Category Archives: Medium Raw

Sad Times July 23rd 2014

It has not been a very happy year so far and it shows no sign of getting better any time soon. I know I’ve been off the radar for two years now and I can’t seem to get back on the horse. I am putting a link that will tell the tale for me in the hopes of getting some help. Here it is http://www.gofundme.com/bm047c
I never thought it come to this but desperate times call for desperate measures. Thanks for reading, and to any who used my work for term papers and such. I hope you got good grades.

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So Easy A Caveman Did It!-Aug 9th 2010

If you close your eyes…you can almost see it. A group of primitive humans are gathered in a large cave, it has been home for many years now. In the center a large fire burns keeping the cave warm and illuminated. This fire is a relatively new discovery for the group, and all are responsible to tend the fire and keep it burning. There is much to be happy about as all eyes are on the fresh kill that the hunters have brought back this dusk. The clan leader carves the portions from the bones and gives each member their share on a large leaf which is quickly taken back to feed hungry families or consumed alone. A young teen male only just allowed to go with the hunt waits his turn , his first kill and he is especially proud. He is given his share by the leader and dashes off to his corner of the cave, but as he does so, he see’s the object of his desire sitting with her family to his left. In a bit of bravado he leaps over part of the fire, but the young fool does not stick his landing, and as he falls in a tangle of limbs his portion of meat slips into the flames and begins to sizzle and pop!

He falls hard, and is immediately aware that his food is no longer in his hand, he turns and is horrified to see to see it roasting in the flames, he tries but it is too hot to reach in and get out, he doesn’t know what to do, all eyes are upon him as he panics-there will be no second helping for him, as the minutes go by all you can hear is the sizzle and pop of cooking meat. The clan leader strides over with spear in hand none too pleased, determined to make an example of him he grunts his disapproval and raises his spear! The young fool cowers looking down waiting for the fatal spear to strike. The leader thrusts down into the cooking meat and laying it down on a leaf commands the boy to eat. Everyone watches as he takes up the hot meat, it burns his fingers a little but the smell of roasted flesh is inviting. Yet he is still afraid and as he brings it to his face, he looks up pleadingly at the leader,  but he stares him down waiting. He folds his arms and commands him”EAT!” The young fool brings the warm meat to his mouth and takes a bite and begins to chew, expecting to become ill or die and meet the ancestors.

Can you imagine the first bite of cooked meat? How it must have tasted to him, the warm juices flowing in his mouth and down his throat, dripping down his chin. The meat, so tender and warm, so different from the meat eaten cold by the time it was carved. The leader is astonished and grabs the meat from the underling and takes a big bite and chews, he too discovers the joy and taste of cooked food. He declares the young man to be Master of Fire Meat from now on and soon all are enjoying cooked food, especially the young girl who is by now at his side. Over time the young hero teaches his sons to cook meat and use spices and herbs that he has discovered by taking risks, and finding whats good in nature to cook with the meats and roots they live on. I wonder if there is cafe on the spot where all this occurred so many years ago? It may not have happened exactly like that, but the next time you’re in a natural history museum, look close at that ancient skull staring back at you, he may know why  it’s important to cook well…because it tastes so good.

Enjoy

Glen
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Filed under Anthony Bourdain, Cooking, Food, France, Grilling, History, Life, Medium Raw, Memories, Travel, Writing

