Beer: Rare Vos
Brewer: Brewery Ommegang
Rating: *** (7.8 of 10)
Comments: A yummy beer enjoyed on draft at the Doubleday Cafe in Cooperstown, NY. A golden amber brew with a floral aroma, the beer has a bready, malt flavor with spices and hints of fruit, like apricot. A very well-crafted and quaffable beer with ineffable qualities.
Beer: Moo Thunder Stout
Brewer: Butternuts Beer & Ale
Source: 12 oz. can
Rating: ** (6.5 of 10)
Comments: It was a dark & foamy beer, with an earthy aroma and a pleasantly malty flavor. The head dissipates quickly. Not a bad stout for a relatively low price and poured out of a can!
Author: Katharine Greider
Title: The archaeology of home : an epic set on a thousand square feet of the Lower East Side
Publication Info: New York : PublicAffairs, c2011.
Summary/Review: With much anticipation, I received this book as an advanced reading copy through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program. Greider and her family lived on two floors of a refurbished tenement house on East 7th Street in Manhattan until a home inspector discovered that the building was unstable and on the verge of collapse. She researched the house’s history to deal with contractors and lawyers and from that grew this fascinating microhistory. Starting with pre-colonial native tribes through Dutch and English settlement, the construction of the tenement in 1845 and all it’s residents through the troubled era of the 70’s & 80’s, Greider details the lives and times of the people who have lived on this spot and their neighbors. It’s a detailed look at the use of one plot of land that touches on history, archaeology, ethnography and sociology. Amidst the history is Greider’s own story of renovation, lawsuits, and displacement which I did not like so much, in fact it uncomfortably reminded me of Under the Tuscan Sun (one of my least favorite books). This should be a book that I love in that it covers many things I’m obsessed with – history, New York, immigration, social life, urbanism – but alas I just like this book. I had to put this book down several times while reading it because I just couldn’t get into it Greider’s writing style. Nevertheless I salute her brilliant premise and extensive research in creating this book.
“The typical Manhattan abode simply lacks the square footage necessary to organize interior space according to expectations. What you get instead is a commingling of functions that are normally segregated and an intimacy some find inappropriate or uncomfortable. Children share a bedroom, or even sleep in their parent’s room. Often there’s only one bathroom. In a few of the oldest tenements, the bathtub is still in the kitchen. People often eat in their living rooms. Entertaining in these circumstances is almost unavoidably casual. If a couple who lives in a tiny walk-up invite you to dinner, you will witness the ferocious labor required to prepare a hot meal in a galley kitchen, to drag out a folding table while kicking toys out of the way, and then to tidy up the blitzkrieg that results. It is all very unlovely and close; acquire the taste and nothing could be nicer.” – p. 80
Recommended books: New York Calling by Marshall Berman and Brian Berger and Five Points by Tyler Anbinder.
This Sunday, I made my annual pilgrimage to Flushing, NY to see the Atlanta Braves take on the New York Mets at Citi Field. My Braves fan friend Mike was unable to attend so I enjoyed the pleasure of watching the game with another Mets fan, Chris. Tickets for the game came courtesy of another Mets fan and ticket plan holder Sharon.
So these were good seats, right in centerfield, just five rows back from the wall. It meant that Chris and I were in direct sunlight until about the 8th inning so it’s a good thing I brought sunscreen. It wasn’t terribly hot but my arms sweat a lot which seemed to also attract miniscule flying insects. Barring the sun and the bugs, it was a terrific game.
Johan Santana started for the Mets masterfully dominating the Braves for seven innings. Angel Pagan had a great game at the plate and Ike Davis smashed a home run to the batters’ eye in deep centerfield not far from our seat. The Happy Recap for the game ended with the Mets shutting out the Braves 3-0.
The scoreboard kept us up to date on the FIFA World Cup championship game which for some reason was listed as a NL game. Post game I took the LIRR to Penn Station and found a pizza joint where the Hispanic staff and a Buddhist monk were watching the game on Univision. I ate a calzone and saw all of extra time including Spain’s winning goal.