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Restaurant

Positivity

The original post scheduled was too negative. (It comes later today.) Instead for a while, focus on the humor of family. Colleen has two ditzy sisters.

dit·zy: adjective – (informal)- silly or scatterbrained (typically used of a woman). — herein, used in the most loving of ways. (they don’t tune in to my posts…)

Ha ha. I got the best one (sister) though there are times… Let’s be positive and say Colleen is nearest my age. (no, not ditzy, either) Enough! No names please. One, who is unnamed here has eyes bigger than her stomach. Or, rather, I goaded her into ordering a Shepard’s pie off the menu. It arrived, bigger than her head (and her stomach). Close your eyes and pretend she ate and enjoyed it all, (instead of taking it home to discretely trash it later). Eyes? Yes, she, still, ordered dessert, too!

It’s summer! It’s the family gathering of Colleen’s extended clan (at our house!). A good time is had by all. I get to watch and be endlessly entertained. The smiles are simply priceless. Happiness. Family. Joy. … and Shepard”s pie.


oh, Canada!

Another random stroll through the catalog… I came across a biker on the road with a French road sign (Sortie). Oh!? Canada! Did we really eat in this place? Pop-up store in a truck? Gee, memories fade. My pictures are the anchors. I have forgotten a lot of stuff. This would all be lost without a record. It was not memorable? Enough?


Really?!

After my recent fiascos with Mexican food, you would think I would lay off for a while. I don’t much like Mexican food. Sorry! What it lacks in taste it makes up for in hot sauce. But… Colleen remembered burritos. Her fond memory was akin to Proust’s Le Madeleine. Ok! Off we went. The restaurant at the first address from the internet – was closed, permanently. Aha! Someone else has the same idea as me. So, we drove a long long way… far away. And, it was a typical “joint.” The margharita was half the price of that overpriced unnamed place we ate in last. The food was otherwise typical. I love the taco bowl for my salad. What can I say? We had a Mexican meal like all the others I have had in my life. Considering all things, that’s not so bad, sometimes. Ah, the memory of – salsa and chips.


It’s not the beer

… nor the food; nor the music. It’s the one you share it with. Boy, I’m lucky to be married to Colleen (finally). I probably say this too often in this blog. Hey! It’s my posting. We all have doubt. She asks me if I like her. Ha ha. She liked me first. Men! I was so dumb (unconscious) it took me nearly fifty years to figure out she liked me. Thank goodness there is still time to appreciate all of this, and, to share more than a beer. I hope the music never stops.


Come and go

My visitors/followers come and go randomly. There is no requirement or subscription other than my ability to capture your attention and entertain you for a few moments. Family, friends, visitors, and followers all alike will drift in and out. Some of you follow all of my posts… hey! I preaching to the converted. Thanks for being here. I’m musing, randomly, too. Colleen hates Indian food; she told me. We eat Indian food. Standard fare: papadam and condiments. Note: anything that tastes good is bad for you. The essential fact: Colleen loves to eat out. She likes Thompson Island (restaurant). We go to the beach:  I get a selfie; I get a wave shot. Here’s a shot you don’t try while driving; I was stopped at the light. What was this happy couple thinking?? After all the above nonsense: my point? My dear wife faithfully reads my posts. There are dear friends who read too. … and acquaintances. Others: one time visitors; alas. To all of you: thank you. I’m still here and hope to be if should you return another day. Daily thoughts and photographs. Free! That’s the (my) price!


We need a bigger table

This holiday season things are returning to normal in an abnormal state. Covid rages and 1000 people a day die in this country – still. No worries. Everyone is virus fatigued. Masks are off. Well, not quite. We went to a Xmas concert. Certainly, many venues recommend and suggest mask. Many ignore masks if it is optional. Stupid? Ignorant? Or Republican? Eating out? Obviously, you don’t wear a mask. Safe? Who knows? There are a lot of moving parts in a restaurant. It’s a risk. At this time of year, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. And, we need a table that is bigger than just for two.


