I’m Voting this Year: Will You?

Now, Honest Gil is a candidate I can support in this year’s elections and I don’t even need to move to Kentucky to support him. Greed and dishonesty have no geographical borders for big money. Who knows, I might be able to buy an Ambassadorship for $100,000 or so: I have been told it is a great way to the learn a foreign language.

For that silly minority that prefers Democracy to corruption, please visit Represent.Us and register your dissent. I did and now I am on the “No Fly” list.

More food articles will be coming soon – immediately after Hamas honors a ceasefire.

No time to do things right, but always time to do them again

Sometime ago, I wrote an article entitled “I’m not dumb, I’m just not into thinking.” The article was written to celebrate the life of Karen Black, an ill-fated actress who had recently died.  Karen was best known for her role as Rayette in the film Five Easy Pieces.  In the New York Times obituary, Karen Black comments on her role as Rayette:

“Certainly Rayette can just be. I dig her, she’s not dumb, she’s just not into thinking. I didn’t have to know anybody like her to play her. I mean, I’m like her, in ways. Rayette enjoys things as she sees them, she doesn’t have to add significance. She can just love the dog, love the cat. See? There are many things she does not know, but that’s cool, she doesn’t intrude on anybody else’s trip. And she’s going to survive. Do you understand me?”

thinkingNow I have always that  Rayette was just a caricature of the type of bimbos that hang around oil rigs and honky-tonk bars in Texas and Oklahoma, but clearly there are a lot more “Rayettes” in circulation than I had anticipated.   It now appears that one of the foundations of philosophical thought: “I think, therefore I am”  no longer resonates with a significant percentage of our society.    (Editor’s Note:  I’ll leave it to the political pundits on TV to determine whether a ” lack of thinking” favors Republicans or Democrats).

According to an article just published in the New York Times entitled “No Time to Think,” scientific studies suggests that people tend to do most anything to avoid introspection:

The results surprised him (sic a researcher) and have created a stir in the psychology and neuroscience communities. In 11 experiments involving more than 700 people, the majority of participants reported that they found it unpleasant to be alone in a room with their thoughts for just 6 to 15 minutes.

Moreover, in one experiment, 64 percent of men and 15 percent of women began self-administering electric shocks when left alone to think. These same people, by the way, had previously said they would pay money to avoid receiving the painful jolt.

It didn’t matter if the subjects engaged in the contemplative exercise at home or in the laboratory, or if they were given suggestions of what to think about, like a coming vacation; they just didn’t like being in their own heads.

Now I can see why many people would not like to spend time with themselves:  I am  boring! – but contemplating your navel is something that is quite therapeutic, particularly if you are sitting in a sauna.  I try to see the best in people even if they are Yankee fans, but sometimes you wonder if many of these people have had an original thought since High School.

When I was in the Army, we had this expression that covered about 90% of command decisions:   “We never have time to do things right, but we always have time to do them again.”  I am constantly reminded of this expression when I watch diplomats practice shuttle diplomacy to arrange “cease fires” in the Middle East which have the shelf-life of milk at a Supermarket.   I realize that Wolf Blitzer takes these negotiations seriously, but should I?

Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges

Inn at Pound Ridge

Some 20 years ago, our family dined at the Inn at Pound Ridge for some important occasion such as Easter or Mother’s Day. Pound Ridge is about 15 miles from Greenwich, just across the New York border, and a number of celebrities call this exclusive and somewhat remote area “home.” I don’t recall the menu that day, but I do remember that the restaurant was loud and that the food was relatively unappetizing. We haven’t been back since.

A friend of ours suggested that we might want to give the Inn at Pound Ridge another shot since Jean-George had taken over the kitchen and that the food and service was considerably better. It certainly has, but the noise at the Inn is still deafening – even for lunch!

Restaurant at the Inn at Pound Ridge

Now, I am always intrigued by what Jean-George is up to in the kitchen since he plates well, the food is innovative and the service excellent. The meal we were served was no exception. Now Sheila is of the opinion that you should never accept the table that is first offered you and we finally settled on a corner table “far from the maddening crowd” of chatty women celebrating someone’s birthday, engagement or promotion. (Editor’s Note: I apologize if this sounds sexist as men are equally boisterous. Nevertheless, men have the good sense to duel for attention in a pub rather than a fine restaurant.)

As expected in a Jean-George restaurant, the service was impeccable: knowledgeable and personable waiters and a “wait-staff” that kept your water glass filled, re-folded the napkins if you happened to excuse yourself and always asked for permission to clear the table between courses. It is unusual to find this level of service in more than 5% of the restaurants today.

I suspect that the menu changes often at the Inn depending on the season, but the menu is extensive and there is plenty that would tempt even the most constipated gourmand. For appetizers, Sheila selected a delicious yellow-fin tuna sushi which was served over crusty rice and a tasty sauce with a hint of hot peppers. I settle for lightly-battered calamari served with a creamy Yuzo and sesame sauce. Both appetizers were excellent.

For a main course, I chose the hake served over mashed potatoes with broccoli. As I remarked to Sheila, it was the best broccoli I have ever eaten and the combination of flavors were exquisite. Sheila had a delightful hanger steak sandwich served with arugula in pita bread. It too was excellent.

Our desserts were a bit of a disappointment, and I am sure that both of us wished we had ordered Jean-George’s famous salted caramel ice cream served with popcorn and peanuts that we so enjoyed at his ABC Kitchen.

All-in-all a delightful dining experience and we will certainly return.