Day: February 5th, 2008

Super Duper Fat Tuesday

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008 | All Things, Eats, Friends

Is it still only Tuesday? So far this week, there’s already been song and dance, thrilling victory and joyous celebration… and tonight, coinciding with Super Duper Tuesday and the traditional excess associated with Mardi Gras, our long-planned, pre-Chinese New Year feast at Chinatown’s Amazing 66.

A dozen friends, new and old, gathered in the restaurant’s lower level. Early in, it was established that we would place ourselves (willingly, happily) in SL’s capable ordering hands, and just eat whatever food was placed before us this evening. So began the parade of deliciousness — off and on the menu. A platter of batter-fried seafood, sauteed pea shoots, pan-fried noodles with seafood, braised E-Fu noodles with black mushroom (for longevity), and this, the first of two restaurant specialties that required advance ordering: Short Rib Beef in a Pumpkin. Yes: that’s short rib beef! In a pumpkin! Was ever there more a delightful combination of words spoken? The dish was brought out to the table in one glorious piece, with chunks of steaming, lightly curry-spiced meat exploding tantalizingly out the top of the hollowed out squash. Our glossy-tressed waiter, brandishing a large chef’s knife, made quick work of the soft, pumpkin flesh before our eyes.

Short Rib Beef in a Pumpkin

Salad Walnut Prawns — a classic dish made up of the seemingly strange combination of deep-fried jumbo prawns, slathered in a sweet mayonnaise, and laid over a bed of dressed mixed fruits, broccoli and candied walnuts. Tasty, though.

Walnut Shrimp

And the second show-stopper of the evening: the House Special Crispy Chicken Stuffed with Sticky Rice. Essentially, a whole chicken, deboned and de-…fleshed(?), crammed with a combination of sausage-studded sticky rice, and then deep-fried and meticulously reassembled into the general shape a chicken, albeit a rather flat one. Head included, of course — to symbolize wholeness and togetherness.

House Special Crispy Chicken

There were more dishes, selected for their symbolic auspiciousness: another chicken, roasted, and topped with preserved vegetables. A whole steamed flounder; the Chinese word for “fish” is a homonym for “abundance”. And an oyster casserole, to bring in “good things” for the coming year.

Amazing 66 spread

We ate our fill — or perhaps just beyond — and finished with a round of orange wedges (for wealth) and bowls of red bean tong shui (sweet dessert soup). How a few of us still managed after all that to squeeze in a post-dinner trip to the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory can best be attributed to a new year’s miracle.

Though when it comes to such temptations, I align myself with New York‘s Insatiable Critic Gael Greene, who declares quite rightly: “I shall never trust anyone who doesn’t love ice cream.

Chinese New Year dragons

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A Giant parade

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008 | All Things, Sports

The entire city was still on a high from the New York Giants’ stunning win over the imperfect New England Patriots on Sunday night — a game seen by 97.5 million viewers, the most in Super Bowl history.

And now, on to the celebration! (People of Boston, in the meantime, cried.) On my commute into the office this morning, the subways were crammed with rowdy, banner-wielding, face-painted, blue-jersey clad fans — more than a few of whom looked suspiciously young — all heading into the Financial District for the Giants victory parade through the Canyon of Heroes.

An estimated 3 million football fans attended the ticker tape parade which began at 11AM at Battery Place and culminated with a 1PM City Hall Plaza ceremony, where winning Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented keys to the city to the team’s players, coaches and owners. Streets around the downtown parade route were closed beginning at 7AM to accommodate early-arriving spectators, some of whom began staking out spots along Broadway the night before.

The forecast was for showers on Tuesday morning, but after a few light sprinkles, our Giant heroes were deluged mostly with 50 tons of confetti and shredded paper that rained down on the donated floats. The bells at Trinity Church rang for 45 minutes — mostly drowned out by the cheering crowds — and Trinity’s rector Reverend Dr. James H. Cooper, clad in a Giants cap, offered his blessing over the procession.

Giants parade

The Giants’ parade was the city’s first ticker tape celebration since the Yankees won the 2000 World Series, and the first ever for a Super Bowl championship. Most significantly, this morning’s parade was the first to take place in the Financial District since September 11.

Giants parade

Giants parade

Super Bowl XLII MVP Eli Manning and the Vince Lombardi trophy:

Giants parade

Of course, although the event is called a “ticker tape” parade, financial institutions no longer use ticker tape to record stock prices, as the ticker tape machines became obsolete in the 1960s. The streams of papers are more likely these days to be of the bathroom tissue variety, unfurled from oversized institutional rolls swiped from the restrooms of office buildings lining Broadway.

On the topic of defunct technology, it seems that Polaroid has quietly halted production of its signature instant cameras and film. Does that mean that years from now, kids will have no understanding of what it means to “shake it like a Polaroid picture“? Or will the phrase continue to retain relevance a laYou spin me right round, baby, right round like a record, baby, right round, round, round“?

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