Food of the year

Things cycle. Many years ago, I became aware of mozzarella sticks for the first time in Hawaii. Ok, odd place, but it was my first memory of encountering this appetizer. We have gone thru tiramisu and so many other things. This year juicy dumplings have been on the radar. You take a bite and hot soup pours out of the dumpling. Be careful not to burn yourself. Ha! It’s a neat trick. Someone in the kitchen is tasked with injecting soup into the dumpling as it goes out to the customer. (Ha ha, it’s not so, but, then again, I ain’t sayin’ how they do it). Scallion pancakes? Yup, they were Dave’s favorite for a long time. Colleen always has trouble splitting her chop sticks open. Go figure. I wonder what dish will dominate our consciousness in the next year.


And… to finish

The Third Category: I have three: good photograph/image; good (illustrative) story; fun. The lines blur. Sometimes we have all three. Art is not limited to the museums, (right after being Van Gogh immersed). Fun is the one you’re with, or, the food we eat. We found a dim sum place in Philly! Duh! They would have a “Chinatown” there – complete with grocery, bakery, and restaurants. Oh boy! Double duh! Well, we had fun – eating. Then, we went to a bakery for roast pork buns – closed, permanently, as in, out of business. The internet is not always up to date. So, we got our char siu bow elsewhere, a Vietnamese bakery?! Ha ha. The story, the art, and fun – it’s better than “sliced bread” today!


$200 Review

Surprises abounded. This is a very popular restaurant. It opened a branch and was immediately swamped with customers out the door and waiting for about an hour for a table. No reservation – taken; just show up and stand around. The food was expensive and not worth the price of admission. How about fajitas for two – $64. Huh? Mike ordered it for himself – steak, chicken, shrimp – 2 of three choices. He asked for all steak. He got an up charge of $26. What?! Yes, they up charged him. A surprise I caught as we split the check and paid the bill. Mexican dinner for four – $200 before tip!! Damn! The frozen margarita? $13. Ok!? Complaining. Nope. Going back? Nope. On so many levels,we drive past the place now and laugh at each other. Agave! They are better than we are and do not hesitate to remind us. Nope, not gonna be there again. But we got some relatives (I don’t like) – to send there.


Non sequiturs

I’m reaching here. Uninspired, lazy, I am in a writing drought after the past month of a plethora of subjects and photographs. So, spin the photo catalog. This series was all nearby one another and disparate in subject. It turns out we don’t see Dave very often at all. This was a visit to Jessop’s Tavern close to the train station where we pick him up when he comes to Delaware. Unfortunately, we got a round of bad service there on our last recent visit and it will be a long time before we ever return. Alas! Ida is not imprisoned. She was running a Memorial Day fundraiser and we saw her behind the fence as we walked up to the event. (That’s my story – to protect the innocent!) Flowers? Gee, I was so much (less) better a few years back. Nature! The rose managed to grow thru the fence and bloom. I am, indeed, heartened to see that I (photographer) am getting better as time passes.


Lazy

… uninspired. I have not added to the posts for a few days. After the Maine trip I have been lax. I think this is Maine too, but, I am too lazy to search the database. Another outing in a restaurant. We were searching for a suitable place and ended up in a hotel. No! We never do hotels unless absolutely pushed. But this was a restaurant hidden in a hotel posing as a stand alone joint. It was ok. But then it was a hotel. There is something about institutional food like a cafeteria is always different than a free-standing restaurant. The food was forgettable. Take no chances, get something familiar. You can’t go too wrong. On this occasion we ate and fortified ourselves for the trip back to the place we were staying.


Live to eat

Some folks eat to live. We don’t. Colleen has great fun in eating out. I got silly. Soup dumplings? The secret: they put a little frozen broth into the dumpling before they seal the wrapper. Ha ha! I was fooled this time. The dumplings came in soup broth. The joke was on me! We ate in a local “classic” diner. … just this once (never again, ever!). I’m looking for this Tibet style store. I remember the statues?! Go figure. They are Mexicali Blues who sell products from Peru. Oh! That’s why I could not find them online no matter how I searched. Ok, it’s not a real lighthouse, but, every day we see one. Hmmm… soup dumplings, I guess I’m lucky I did not get chickin’ N dumplings. No pictures were harmed in this series of non sequiturs. Do I really have chopsticks in my ears?


