Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
I was thinking Antonio might start giving me a hard time if I keep photographically self-aggrandizing, this being the second time around in a scant month or so, but you can't really argue with the three facts laid bare on this one:
a) a portrait by a maestro like Grant ought never to be shunned.
b) that is not a handsome man.
c) here is a recipe for General Tso's Chicken!
Serves 2 to 3 as part of a multi-course meal
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
6 dried red chilis
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
3 cups peanut oil for deep-frying
2 cups cornstarch
1 big pinch white sesame seeds, for garnish
Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 teaspoons white sugar
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons chicken stock or water
Mix ingredients for marinade. Slice chicken into 1-inch cubes and add to marinade mixture. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
Mix ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
Drip excess marinade off the chicken, and toss cubes in the 1 cup cornstarch. Shake off excess cornstarch before frying.
Add about 2 inches of peanut oil to your wok. Heat wok until just smoking, then add the first batch of chicken cubes and deep-fry until cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
Drain all but 1 tablespoon of oil. (You can pour the oil into a heatproof container and save for later use.) Reheat wok over medium-heat heat. Add dried chilis, garlic, and ginger to wok and stir-fry until chilis begin to blacken and become fragrant, about 1 minute. Add sauce mixture and stir until thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Return chicken to wok and stir well to coat with sauce. Transfer chicken to serving dish. Garnish with white sesame and scallions. Serve with white rice and vegetables.
Surfers of a certain ilk have always hung around places where opportunities for a quick buck might present themselves. A friend just asked if I knew any "surfers" for a casting call. There is sure to be something there for someone. Let me know if you have "the look."
** Sounds like a flight out to L.A. on Wednesday night, per diem, hotel accommodations... Casting continues tomorrow, last minute deal. Spread the word. **
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
The opportunity to ride a bunch of boards I've never tried? Well, if I can get off work early enough... you bet!
Unfortunately Huey the Surf God is not cooperating with us today and so we are forced to postpone the Sundown/GSI Surfboard Demo until next Tuesday, June 29th, 5PM-8PM at the Lido Beach West Parking Lot. We appreciate everyone's patience and we are sorry we couldn't have the Surfboard Demo today. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Sundown Surf Shop 516-796-1565. On the Plus side, The surf forecast looks great for next Tuesday!!! 4.5ft at 7 seconds! The perfect conditions to try out a wide selection of boards! I hope to see you all there. Thank you
Sundown Surf Shop
Monday, June 14, 2010
My son's godfather has done himself the favor of pursuing a career as a nature videographer. He scoots around in boats big and small, traipses through murky jungles and stays awake for hours on end lying in the dusty brush to capture rare moments of movement. He then turns around and puts together concise little stories of about what he's captured. Here is his latest, one that tugs at the imagination.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Always Know You're Travel Agent, especially if you live in a landlocked city which you might find
yourself on the streets emborrachado after listening to some classic flamenco in a small I8th century apartment in the Latin Quater at 4am.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Fiz do Amore o Meu Canto Tito Madi
Surfing in New York has its ups and downs. Like surfing anywhere, really. Like doing anything, anywhere, really. And as these things go, the good bits are actually the bad bits as well. So along with the cold, dark winter surf, a surf that has an uneasy relationship with your job, you get to experience the warm, inviting summer surf, when the sun peeps it's head out around five o'clock, in near perfect marriage with your schedule. It's a little like being a kid and stumbling anew upon summer vacation every year. It comes, you've known it was coming, and yet the pure joy of its arrival takes you by surprise every time.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Toddy & Antonio, Long Beach, Long Island, Early Summer 2010
New York City by Gil Scott-Heron
I do not rate myself an environmental skeptic. In fact, I am one of those who wholeheartedly accepts the fact that we are, and have been, slowly then very quickly doing unnecessary harm to the ecosystem of the planet. I do not ascribe to this point of view based on facts, figures and data presented by an apparent majority of pertinent scientists (while this information plays its part at some point) instead, I base this view on the totality of my living experience. Both apriori and aposteriori, in each of the hemispheres of my brain, through belief and observation, I have never witnessed something operating in a vacuum. I have never experienced through five senses, firing neurotransmitters or supernatural revelation anything, at all, that is not part of a larger whole. This leads to some logical conclusions. I'd like to say, I would say, we are killing the planet. Or, more precisely, we are decimating the living options of this planet. But I do not know that this is absolutely the inevitable outcome. It seems to be the case, but only time will tell.
