felt so somber.

[Photo Credit: Craig Robinson and Frank Franklin II/AP]

June 27, 1941: Game 39

DiMaggio and the Yankees took their two streaks into Philadelphia to face Connie Mack’s Athletics and dropped the first game of the series, 7-6. DiMaggio didn’t allow any of the previous day’s drama to repeat itself on this afternoon, however, as he singled on the first pitch he saw in the first inning. With his own streak safe for another day, DiMaggio took care of the team’s streak in the seventh when he launched a shot deep into the left field bleachers. It was his seventeenth of the season, which allowed him to reclaim the American League lead.

Goldbricker’s Delight

Andy’s on the hill this afternoon at the Stadium. Man, it’s an ideal day to play hookey, ain’t it?

Curtis Granderson CF
Nick Swisher RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira DH
Raul Ibanez LF
Eric Chavez 1B
Russell Martin C
Jayson Nix SS

Never mind the glare: Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Megan Cross via It’s a Long Season]

Morning Art

Painting by Budi Satria Kwan via the most cool site, Zeroing.

New York Minute

Art in Progress: seen on Broadway, Upper West Side.

Lean and Mean

Here’s Denis Johnson on the importance of Leonard Gardner’s novel, “Fat City”:

My neighbor across the road, also a young literary hopeful, felt the same. We talked about every paragraph of “Fat City” one by one and over and over, the way couples sometimes reminisce about each moment of their falling in love.

And like most youngsters in the throes, I assumed I was among the very few humans who’d ever felt this way. In the next few years, studying at the Writer’s Workshop in Iowa City, I was astonished every time I met a young writer who could quote esctatically line after line of dialogue from the down-and-out souls of “Fat City,” the men and women seeking love, a bit of comfort, even glory — but never forgiveness — in the heat and dust of central California. Admirers were everywhere.

My friend across the road saw Gardner in a drugstore in California once, recognized him from his jacket photo. He was looking at a boxing magazine. “Are you Leonard Gardner?” my friend asked. “You must be a writer,” Gardner said, and went back to the magazine. I made him tell the story a thousand times.

For more on Gardner, check out this appreciation by our old pal George Kimball.

Taster’s Cherce

David Lebovitz gives us pickled carrots.

Beat of the Day

Hey, Babe…here’s Jimmy.

[Photo By Steven Wallace via Gas Station]

Funny Lady


Sad news in New York this morning. Nora Ephron died yesterday. She was only 71.

Over at New York magazine–where Ephron wrote for years–Noreen Malone offers a nice tribute (also included a links to several of Ephron’s pieces).

I was no fan of Ephron’s work in the movies and don’t know enough about her writing to comment with any clarity. However, this piece, first written for the New York Times, and later featured in “Nora Ephron Collected” is worth reading:

Revision and Life

Plus, she also once said: “I don’t think any day is worth living without thinking about what you’re going to eat next at all times.”

I can dig it.

[Illustration by Simon Pemberton and Larry Roibal]

Remember When Cleveland was the Plum?

Back in the 1920s a sportswriter for the New York Morning Telegraph named John J. Fitz Gerald came up with a cute little nickname for New York City: The Big Apple. Fifty years later the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau turned that into a marketing campaign, and Gotham City will forever be the Big Apple.

When I was a kid growing up in Michigan in the 1970s, the good people of Cleveland apparently grew tired of simply providing gas for Michiganders on their way to New York City, so they started running commercials on Detroit television based on their spanking new ad campaign: New York might be the Big Apple, but Cleveland’s a plum!

Why drive all the way to New York when you can just go to Cleveland? Right about now Indians fans are thinking pretty much the same thing about their team: Why fly all the way to New York when you could’ve just stayed home.

After Monday night’s 7-1 loss to the Yankees, the Indians gamely showed up at the Stadium for another beating, and the Yankees obliged, starting things off in the second inning with the oddest thing — a two-out rally. With two outs and Nick Swisher on first, DeWayne Wise rifled a single to right, pushing Swisher around to third. Chris Stewart came up next and flicked a soft line drive towards third baseman Jack Hannahan. Hannahan moved to his right towards the line and directly behind the bag, but then simply dropped the ball, allowing Swisher to score the game’s first run.