One that got away

There’s not much to show (the one I missed). We got a spectacular sunset at the lighthouse complete with ‘angel light.’ I got the reflection one more time. Colleen did not come down on the rocks. The light was fading too much. I got sunset hitting the top of the lighthouse. Colleen made me sit! Yes, actually, sit. No pictures, just sit. It worked for a minute. Ha!

We just missed the golden pink glow hitting right under all the clouds. Timing. We left a bit too early. Who knew? That would have been spectacular. The hint of it that I shot … well, it’s enough to make you wistful. Hey! We got another great ending to the day! We passed a local favorite – Moody’s. Maybe, someday….


Disappointment

Can you live with it? We are adults, after all. Can you say lobster shooter? It is lobster with butter and garlic in a shot glass. Drizzle a little lemon over the top. Colleen talked about that since she had one three years ago. Three years! The restaurant has the silly lobster cutout. It was closed for the season! No hired help. All this waiting, and all Colleen got was a stupid picture in a lobster cutout!

Andre, the seal. He’s an institution. He originated in Rockport. Yay! Jen says we can bring him home and keep him in the pond.

One tree. Yeah, it’s pitiful so far. One fall tree. So, work the scene!

And, a cormorant took flight for me!

To finish? Sunset and spectacular clouds in Pemaquid. Colleen was mad – at me. It’s not the lobster shooter – three years of waiting. But, of the fact, that I dragged her out of the library to see the view at the lighthouse – for the 3rd!!! time this week. I’d say it was worth it. I endured the wrath. I know she will still love me in the morning.


No.1

Another day, another museum. Colleen was waiting for this visit. The Farnsworth had just acquired a gift from Andrew Wyeth’s widow, Betsy. Fan No.2, 3, and, yes, No.4 followed faithfully. I am often beside myself in such places. And, as you may note, art is sometimes outside too. And, to finish? Late afternoon dining in the local “cafe.” Tacky, but refined. … I am still looking for fall color.


Food for thought

Maine is a state in which 1% of the census population reports as African American. Here, in the middle of nowhere and with no one around, are a group holding banners decrying BLM. Ok? Where are the supporters? Where is the audience? We were randomly driving by (not another car in sight). I laud the sentiment? We later ate lunch in a restaurant where the staff was nearly all black. Hmmmm? That was remarkable. There were plenty of (non black African) customers. Life went on seamlessly. 1% African American: 99% other. It’s a free country. Go where you like? Maine?


Motion… close enough

Colleen is a good sport. We went back to the powwow for more… shots, and, a better vantage point (… and to roast once more). Our position on the day before was less than ideal. I got shots but… let us say that the second time around I was satisfied with our vantage (close enough to touch); it was blazingly hot. The crowd got to participate. Politicians made a cameo. Eastern war dancers (one) from Shinnecock got called out. The chief dancer has appeared in the same regalia in other pics in other years. Hoop dancers? … new to me. As I tried to absorb it, I captured some of the energy and motion. We even got a bird show. I am glad we went back.

The price? Dinner out. I got off easy. It was pizza. We were entertained (enlarge the image) with a wedding party – extra large – in the park across the way. Colleen, eagle eye, noticed the party. And, to finish? A “Bud” mug in the antique store. Priceless!


Pick a few… more

On 9/11 this year, we found ourselves at an Indian powwow. Symbolically? Symbolically, a flag had been raised over the venue – hanging six stories up from a hook and ladder fire truck. We remember…. Pageantry was mixed in with somber remembrance. I shot 3000 images that day. (Hmmm, another symbolic number.) Whoa! What an edit! Why? Photo ops were everywhere. I was not always in a good position to shoot what I wanted. I made do. The venue was loose and the crowd did not stay glued to their seats. I moved about with some freedom to get the shots I wanted. I listened to a photographer, a retiree now, describe how he shot in RAW and post processed in Lightroom, to a woman who did not know what RAW was and who had proudly proclaimed she just found her camera yesterday to shoot images of her grandchild. Disconnected?