Anthony Bourdain in N.Y.C – June 8Th 2010 – Part II

  I join the conversation around me after actually starting to read the book on-line. One woman is from Florida on vacation and her daughter is moving toward French cooking, an Indian girl who adores Tony, and a middle-aged woman who has a drawing her husband bought her on EBAY years before allegedly done by Tony that she wants to authenticate. I grow more excited as we get closer to his appearance, and then I hear people say “There he is!” and I look down into the ground floor to see Tony striding along in his dark jeans, graphic t-shirt and suit jacket carrying a Brooklyn Lager and wearing dark glasses. He looks just he does on TV loping along tall and relaxed, quintessential cool. In a few minutes he walks in and sits down at the desk and the signing begins, they speed the process by taking your book from you and your camera, you walk up to the table shake hands, talk a little while he signs the book he has been handed by the staff, and then you lean in and get your photo taken, he hands you the book and then you move on and let the next person go. It’s very efficient and rushed and by the time my turn comes I am a cross between a gushing schoolgirl and a stuttering awkward teenage boy. My turn comes and I walk up shake hands and place my folder on the table. Tony says “How you doin” and I stupidly say “Alright” without even asking him in return I blurt out “This is a gift” as I open my folder and say “It’s a little of my amateur writing” He says OK and takes it and puts it under the table then while he signs my book I say to him “Two questions…Is there any place in New York to get Singapore chicken rice?” and he says “No” Then I ask “How is the $26 Black Label Burger at the Minetta Tavern?”  He smiles and says “It’s really good, I mean really good” So I say “Really!” (another great reply and as he hands me my book back after the picture) and I say “Uh cool uhh I’ll have to try it” and the conversation trailed off in nodding and smiling uhhs and yeahs and I don’t think I even thanked him for signing the books ( I also brought my copy of his excellent fictional novel “Bone In The Throat”) as I walked away feeling stupid and wishing I could have had a do-over and feeling like I need a social etiquette class.

 I guess people will always wish they had done a little better in these situations, at least I do now in retrospect I could have talked more and been a little more engaging. I should have said something more meaningful, but I thought I’d let my writing speak for itself. The trouble is I don’t know if he even read my stuff, I put my address and phone numbers on the inside cover just in case he wanted to get in touch with me. I mean he probably gets this all the time and it might even piss him off so there’s a good chance he threw it away. It’s my nature to be self-critical and I know I’m not a great writer I just wanted to sound more intelligent than I did, but hopefully he will read my work and read abut the positive influence he has had in my life in the story “1st Anniversary on WordPress” How he has changed me in positive ways and made me a better cook and consumer. I leave with regret, the whole thing was over in less than two minutes. I go downstairs and outside to find my friends and we gather together to talk excitedly about our shared experience. The Indian girl says that he told her he is definitely having too much fun and the show will go on for a few more years! The woman who owned the drawing had it confirmed by Tony that he remembered doing it on a beach in Long Beach, Long Island, NY many years back and that a friend that was not doing well stole it and waited to sell it when Tony was at the height of his popularity. Tony being the good man that he is did not ask for it back and felt that it had a good home with the woman who was thrilled to pieces. We talk for a few minutes and then go our separate ways.

 I walk back to the park feeling a little better about things and sit on the wall and call my mom and tell her my news, she is thrilled and suggests I find a nice place to eat. So I walk back to the subway and head uptown to more familiar surroundings. My mind is muddled with a hundred thoughts about my experience so my usual observations are lost in that sauce and I get out at Bleeker St and begin to search for a meal. I walk around checking menus and decide to settle down in Chez Jaqueline, a French place that has been in New York a while, I have walked by it many times. I sit down facing the street with the louver doos and curtains open and I order a glass of pastis and watch the kids in the playground across the street. They are actually playing kickball! I didn’t think anyone did that anymore. I order Bacalau brandade, a mix of salt cod and garlic mashed potatoes baked till golden, and for my main a pork chop Milanaise. I sit and watch the kids and adults enjoy the cool weather and listen to a mix of cool jazz and cafe Paris thrown in for good measure. This is a Cote d’Azur themed menu featuring southern French food with a few traditional dishes such a Daube de Boeuf, Duck  Rilletes and the ubiquitous French onion soup w/Gruyère cheese on top. I have the place to myself as it’s actually quite late for lunch and not yet dinner. The Brandade comes and is good but a little dry and over browned making me wish I had ordered a celery remoulade instead. The pork chop comes and has been butterflied and coated with seasoned bread crumbs and pan-fried, it is served with field greens vinaigrette and a lemon wedge. It is tasty and healthish and I enjoy a glass of wine with it while the afternoons grows late. I decline dessert and pay the check and head for the subway, it is alternately warm and cool depending on the wind and shade. Soon I see some familiar sights and as I make my way to Bleeker St station I find the Monk Thrift Shop where a new comer to New York City (me) came years before and bought the old army travel bag that has been all over the city as well as Paris and London. I look around at all the stuff, clothes, shoes, handbags, books, records, nick naks, lamps, glassware, all kinds of stuff. I show the guy at the counter the bag I bought here years ago with its hand drawn destinations and he is impressed and says that its history now-my history, and he is right.

