Dragon Boat Bites Back

Recovering from a rather freak injury Sunday when P and I went to the Dragon Boat festival in Flushing Meadow Park. P got a hold of some chicken and rice (the Carribean kind, not Hainan ‘chicken rice’), and I was chomping down on the drumstick when part of the bone fractured and ended up embedded in the roof of my mouth. It took about half an hour to get the bleeding to stop, but P’s medical training came to the rescue.

It was pretty sore for the last couple of days, but it’s now starting to heal up. I have to eat soft foods for the moment — I tried to have some salad today, and you wouldn’t believe how painful ribs of lettuce can be when it hits the wound. Using a straw can be a bit of a problem, because in order to position the straw to not hit the injured area, it sometimes ends up squirting the liquid into my lungs. I’m seeing the dentist anyway this Saturday, so I’ll let him look at it. At least it’s not hurting too much anymore.

The Dragon Boating wasn’t that good this time either. I’ve never seen this happen before in competition, but the referees actually called a foul. Someone in the middle lane dropped their oar in the water. That immediately caused the boat to do a U-turn because of the uneven stroking. One of the refs raised a red flag, then turned their boat around to recover the oar so they could row back to shore.

Weekend Roundup

Hitting 4 out of New York’s 5 boroughs this weekend… I actually published this on Sunday, but I couldn’t get it out of some funky mode…

Friday: Bought 40 pounds of kal bi (Korean short rib) from Assi Plaza. The stuff comes rock solid. People were doing double takes as we rolled out of the place with the stuff. Since we had an ice chest, we had enough time to go out for dinner.

We went to Pine Garden Restaurant, 141-43 Northern Blvd., for Korean. It’s a very homey neighborhood place, not like those massive BBQ emporiums such as Kam Gum San. We ordered the Nokcha-yangnyum Galbi for the BBQ, which is black angus rib marinated with the house special green tea sauce. It had a unique sweet taste, and the meat was very lean. We also had Jop Chae and ManDu Goo Yi (pan fried dumplings). Excellent – recommended.

When we went home, P made a big pot of chilli for the picnic the next day – that took about 3 hours before we went to sleep.

Saturday: We went to Costco with a bunch of other people from Asian Alumni associations. We walked out of there with $1,000 worth of picnic stuff – 5 shopping carts. Kalbi, fish balls and the chilli were a big hit. We’ll have to cut out more hamburgers and get more drinks though. And NYU wins the tug-of-war for the first year.

That night, I spent a couple of hours to get rid of the kim chee smell out of the back of the zip car. Wow, that stuff gets really ripe. Note to self: kim chee gets really dangerous when it gets warm – the active cultures puts off a lot of gas that causes the bottle to leak.

Sunday: Tiger Beer sponsored a Singapore Chili Crab festival in Brooklyn DUMBO – I had two plates this year. The sauce was much milder and more coconut flavored this year, which I preferred. We then made a b-line to P’s sisters place near the GW bus station to walk the doggies. We got them a snow-cone (without flavor) which they really enjoyed.

Later we went to Galapogos Art Center in Williamsburg to see the Sulu Series, a monthly menagerie of Asian American performing artists curated by Reggie Cabico from NYU APA. It featured a number of spoken word acts, guitarists, and a rapper that needed an audience to film his new music video.

We went because of Wendy Ip, who was performing and was by far the best act. Wendy’s song “Our Little Room” is now my current favorite. I though she had great technique on keyboard and original lyrics – completely different than everybody else with the sterotypical lone guitar strapped around their necks. She’s something between Carole King and Carole Bayer Sager. I think it was in an interview between Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello where Bacharach said “you don’t have to apologize for being harmonic”. No apologies – Wendy Ip is Recommended.

Afterwards, we went to Fornino, Michael Aylub’s pizza laboratory down the street and around the corner. Brickoven pizza with organic ingredients works well. Herbs are grown in the back yard, so it is as fresh as it could be. It is slightly thicker than the only other pizza in Brooklyn in the same league, Grimaldi’s. Score: toppings better at Fornino, bread better at Grimaldi’s. Fornino has more room for seating, doesn’t have lines around the block and takes credit cards, which are some points in their favor. So overall, a slight edge to Fornino. However, Grimaldi’s is within walking distance from the house. Both recommended.

Flashdance, What a Feeling

Saturday was an event-packed APA fest, and probably would have been a logistical nightmare if it were anywhere other than New York. Bright and early that morning I was helping out a moot court workshop for law students in midtown. P- was doing errands, and I met her at the Pathmark in Chinatown with the Zipcar.

After a flurry of SMS’s, voicemails and phone exchanges, we met up with champion blogger MJ visiting from San Francisco. While on a personal hiatus, she’s been travelling across North America and hooking up with bloggers across the country. I told her she should really be writing a book about her trip.

After navigating back from Brooklyn over the Brooklyn Bridge up the FDR Drive really quickly, it took a silly amount of time to get across Houston because of construction. MJ was handed off to us from Uberchick and we navigated towards Flushing. After missing the Queensboro Bridge exit, we came back down from 96th street. Then we went along Northern Boulevard over the hills, through the curves, and into Flushing and the muni lot.

Dinner was at Mimi’s Shabu-Shabu, which is a uniquely American way of having hot pot – instead of the entire group sharing the same pot of simmering broth, each diner gets their own mini-hotpot to operate as they want. Individuality triumphs! For the protein, MJ went all American beef, P- went for the lamb, and I went for the surf & turf shrimps and beef.
Because of the late start and missing the exit to the bridge, we had to hussle through gale force winds to get to Flushing Town Hall for a performance of Slant, an Asian American performance group. They reprised their original production from 1995, which explored Asian men and masculinity/emasculinity. The group has had a long connection with NYU, so I’ve seen many of their productions, but never saw their first one, so I was happy to see this reprise. I also bumped into a guy, P, who I knew from law school, but I was just having a senior moment and couldn’t remember his name for about 15 minutes. He turned out to be the brother in law of one of the group’s members.

After that, we ran through the cold back to the car, and zoomed back to CBGB’s, the famed club that’s due to close in the next year after arranging a temporary reprive from escalating rents. I probably hadn’t been there in like 15 years, back in my club promoting era.

MJ’s frend’s band Dogs of Winter was performing at 11:30 PM. We got there a good 1 1/2 hours early, but spent the next 45 minutes trying to find parking. I finally found a spot in front of the Blue Man Group theater.

We suffered through a really pathetic warmup act (you kind of take competent drumming and split jumps for granted, but when the guy can’t keep time, and the lead guitar had to do everything in his power to avoid crashing into the bass or the drum set when landing, you know they need help). We were much relieved when Dogs of Winter showed up. DoW’s set had a variety of unrequited alt-punk and a Roy Orbison cover. Frontman Brian is a tall lanky guy with big guns for arms and good chops with his axes. P- got his autograph after the performance.
After leaving MJ to the whims of the Dogs of Winter (and we are having a dog of a winter this weekend), we went to Oh Taisho! on St. Mark’s Place for a quick midnight bite, which included ramen, some skewers, and roasted rice balls (yum!!). Afterwards, we found the car (cold and still in one piece) and rode off into Brooklyn, being the youngest and oldest we have been in a long time.