Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hungry City: Rusty Mackerel in Hudson Heights -

Things have changed in the neighborhood. It's not Broookleen, but it's gotten better.
by Ligaya Mishan

Hungry City: Rusty Mackerel in Hudson Heights -

 "The waitress shrieked. A tiny potato had toppled to the side of the carefully stacked bowl she was about to set onto the table.

“Wait,” she whispered, whisking it away. Minutes passed. She returned, bowl in hand, with a sigh. “They won’t stay put,” she said.

They looked fine, lopsided not-quite-orbs of baby potatoes under a ghost crust of salt. They tasted better, having been cooked in salt water and then thrust into the oven, sealing their creaminess inside. A few dabs of smoked paprika aioli had become mussed in the tumbling, but this was to the good — sweet streaks to counter the salt."


'via Blog this'

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Loss Leaders on the Half Shell -

Some of our favorites are Flying Point and Gay Island Oysters - both from Maine.  I buy our Gay island Oysters right at the dock.  Leave the money in the jar and "take a few extra" says Barrett. - GWC 
Loss Leaders on the Half Shell - by Karen Stabiner

The joint is jumpin’: Three mixologists in striped dress shirts, dark slacks and suspenders pour drinks almost as fast as three shuckers send platter after platter of raw oysters to their fate. A bluesy soundtrack wafts over the standing-room-only din as patrons sip and slurp, oblivious to the crowd that has gathered outside for what can be a 90-minute wait.

It feels like 9 o’clock on a Saturday night. It is 4:30 on a dank weekday afternoon.
This is oyster happy hour at Maison Premiere in Williamsburg, Brooklyn — a selection of 15 different kinds of oysters, most of them for $1 each, with a handful at $1.25 because they had to fly in from the West Coast. Krystof Zizka, a co-owner of the restaurant, says he doesn’t make a penny on the oysters, though they are one of the reasons his three-year-old restaurant is so successful.

'via Blog this'

First swallow

Friday, February 21, 2014

Don’t Blame the Jones Act for New Jersey Salt Shortage, Blame the State! gCaptain Maritime & Offshore News | AMP:

gCaptain Maritime & Offshore News | AMP: Don’t Blame the Jones Act for New Jersey Salt Shortage, Blame the State!: "The Jones Act once again came under attack this week after it was unfairly blamed for a New Jersey salt shortage by state officials and the mainstream media.

The Jones Act, more formerly known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, requires that goods shipped between U.S. ports be transported on ships that are U.S.-owned, built and crewed.  Under certain circumstances however, the U.S. Maritime Administration is allowed to grant waivers on a case-by-case basis that allows vessels not qualified under the Jones Act to transport goods between U.S. ports.

SEE ALSO: Is the Jones Act Being Blamed for Poor Planning

Now, in an attempt to set the record straight, the American Maritime Partnership, a trade association representing the U.S. domestic maritime industry, has released the following FAQ explaining what exactly did (and did not) cause New Jersey’s salt shortage."