 The trip home was uneventful and I walked to an area easy for my mom to get to and called her to pick me up as I will be without my car for two days. I tell her all about my adventure and my hopes and feelings of dis-appointment about the experience and as always mom tries to get me to be more positive about things. Now what I didn’t know until about six weeks later is that Tony is holding a contest, for one of the fans of the show who are registered on the No Reservations website to write a 500 word essay on Why is it important to cook well? The contest will go on till November when Tony (who will be checking in and reading people’s work and commenting ) will pick the winner who will win $10,000 and get their essay put in as the new forward to the paperback version of his new book Medium Raw. you can enter as many times as you want to try to win and I have already entered once a piece called “I Cook Well” and am working on a second at this time. I can’t help thinking that it was me and anyone else who gave him their writing that brought this contest about so now I feel a whole lot better about the book signing debacle and how I came off.

 I hope I win but my story at last count was like 914 out of 1047 entries so it’s a long shot, but at least I met Tony and the next time I meet him I’ll be a lot more confident and self-assured and maybe it’ll be because he’s delivering my prize in which case after a sit down with the family I will take him to Cassis, my local piece of France with food that I am certain will pass his muster and over a good meal and many drinks I will ask him all the questions I thought of later and pitch some ideas to him for a book I’d like to write but need help with and some ideas for his show that I think he would like very much, nothing big just goofy themes like “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” that he used for his Nevada trip, along those lines. But of course “The Sit Down” with Tony is a dream that all his fans have and I’m sure very few will ever get that but it’s good to want and it’s nice to dream.

Cheers

Glen

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Filed under Anthony Bourdain, Food, France, French Food, Life, Medium Raw, Memories, Minetta Tavern, My Truth, New York City, No Reservations, NY, Travel

Anthony Bourdain In N.Y.C-June 8Th 2010-Part 1

 Today is a very special day for me, one that I never saw coming. I put my car in the shop to get some work done on it before my front end falls off, so after hearing that Anthony Bourdain ( famous for his Emmy Award winning show “No Reservations” on the Travel Channel) will be signing copies of his new book “Medium Raw” at the Borders bookstore location on Broadway near Wall St in New York City. I walk to the train station which is a bit of a hike and after stopping for a cold drink at a convenience store, make my way to the platform of the Long Island Railroad and gather with the waiting workers. They are all going in later than the rush hour and seem to take it in stride that the train is ten minutes late, they read papers or just stare off into space occasionally stifling a yawn or staring at a cellphone while texting. I on the other hand am in a rush I want to get this mission going so I can be assured of a good spot on-line, I expect it to be a mob scene. Soon though I hear the clanging cow bell of an approaching train and look up to see it’s a double-decker! I know I sound like a geek but these are really nice trains and like Tony’s brother, I have always been fascinated by trains, especially old ones. I have only been on one of these twice before so I am stoked.

 I have to admit I’m a little nervous about this, I mean I don’t know what to expect, will I like him?(What am I a schoolgirl going on a blind date?) Will the line be so long that I’ll miss him? I have brought with me a sample of my writing for him to read as a gift. Will he like it? Will he even read it or just toss it away? He probably gets all kinds of peoples written work as gifts, everyone secretly hoping that Tony will like it so much that he will send an e-mail or something. I would bet even in this age of electronics he still has thousands of fan letters to deal with, some from psycho’s and other’s from people like me who have been enriched by his show and his writing. I also feel a little guilty about and sorry for my mom who would have liked to go with me if she was able, but is going to the eye doctor for a shot in the eye that keeps her from losing her sight. She has to get them every six-ouch-weeks, wear your sunglasses people or wind up with Macular degeneration. Then also I guess I’m a little like a kid who’s going to see Santa for the first time, for me Anthony Bourdain is larger than life, and this is big for me.  I’m so mad at myself for forgetting my camera in my haste to get the car to the shop, call in, and get to the train. I’ll have to buy a disposable one in Penn Station so at least I can get a picture with him.