I had accidentally recorded the Cleveland feed of the game, so I had the amusing pleasure of listening to announcers Matt Underwood and Rick Manning as they analyzed the play. Manning, in particular, was incensed. Even though he didn’t have the camera angle to support his opinion, he railed against third base umpire Mike DiMuro’s call, saying the ball was clearly foul. He went on to state that many teams have complained that visiting teams have a hard time getting calls in Yankee Stadium, as if this were the NBA.

Birthday Boy Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson followed with singles to score two more runs, and Manning got progressively more depressed. At no point did he mention that Hannahan should’ve simply made the play for the out. (Somehow the official scorer did not hang an error on the third baseman.) After the commercial break, Underwood and Manning revealed that they had seen a replay from the YES camera positioned directly above the third base line, and Manning sheepishly admitted DiMuro had gotten the call right. There would be more indignation later.

The Yanks picked up a fourth run in the fifth inning on a Mark Teixeira sacrifice fly, and that four-run lead looked like more than enough because Phil Hughes was back on the beam. Cleveland has been having some serious trouble scoring runs lately, and Hughes did them no favors over the course of his eight innings. He kept the hitters off balance all night, sometimes starting batters off with a darting 92-93 MPH fastball, other times getting ahead with his 72 MPH curve ball. In all, he threw 111 pitches over eight shutout innings, striking out four while allowing just six hits and a walk.

The Indians rarely mounted anything close to a threat, but Hughes responded when they did. When the first two batters singled in the third, Hughes induced a 4-6-3 double play. After a leadoff single in the fifth, another double play. With runners at first and second and one out in the sixth, Hughes muscled up for two swinging strikeouts. After a leadoff double in the seventh, the Indians went down ground out, fly out, foul out. Or did they?

Hannahan was the last batter of that seventh inning, and he floated a high foul pop towards the point of the stands that juts out close to the foul line midway between third base and the foul pole. Left fielder DeWayne Wise drifted into foul territory, leapt over the rail in pursuit of the ball, and disappeared into the crowd. In the confusion that ensued, the spectators closest to Wise helped him up, but a fan three seats from the action suddenly bent over and produced the ball, holding it over his head for all to see. All, that is, except for that man DiMuro, who called Hannahan out even before Wise emerged from the stands. DiMuro never asked to see the ball, and Wise never produced it. He simply sprinted to the dugout with his glove closed. “What was I supposed to do, run back to left field?” asked Wise after the game. “I saw him looking at my glove so I just got up, put my head down, and ran off the field.” Makes perfect sense.

Needless to say, the Cleveland announcers were at a complete loss. They dissected the replay as if it were the Zapruder film, asking their viewers to watch over and and over again as the ball struck Wise’s glove — pushing it back.. and to the right — before disappearing and then reappearing almost ten feet away. It was some magic pop up.

Alex Rodríguez jacked a home run in the bottom half, widening the lead to 5-0, Hannahan, still upset about being robbed in the top half, got himself kicked out as he headed back to the dugout. This led to more from Underwood and Manning, who couldn’t believe DiMuro would run Hannahan. “Hey, you missed the call. Just own up to it. Just say, ‘Hey, you know what? I’m sorry. I didn’t see it. I didn’t see him drop the ball.’ Instead, he throws him out of the game for telling him exactly what the truth was, which was [he was] wrong.” Makes perfect sense.

The Yanks added a sixth run in the bottom of the eight, and Cory Wade came in to pitch the ninth and made a mess of things, coughing up four runs, three of them on a home run by Hannahan’s replacement, José López. Sound and fury, signifying nothing. Rafael Soriano came in to throw two pitches for the final out, and before you know it his shirt was untucked.

Yankees 6, Indians 4.

[Photo Credit: Kathy Willens/AP Photo]

Night and the City

It’s Phil Hughes, folks.

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Raul Ibanez DH
Dewayne Wise LF
Chris Stewart C

Never mind letting up now: Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[This amazing picture was taken by our pal Bags]

Map Quest

Wanna know your favorite big league ball player’s home town?

This is the spot.

Another place I found because I read Kottke, the dopest site on the ‘Net.

Negative Space

Zhao Huasen via Kottke.

Taster’s Cherce

Just so happens that I’ve got asparagus and mint in the house. Thanks to Serious Eats and Food 52 for this recipe.

Beat of the Day

I used to play this record when I dj’d at my friend Steven’s restaurant. It was a sure shot. So vibey, a great cool-out beat.

[Photo Credit: Matthais Franke]

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver