Wednesday, February 28, 2007

hot tamales

went for a weekend shopping stroll for my living room picnic last weekend and stopped off at the chiracunese deli first. had the strong scent of oiled cod, one of my portugese favorites, but nothing that I would be preparing for the picnic.

kept walking east to paraiso tropicale, this little salvadorean/mexican grocer that I first heard of when I worked at blue plate. lots of wholesale pableno and corn tortillas, but on the weekends, they have hot eats to go, including mexican and salvadorean style tamales, this fresh yucca salad, and other assorted treats. this weekend in particular, they had this special roasted pork that was so specially, refreshing and sharply seasoned. I wish I could remember the name, but alas, it was all hand-written and quickly said and it all eludes me.

had to stop at the popular bakery on the way back, the new location of popular that's pretty fancy, and picked up two dozen crusty buns and another dozen of the egg tarts.

poked my head into the balken deli before crossing the street, and it smells so good in there. all their meats are smoked in house and the aroma is unmistakable. also on the weekends, though unadvertised as the girl behind the counter told me, they roast whole pigs and sheeps and customers call in to pre-order their sections. I got away with a bit of the left over lamb ribs, along with some nitrate-free all natural smoked pork tenderloin, this macedonian vegetable spread that's similar to the eggplant/red pepper mixture I normally go for, but a bit spicier, and will be back to get one of their frozen feta cheese pies that would probably stop a whole village from pooping ever again.

the picnic was under attended, the tamales didn't even come out until after midnight, and let's not forget the authentic pork rinds and black bean dip, but I didn't mind eating tamales and awesome sandwiches all week.

Friday, February 16, 2007

"take a right at the bat"

I like this photo because a) I didn't have to stand on the corner and take it b) it really captures the feeling, my feelings, towards the bat.

This is right down the street from me now, and so the way I find home is to "take a right at the bat."

as far as public art and sculpture goes, I don't think this counts. It's supposedly a symbol of sports championship in a city that doesn't even have a professional baseball team, erected on an avenue that has seen its glory days long gone, and in a district known more for violence towards women and homelessness than anything else. A baseball bat to symbolize all that? We can make it fit, I guess, but really? what is this bat engaging the city with? seems to me more of an excess of materials that luckily found a home and tax payer's money to pay itself off.

Fun fact: the 15m bat rotates at a push of a button. why you need to rotate a giant bat on the corner of a busy intersection, I don't know. but at least it works, unlike that phoney windpipe on the last corner I lived by. what is it about giant steel and aluminum corner sculptures that draws me to move near them?