Beachcombers (And Food)

April 14th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

More sun. More sea. More fun. And, a nice surprise. Beautiful Zena B. has accompanied SJ and family. (The lovely lass doesn’t swim but sunbathes and hot tubs). Ram Sea, the condo/resort BSK selected, is comfy, convenient and friendly. Not to be mistaken for Palm Beach or the Riviera. Unchic. Caters to families from the South, midwest and Canada. Lots of kids and teens and college-agers. These teenagers and collegians are not the Spring Break cliche of wet-T-shirt-contest-having, beer swilling, vomiting-on-the-beach barbarians; rather, they seem to be busy all day flirting, joking, playing volleyball, kayaking, paddle boarding, throwing footballs, etc. BSK remarked on how beautiful and fit the young women looked — lean and athletic. These are young women who exercise and play soccer, tennis, volleyball, basketball, etc. The girls of HG’s generation (and possibly BSK’s) seemed forced into the role of beach bunnies whose principal activity was nurturing a tan. Our fellow vacationers at Ram Sea are a kind, courteous and helpful group of folks. When HG tripped leaving the sea (nothing serious), a half dozen young people and a group of oldsters raced to his rescue. Sun, swimming and sunset drinks on the terrace created raging hunger. HG, BSK, etc., abandoned seafood and drove to Pho Kien Kang, a Vietnamese restaurant. Egg rolls; big, steaming bowls of pho with sliced beef; grilled pork on “broken rice.” HG mused how immigrants have improved American restaurant cuisine. There are now few American cities where one can’t get a big bowl of good pho. Hopefully, when the Mideast madness simmers down, we’ll get a deluge of good Syrian and Iraqui eateries.


Jewish Pho

February 27th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

HG and BSK have spent these last evenings watching PBS’ Vietnam: A Television History This balanced (but very moving) account of that dreadful, wasteful, almost endless horror made HG and BSK relive the turmoil of the 60’s and early 70’s when the couple marched and protested against the war. BSK recalled HG’s comment as they blocked (under the gaze of Secret Service agents and sneaky FBI photographers) New York’s Whitehall Street draft board headquarters: “After thousands of Americans and millions of Vietnamese are dead and billions and billions of dollars are wasted this is going to be the end result: We’ll get out. The North Vietnamese and the Vietcong will win. And, the United States will get a lot of good Vietnamese restaurants.” A very prescient HG. The recent wasteful (in lives and dollars) war adventures of our peace loving (???) country seems to have produced few benefits (outside of killing Bin Laden). Aside from everything else, where are the Iraqui mezze and Afghan barbecue restaurants that should be opening throughout our fine land?

HG was alerted (through Wikipedia, so maybe not historically impeccable. But, it makes a lovely story ) to a little known sidebar regarding Vietnam history. In 1946, David Ben-Gurion, one of the remarkable founders of Israel, and Ho Chi Minh, the indomitable leader of North Vietnam and fighter for the unification of that nation, were both staying in a Paris hotel. They liked and admired each other and became very close friends. Ho made a remarkable offer. He would turn over a portion of Vietnam as a Jewish homeland. Ben-Gurion thanked him for the offer but said he would drive the British out of Palestine and establish a Jewish state. HG has mused. What if Ho’s offer had been accepted? Would matzo balls now be floating in brimming bowls of tasty pho?

Nam Son – Chinatown Bargain

July 8th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

When Paris cab drivers (and many French truck drivers) want a cheap, tasty and filling meal they head to a Vietnamese eatery in one of the less classy arondissements. When in New York, HG often follows their lead and goes to Nam Son, a Vietnamese restaurant at 245 Grand Street in Chinatown. On previous visits, HG had an exemplary steamed flounder and crispy fried soft shell crabs. The bargains here, however, are the spring rolls (four for four dollars) and pho, the Vietnamese national noodle soup dish. Nam Son has about 15 varieties of pho, all good, at prices between six dollars and $7.25. Feeling peckish a few afternoons ago, HG popped in for a plate of spring rolls served with the ubiquitous fish sauce for dipping and lots of lettuce and mint. Adjacent to HG was a table of ten good looking young people joyously eating spring rolls and pho. They were having a very good, affordable time. Yes, you can eat very well for few dollars in pricey New York. You just have to know where to look.

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