In this case I did a rough edit randomly gathering a few representative images to illustrate the day. There was joy and movement. The regalia was colorful and symbolic. Kids and adults participated. No sunglasses please, I was trying for authenticity. Surprisingly, there was a lot of plastic in the costumes I saw. I had not attended a powwow since 2014. It was nice to see another once more with Colleen. The price? … dinner out.


Travelogue

Why do we travel? To get away from our own everyday routine. See something new and different. And while we are gone we seek out familiar things from home. Dinner in a Chinese restaurant… in Scotland: the food looks familiar; the dinners eat with fork and spoon, or knife; the grocery carries mustard, mayo, and Spam!; a picture to match the post card. Yes, you can go to dinner wearing a genuine Harris tweed vest. Travel is about same and, not. We have not been able to travel in a couple years – Covid. The world will be upside down a bit longer. A couple years back right at this time we were here!? It seems so long ago. So much has changed. Don’t worry, my dear, we will be back.


Travel day

If you take away no other information, Colleen loves to eat out. It’s a bread stick! …but sublime. What a smile! Travel day – it’s the long ride to or from. We usually squeeze in an antique store or two. Some are high end “curated” – i.e. expensive! – and others are more practical – fun. No matter what, there’s always a lot of what you don’t need or didn’t know anyone else would ever buy – an electric cow milking machine? Shepard and sheep? Empty tin cans? Iron skillet? Oh, the things you find! Herd immunity? And the smile (eating out)… priceless!


Jane-d!

We just experienced Jane(d) again. This would be a follow up to a recent post on this very subject. Never take a photo of someone while they eat. (They look funny – ridiculous.) Jane loves to eat out. She loves to try everything on the menu – if only she could. She ordered tacos. I do not believe she has ever eaten a taco and probably misheard the waitress. She was surprised enough to ask what it was they placed before her. And she did not eat it. She took it home to die in her refrigerator until after we left. Ditto – the dessert. It was a mango parfait. The baker came from the kitchen to ask how she liked it. Jane said it would have been better with fresh mango to which the baker replied she had used a fresh mango puree. Insert foot…. Colleen and I thoroughly enjoyed dinner. I pretended Jane ate everything and was pleased as well. That would be my story and I’m sticking with it.


High Tea

This would be my second time. We tried it in Scotland. And, now we found a Tea Room closer to home. It was shut during the Covid crisis. Now that we are vaccinated, the shop has opened and accepted reservations. The hat is de rigueur. Afterward we wandered through the local antique store trying on more stylish chapeaus for the next occasion when we take high tea once more. Pennies on the table? Shiny. They keep away flies. Uh, ok. It worked. We did not see a fly all day.


Opps…oops

Digital cameras allow you to make a mistake that keeps on giving. Since August 3 of last year, for nearly eight months, I have had an erroneous setting for the ISO. Ordinarily, it is set to “Auto.” Somehow it was set to ISO 800. So, a lot of pics were taken with the wrong setting. The other parameters adjusted “automatically” and I never noticed the error till now. I only picked up my mistake because the camera used a very long shutter speed one day. Aha! Corrected! Fixed! All is right again. It only took eight months to notice. Gee!! The pizza? As long as we are talking mistakes, this shot was made after I fixed the ISO. The pizza is the error. We have a pizza chain. The pizza is nearly inedible. I kid you not. I was desperate for a “slice,” any slice. I actually went home and ate something more. To protect the name of the guilty I won’t mention the name Grotto.


Krazy Cat

Colleen loves to eat out – as in – we live to eat. Restaurants are a fun experience. Mostly… Sometimes, you get a dud. But, on this occasion, we got a fun experience. Colleen was worried. She’d made the reservation. So, a lot depended on her choice. To her delight, I was very happy with her choice. Of course, I love her dearly, and, I love to eat out in a different restaurant. Success! Amuse bouche! It’s a classy prelude to dinner. It is a complementary touch to the meal. I digress. The restaurant name is Krazy Cat. My mask (made by Colleen) had a cat face. Cats were dispersed around the restaurant. We had a great time. Colleen made a great choice. But, more than anything else, I was enjoying a moment with the one I love.