Long Island Recollections: Davidburke & Donatella and The Key of the Kingdom

On Sunday night, Shawn’s friend Henry took Bob and me to a restaurant in Manhattan called davidburke & donatella. Let me say that this was one of the best meals I’ve had in a very long time. For appetizers, Henry started with the “Grains of Paradise” crusted beef carpaccio with crispy rock shrimp, pickled honshimeji mushrooms and kabayaki, which was my favorite.  I had the lobster-lemongrass bisque with a thai style lobster stick (it looked like a stick of dynamite) and curried apple essence, which didn’t resemble lobster bisque at all, but still tasted wonderful. Bob had the parfait of yellowfin tuna & salmon tartares with American Sturgeon caviar, which Henry really liked. The entrees were all spectacular. Henry had an amazing “Bronx style” filet mignon of veal with a butternut squash-vanilla purée, cipollini onions and baby carrots. Bob had a delicious and subtle handmade cavatelli and braised short ribs with wild mushrooms, mushroom chips and truffle mousse which was Henry’s favorite. I had the bacon wrapped Muscovy duck with roasted mission figs, celery root purée and pomegranate jus, which Bob loved. For dessert, we shared the butterscotch panna cotta with curried cocoa gelée, the patented David Burke’s Cheesecake Lollipop Tree with bubblegum whipped cream and raspberries, and a three part chocolate/banana confection, all of which were spectacular.

Another great thing about this restaurant was the artwork. The prints on the walls were all taken from Tony Meeuwissen’s collection of transformation playing cards known as The Key of the Kingdom.

 Here is a partial selection of the entire set:




Long Island Recollections: What Shakespeare Teaches us of Superheroes.

This weekend I had a great conversation with my good friend Ellis who is a tremendous fan of the show Smallville, which is about Superman as a teenager. We got to talking about the publication histories of major characters, the intents of the characters’ creators, and the effect that time had had on the development of the depth and significance of great characters such as Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man. I mentioned that I believe there are probably a finite number of basic archetypal characters from which all superheroes are derived. Ellis pointed out that these three in particular represented three basic archetypes: Superman, the hero who is born with super powers; Batman, the hero who has no super powers; and Spider-Man, the hero who suddenly gets super powers at some point in his life. Later that weekend, I remembered a line from Shakespeare‘s Twelfth Night.

“…some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”

Back in the day, William Shakespeare keenly observed that among heroes, some such as Superman are born great, some such as Batman and Iron Man achieve their own greatness, and some such as Spider-Man and the Hulk have greatness literally thrust upon them.

More on this later…

Long Island Recollections: The Sweet Caddy

Bob and I got to LaGuardia and subsequently the Avis counter only to discover that they did not have the Lincoln crossover that Bob had SPECIFICALLY requested and CONFIRMED for that evening. That and some completely inept costomer service made Bob a very unhappy young man. Fortunately, some frowning and irritation and sharp comments on Bob’s part seems to have gotten us a sweet Cadillac STS. Hadn’t been in one until this weekend. Super ride, very comfortable. GPS was iffy, but it may have been nerfed by Avis.

Long Island Recollections: The Pearl Cream Commercial

My friend Bob and I travelled to Long Island this weekend for our friends Shawn and Christina’s wedding. While stuck in traffic on the L.I.E., after doing a quite funny impression of a sassy Chinese lady, Bob recalled this gem from the 1908s. This one’s for you, Bob.

Music Video: Dick in a Box – Uncensored (Andy Samberg & Justin Timberlake)

Man, I had forgotten how incredibly funny this was.

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The 7 and under crowd

This weekend I found myself having fun catching fireflies with the seven and under crowd while the adults hung out inside and talked and drank and laughed.  Sometimes I find that I’m more comfortable with children than I am with people my own age. I think it may be that children aren’t afraid to ask certain questions about the world, and I don’t mind discussing those questions.  Adults seldom have the patience for conversations that start with “Which bugs like it when you scream?” or “…he’s half Thing, half Superman, half Human Torch, half Iron Man, half Hulk, half Invisible Woman, and half Spider-Man.” I remember writing once, when I was in high school or college,

“Let me be a child forever. Then I’ll be ready.”

A few years after I wrote that, I thought the statement was made out of my desire to remain immature and avoid responsibility, but I realize again the spirit in which I first wrote those words. I’m at a point in my life at which I am comfortable and confident in my abilities as an adult (which is not to say that I don’t have room for improvement) AND I’m not ashamed to wonder about the world as a child would, even if it makes people at the party wonder if I’m having a good time. I really am having a good time.

MahnaMahna!! (or more accurately Mah Nà Mah Nà)

I LOVED it when the muppets did this, and it’s now on Cake‘s CD B-Sides and Rarities.  Apparently, the song was originally part of the soundtrack of a late 1960s Italian pseudo-documentary about Swedish porn.  I think that’s really really funny.  Anyway, enjoy this video, and thanks again to Happilykim’s Weblog for this.