Hopefully, not affectively ineffectual --- since February
- now with product placement!

I've been sitting here eating some Vava Lutenica (Va-va-voom, people!) on some Falcone's Flatbread, and reading some nice feedback about the content in this page; thanks very much. I would continue authoring this stuff regardless of the feedback, because doing this satisfies a life-long urge to make my contribution to this world. (But you haven't been reading this page for 'serious', measured content, now have you, so I'll soft-pedal the earnest verbiage)

Anyhoo, it's a sultry Summer day, and not Eva Gardner sultry. (Yes, gentle reader, you might say that I am 'dating myself' with the citation of that name, but I always hasten to add that 'dating yourself' is generally a formula for a good night out, as you don't really need to engage in much conversation (but when you do, you finish each others' sentences), you only have to pay for one meal or movie ticket, and you ALWAYS end up in bed). On muggy days like this, I am grateful for air conditioning, and always make sure the birdbaths are clean and hospitable to the many birds who shelter nearby. They rely on us, once they become habituated to visiting places for food or drink. (Those robust creatures can seemingly drink any quality water; witness how often they are seen drinking out of puddles in the street, with their oil slicks and mud).

Knock it off, Preppie Jerks
(Boy, that title could preface a NUMBER of articles, right crunchy fellow citizens?) Well, this particular screed is a tiny scream of indignation at the proposed destruction of some old growth trees by Seton Hall Prep, as detailed ably on Baristanet here.

New Place to Check Out
We recently visited Toast, near Taj Palace and Whole Foods. Reasonable prices, nice portions, looks like it's already popular, and I think deservedly so, although the noise level was quite high. They serve breakfast all day! The wait staff 'gets it', where so many do not, and they are quite obviously eager to please. The exterior has a color scheme and lighting arrangement that at night makes the facade of the place look like a piece of toast. Toasty!

Lalezar has Belly Dancing
In addition to its excellent food, this Turkish restaurant across from Whole Foods has entertainment. I'll try to get back to ya with some detail soon. Regarding Whole Foods: I think I heard that the plan was to close the Montclair location, once they got the West Orange location near Pal's Cabin running, but we stubborn Montclairians continue to frequent the place, and why not, as we can walk to it, the aisles are less crowded; it was nice to hit the store for wine or beer though, in the old days. I sometimes miss that.

New York
My nephew and his girlfriend came up from North Carolina and I met them in midtown. We walked down Seventh Avenue (saw Amy Sedaris near FIT) over to Fifth near the Flatiron Building on 23rd. I told them about the '23 Skiddoo' meme and got a great picture of that iconic building, the one that Stieglitz helped make famous. We caught a cab on our way to the East Village, and a show starring a good friend, Karen Ciaramella, at NYU. I was going to photograph her works, and include it in an interview, but alas, I left my camera in the cab. I hope some one gets some value out of it, as it is out of my life now, but no worries. We checked out the Tenement Museum, Katz's Deli, the Ground Zero site, and Chinatown with its crowded street scene, ducks hanging in windows, and trinket stands. I can't begin to count for you how many people smilingly approached us with DVD's they were cautiously selling out of bags, and couldn't help briefly musing about the nature and future of intellectual property rights in the digital age. We went to Excellent Dumpling House on Lafayette, my preferred eating place whenever I'm there in the area, then walked along the streets of nearby  Little Italy, whose formerly sizeable extent has been encroached upon by the Asian immigrants over time as second- and third-generation Italian-Americans moved elsewhere. In fact, as you may know, there had to be an arrangement struck between the communities so that the encroachment was kept at bay, in order to retain some semblance of the Little Italy of yore (or 'yo', I guess).