Thursday, August 11, 2022

For Once, the Cow Wins.

 I engaged in a lot of gnashing of teeth as to my route home and time of departure. The decision, of course, depended on where I'd be eating on the way home. The choices were BBQ lunch in Salinas (which for me means pig), meaning a later departure time or breakfast at any place along the way that served chicken fried steak (cow). I wanted to get home so the early time won out. 

I stopped in Gilroy and had breakfast at OD's Kitchen. I was the very first customer. They serve a huge steak. Very tasty, nice breading.  I had to work on finishing what was on my plate. It was a friendly environment. It was very busy by the time I left. 

You know this, but I'll say it anyway…variations on a given dish is what makes it interesting. It is not like I love chicken fried steak, it is just fun to see how people prepare it. I have found a lot of variation at these establishments. It may be a while before I try any more. I tend to order this dish only when I'm on the road. Part of that is because I don't usually eat a traditional breakfast meal when I'm in town. I certainly don't go out and pay for it. Thus I'm looking forward to the next road trip. Unfortunately there's not one on the calendar right now. 

I stopped at a couple of produce stands. Another thing I do on these trips is try to purchase some local honey, especially if it is new to me. For example, on a previous trip I found some pistachio honey at a stand between Bakersfield and Coalinga. I'd never had that. It has the most subtle flavor I've experienced in a honey. There were honeys on this trip, but not unique and very expensive, so I didn't buy any. (Honey is not cheap these days.) But there were a couple of good signs asking you to behave.


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Sliced, smoked beef or ground beef? (06/30/22)

 The big day - June 30, Francis Wong, co-founder with Jon Jang of Asian Improv aRts, retires as CEO on the organization's 35th year. He has a lot to be proud of. Having started in the Bay Area, it is now a national organization with a mid-western branch in Chicago, headed by Tatsu Aoki, with outposts in several other cities, like Los Angeles, represented by yours truly. Its record company, Asian Improv Records has a substantial catalog primarily of Asian American led ensembles performing improvised music that combines musical traditions with the African American improvising tradition. I am proud to be a part of this organization that has supported and influenced my work. 

Because I was performing, there are not a lot of photos of the performance. Someday I may post a page of shots by the official photographers, but not today. Right now I'm just trying to catch this journal up. What you'll see are shots of my walk to lunch. There is a shot of two women on the street. When I walked by them, I realized that the one nearest the curb is proselytizing; the one in the pink is having none of it. But it was all very friendly. 

When I started this walk, my goal was another burger joint. But on the way I passed Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen. And I did pass it. By about two blocks. During that time there was an internal struggle going on - do I really want another burger when there's a Jewish deli right behind me. The deli won. Of the show, there are just shots of Karl, Lewis, Tatsu, Kioto, Francis, Vinay and Melody. Like I said, I was busy. Then some shots from the dinner in Chinatown (different restaurant than the night before). How the chop stick got into Tatsu's shoe, none of us know.

A Walk and a Ride (06/29/2022)

 The next day was the sound check/rehearsal for the big show. At dinner the previous night, my video camera told me the SD card was full. I didn't believe it then and I don't believe it now. Just the same, I had to act on the information. I fired up my MUNI app and prepared for a trip to BestBuy before rehearsal. The museum was on the way to the bus stop, so I got a good shot of it. I also ran across a Farmer's Market adjacent to the museum and had to walk through there, going and coming back. On the return trip I purchased some dumplings for a snack. There is a photo of them in brown paper wrapping. These had the thickest dough I've ever experienced for a dumpling. So thick that I discarded most of it and just ate the insides. This left room for a real lunch at Arbor, one of those boarding on ritzy spots near the hotel. Finally there are a couple of shots of the sister/brother duo in Francis' ensemble. I took no pictures of the bus ride. It is too tight in those buses to be taking photos of folks you don't know. I will say that if you think L.A. buses are scuzzy,  take a ride on some of the lines that serve downtown San Francisco. Like here, for the most part it seems that the only people that ride them are the people that have to.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Banquet (06/28/2022)

 Got to S.F. in the early evening. Not bad time actually, since I hopped over to I-5 after breakfast in Taft. But to get to I-5, I took some two-lanes that were new to me. Always exciting. I will have to spend a night in Taft just so I can drive around those roads. Anyway…Vinay Patel, the administrative guru of Asian Improv aRts, met me at the hotel. This time I actually stayed in the city. Usually I stay in South San Francisco. I prefer it down there. I don't like the whole driving/parking/rail trollies in the middle of the street/steep hill thing, that is San Francisco. I don't have to mess with that in the south. And it is fairly easy to get into the city from there. But this trip was for the 35th anniversary celebration of the organization, the venue was the Asian Art Museum which is within walking distance of the hotel. Spontaneous group hangs are easier if everybody is within a few miles of each other. It was the Inn at the Opera. Nice old property, a block from City Hall, a couple from the Opera and Davies Hall, three blocks from the Museum and surrounded by some fairly hip eateries. Actually they seemed very hip. Definitely pricy. Once I was comfortably unpacked in my room, had the car parked in the nearby structure (no on premise parking), Vinay and I headed to the big 35th Anniversary banquet already in progress in Chinatown. There were folks there from Chicago, I was the Los Angeles contingent and of course the bulk of people were Bay Area folks. 

The photos below are not captioned. It is a shame, but Blogspot gets incredibly funky when I add captions. It is not worth the bother. Sorry.