In 1987, then again in 1992 I sent a stamped envelope with my name next to a checked box to the Surfrider Foundation. I was signing up to be a member, promising to send my check or money order in another envelope, later. They sent me back a welcoming letter and a sticker to put first on my Sims snowboard, then on my Volvo four-door that said "Member Since 1987 (1992)." I never sent in my dues. And while I eagerly put the sticker on my snowboard, good intentions alight, I thankfully never put the sticker on my car. This is the complacency inside me. This is the complacency that drives a total belief in the reality of the current environmental catastrophe while maintaining a sort of assumed acceptance which leads to an unconscious shrug of the shoulders. Sad, yes. Ridiculous, even more yes. Especially, as joining in the fight to save the world, making the sort of hard sacrifices for a positive effect on the environment is one of the easier things to wrap my mind around. There are no thorny cultural considerations. There is no checkered, tit for tat history. There is no gray area of past moral interventionism. A tree is a tree. Water is water. Fish are fish. Bugs are bugs. Air is air. Everything is connected.
When we moved to New York ten years ago I was confident I was finally making a concrete, positive environmental decision. Just the fact that I was trading in driving a car to work for hopping on the subway everyday was enough to fuel this speculation. Perhaps counter-intuitively, as they are thought of as mass-producers of trash heaps and epic amounts of raw sewage, the city model, with people packed in a small area, walking, riding bikes and using mass transit, cities have incredible possibilities for environmental economy.
Surfers tend to assume they are more environmentally conscious than other groups of people. We operate within an intimate knowledge of our natural surroundings. Our pastime, or way of life, fundamentally teeters on the health of the ocean. We pass on a loving respect of nature to our young. There are countless surfing related enviro-clubs and movements. Of course, this does not come without some introspection. There is already much gnashing of teeth about mass produced boards, the impact of surf tourism and the contaminating nature of the surf industry in general. And so it is this morning, on what becomes something of an annual summertime morning car commute to and from the beach, I found myself once again skewering my environmental credentials.
It is time to assess the situation. One, I am, unless conditionally dictated otherwise, a longboarder. I generally don't ride fishes or thrusters or funboards. I ride boards in the 9'8" to 11' realm. These do not fit in the subway. Two, I'm a regular footer and I don't operate well in ignorant crowds especially going backside. Rockaway is basically out. Three, my job every morning, starting anywhere between 6:30 and 8:30 is to wake my son up, make him breakfast, pack him a lunch and walk him to school. My wife starts work at 7:00 am every day.
My car, a mid nineties Japanese sedan, gets (optimistically) between 36 and 41 highway miles per gallon. The time it takes, in my mid nineties Japanese sedan, at around 4:30 am to drive to a surfable lump in Long Beach from my door is about 25 minutes. This is a roughly a 24 mile trip via the freeway. The time it takes to get back to my apartment, leaving the beach at 6:15 am, is about an hour. 21 miles by mostly thoroughfare city streets at 19 miles per gallon. I spend roughly an hour and a half, to two hours (with personal energy expenditure plus thirty minutes on either end) for typically five to ten clean waves. If the waves are clean. That's about two gallons of gas for an hour of surfing. I think. That is, I'm pretty awful at basic arithmetic. This week I have made that exact trek, more or less, three times. Probably seven or eight gallons of gas and six hours of traveling time for maybe twenty tiny waves, I mean tiny, waves. If, for the next three months of "summer" I can get to Long Beach to surf at the same rate, that's 72 gallons of gas and 72 hours of driving a car for give or take 40 hours of surfing. If I catch five waves every session, 180 waves. I think. I am terrible at basic arithmetic. Besides spewing car fumes, I am burning the rubber on my tires, going through quarts of oil and other shitty car fluids and using up some small amount of electricity to make an espresso every morning. Doesn't matter that I won't use the BP near my apartment anymore.
In the end though, it's hard to really quantify how this compares to some other surfer's environmental impact. This is 72 gallons and 72 hours and quarts of bile more polluting than if I could either pony up and get comfortable backside shortboarding in a pack hassling over a single peak, or giving up altogether. If I could really get my act together, I would take the A out there and make a real statement. Not totally sure what time I'd have to get up for that, the connecting JMZ doesn't come all that often at four in the morning.
All I can muster is a comfort in the knowledge that I am also alleviating stress, broadening my human capacities and setting a fine example of dedicated consideration of a lifestyle for my son. I am happier, and as long as I don't get skin cancer or get into a car accident, I'm healthier.
And really, nothing exists in a bubble.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Presented by Socrates Sculpture Park, in partnership with Alan Wanzenburg Architect/ Design, The Noguchi Museum and R 20th Century.
Now in its second year, Makers Market is a premier forum to experience the convergence of design and contemporary craft in an open air marketplace presented in a series of large tents within Socrates Sculpture Park's spring exhibition Cityscape.
Collectors and enthusiasts will have the opportunity to meet approximately 40 American makers and shop a broad selection of skillfully crafted one of kind objects, including: ceramics, turned wood bowls, glassware, motorcycles, knives, tableware, jewelry, furniture, lighting, and more.