 Lately I have been feeling like the forces are gathering against me, maybe it’s the bad karma from my negative thoughts about the future. My car is going to set me back a few hundred bucks and I’m worried about what happens when the well dries up, the cushion of money I got when I took out a loan against my 401k is slowly being used mostly on making high payments to pay off credit card debt. But when that cushion is gone I’ll be unable to keep those payments up and will have to either break contracts I made or file bankruptcy, which is a last resort. The only other option is to close my 401K, take the tax hit on that and get the leftover money out which combined with my tax refund could get me into next year and hopefully a better economy. So my joy over this adventured is tempered by the stress of my life, I have to try to overcome it or I’ll have a bad day. I sit and write while a young asian guy in a suit stares intently at his Mac laptop, while across the aisle from me a middle-aged woman in stockings and heels studies her college notes. Opposite her  a woman in her sixties watches the student pack up as we near the station and I see a smile creep across her face, possibly remembering being a career woman in her younger days when everything had to be perfect, teeth, nails, makeup, hair, clothes, everything.  I was lucky to get a seat on this busy train, I walked back three cars to get my seat and am happy to have had a sit down, now it will be a quick march to get to the subway and down into parts unknown. I actually haven’t seen this area I’m going to on foot yet, only by car in the days when there was time for me and a friend to drive around all night smoking ciggy’s and talking about life, the universe, and everything. Those days found me trying to escape from my parents and the confines of our house,  my friend was escaping a loveless “arrangement” with the mother of his child. That all  seems very far away now. But enough about the past, that’s a story in itself.  I am starting to get excitedly nervous as we descend and slow to arrive at Penn Station and I make my way slowly topside in the crowds.

 The city is throbbing with energy for me as I start to walk to Park Ave via 33rd St. I walk briskly while the sound and color of the city speeds by me, 33rd is a strange and amusing mix of cheap eats, upscale shops and sterile looking businesses, stretches of boring steel doors and service only entrances are suddenly broken up by a colorful Bodega or take-out joint. When I come to Madison Ave I realize how different the city is during the week, more hustle, lots more noise, less relaxed. You can tell the vacationers from everyone else easily…they are the ones sitting down. Everyone else is haulin ass.  I get to the 6 subway and descend to find myself in a hot and stuffy station with no air, luckily the train comes in a few minutes.  I sit in the air-conditioned car with an interesting group representing every color and country, a young couple on vacation, a tired worker from Jamaica, a Asian girl with her ancient grandma, and many others all riding it seems  to the end.  I get out at the Brooklyn Bridge City Hall station and find it isn’t as quaint or clean as I thought it might be, I mean with all the money Bloomberg is spending you’d think the nearest subway station to City Hall would have been done years ago. Then again I don’t have to live here so I go up and start my walk to Borders, I come upon a nice view of the Brooklyn Bridge and take a few pics and sit on a low wall and drink some water, there’s a few people sitting at some tables set up against a fence that surrounds the City Hall Park behind me as I watch cars go up and down the massive bridge towards the horizon. I begin walking to Broadway but stop to take a picture of a guy in his late fifties un-chaining an old time push bike wearing a very nice grey suit! I marvel at people like that, you gotta see this bike it’s a full size bike not a kiddie toy, but I guess that’s how he keeps in shape. It’s so nice today a high of only 75 degrees after so many hot days well above 80.  I’m a happy camper as I come to Broadway, I take some photos of Trinity Church and cross Broadway and I take it down a block or two and suddenly find myself standing facing Borders across the street. I made it with plenty of time to spare and am surprised to see no line outside.

 When I get inside I am shocked to see no crowds, in fact the store isn’t crowded at all! I’m a little puzzled but ask where I can purchase my book and where to go after that. So I make my way up to the mezzanine and find about 40 or so people waiting ahead of me, staff will be on hand to take pictures of each of us that brought cameras, and we are all checked to see that we paid for the book, so all is good –  and now – we wait. I’ve got about two hours to kill before the signing starts. I haven’t eaten a thing all day but strangely I’m not hungry. I am looking forward to a meal afterward, maybe I’ll head back up to the Village and find a place to eat I haven’t been before. I stand in the line and actually begin to read my new book while I wait and already I’m loving this book, I hope he writes a whole lot more of books like this and more fiction. I just like his style…hopefully someday I’ll be able to rub elbows with him at some writers shindig as a published writer myself. I start to feel my feet barking at me with an hour left to go… I wish I had a Cafe Creme and a chair.

Bookishly

Glen

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Filed under Anthony Bourdain, Borders, Life, Medium Raw, Memories, New York City, No Reservations, Travel