In early February, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (“NJDOT”) announced that it had nearly run out of road salt after a brutal winter and was exploring all options to acquire additional salt. Among its options, NJDOT said, was a 40,000-ton pile of salt in Searsport, Maine. NJDOT said a foreign vessel called the Anastasia S. was standing by in Searsport to transport the salt to New Jersey. However, to use the foreign ship, NJDOT said it was requesting a waiver of the federal Jones Act, the law that requires cargo transported between points in the U.S. to move only on American vessels.
What happened with NJDOT’s waiver request?
There were two significant problems with NJDOT’s waiver request. First, NJDOT did not plan ahead and waited too long to file the waiver. A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Transportation said, “Unfortunately, by the time New Jersey reached out, U.S. DOT’s ability to help was limited, though we have identified U.S. vessels that are available to help.”
Second, the waiver request did not meet the clearly established federal criteria for a waiver — that the waiver be necessary for national defense and that no U.S. vessels be available. 46 U.S.C. 501(b) In fact, road salt is not a national defense issue and there was an identified American vessel available so NJDOT’s request failed on both counts. NJDOT has publicly conceded that federal officials told the state on Feb. 12-13 that its waiver was unlikely to qualify under federal law. Despite that, later in the day on Feb. 13 NJDOT filed the formal waiver request anyway.
Why did NJDOT file a waiver after being told that it did not meet the federal requirements?
It is not clear why NJDOT filed a waiver request that it knew would not be granted.
What about the foreign ship that was standing by in Maine ready to move the salt if the waiver had been granted?
The foreign ship is a vessel called the Anastasia S, registered under the flag of the Marshall Islands. NJDOT officials said the Anastasia S was available to move the salt. However, no one from the ship itself ever publicly confirmed that it was willing to move the salt. In fact, many vessel owners will not transport salt, a highly corrosive cargo. Transport of salt can require an extra ship cleaning that is time-consuming and expensive for the vessel owner. As such, shipping salt can be complex.
In fact, the Anastasia S was in Maine delivering another cargo for a different customer but left the area to take a previously-scheduled job shortly after NJDOT filed its waiver request. Therefore even if the waiver had been approved in record time, the ship that NJDOT planned to use was long gone. The Anastasia S left Maine early in the morning of Saturday, Feb. 15, yet media reports that the vessel was “standing by ready to move the salt” continued for days afterward.
Because the requirements for a Jones Act waiver were not present here, how else could NJDOT have transported the salt from Maine?
There simply needed be better advance planning. An American vessel was available and even on short notice is delivering the first of several loads of salt to New Jersey. With advanced planning, the salt would have gotten to New Jersey much sooner. With advanced planning, there are many other American vessels that may have been available to help transport the salt, shortening the delivery timeframe.
In a radio interview on Feb. 14, New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson said the foreign ship would bring the salt to New Jersey “in a day and a half” and the American vessel would have taken “a month.” Is that accurate?
Neither statement was accurate. First, as explained above, the foreign ship that Commissioner Simpson referred to left Maine shortly after the waiver was filed and was no longer available to transport the salt. Second, the American ship is delivering the first load of salt within days, not a month, and would have delivered it earlier had NJDOT simply ordered it ahead of time. In the same interview, Commissioner Simpson said “we are hoping that we get a favorable ruling today [on the waiver request]” even though he had been told the day before that the waiver was unlikely to be granted.
Are there other sources of salt besides that pile in Maine?
Of course. There are countless other sources besides the Maine salt pile, which was owned by a company called International Salt. In fact, a large shipment of salt from International Salt arrived in New Jersey from overseas on Feb. 20 and another is planned for the following week. Salt can be sourced from many domestic locations, and salt can be imported into the U.S. by ship anytime with advanced planning.
What is the major lesson from this situation?
Plan ahead and don’t delay in requesting assistance from the American maritime industry! Ironically, New Jersey is among the top states in the U.S. for American domestic vessels. With a little advanced planning, this crisis could have easily been averted.

'via Blog this'

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Cave Dwelling


Left - Trader John's, City Island, NY
Right - Doxee's wharf, Reynolds Channel, Point Lookout, Long Island, NY

workbench waiting for work

view from the cave


Chinese wall and miter saw

My Girl

Waiting for summer

Maine Impressions - Roger Dale Brown - Haynes Galleries Thomaston

Capturing the Maine summer light is for landscape artists what Body & Soul is for saxophonists.  Everyone has to try itRoger Dale Brown, a Nashville artist, made a trip to Maine.  His Maine Impressions are excellent.  He was featured in September 2013 at Haynes Galleries Thomaston

Friday, February 14, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

50th Anniversary Issue

Respect for tradition demands this..

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Slack tide, dead calm, Sunday noon

Looking out the window, across the river to the convent.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Ice Patrol - Snowbird view of the Hudson

Sacha Botbol
To relieve the stresses of his day job as a launch operator for the Sandy Hook Pilots Association - delivering harbor pilots to and from the big ships that must thread their way through the shoals and channels of New York harbor and its approaches - my friend Sacha took up flying his small plane Betty.  Great views of the Hudson from the wing camera.  Note at about 4 minutes the fleet of barges at the Tappan Zee Bridge construction site. - GWC
p.s. - Sacha dropped a note to say he is now driving a crew boat on the Tappan Zee project - closer to home and family. - g

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ralph Kiner, Slugger Who Became a Voice of the Mets, Dies at 91 -

Ralph Kiner, who as an announcer spent half a century with the Mets, interviewing Willie Mays.
Ralph Kiner with Willie Mays as a Met
Ralph Kiner was one of the three people who taught me the most about baseball: my Grandmother Mae Curtis Trautfield - my mother's mother - a Brooklyn Dodger fan who taught me the rules and the love of the game from her wheelchair in front of a postage stamp black and white TV.  The cameras couldn't follow a fly ball - but we could see Willie Mays making his famous basket catches, and Pee Wee Reese shuffling the ball to Junior Gilliam for the 5-4-3 double plays that ended with Gil Hodges at first base.

The next was Ralph Kiner, who was the gravelly voice of the Mets for fifty years after he retired from a brilliant career in Pittsburgh.  He knew the players, the managers, and the strategies they pursued.  The third was Tim McCarver who joined McCarver in the booth and taught another generation how the game works. - GWC

Ralph Kiner, Slugger Who Became a Voice of the Mets, Dies at 91 -

by Bruce Weber

"Ralph Kiner, baseball’s vastly undersung slugger, who belted more home runs than anyone else over his 10-year career but whose achievements in the batter’s box were obscured by his decades in the broadcast booth, where he was one of the game’s most recognizable personalities, died on Thursday at home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 91....
369 career home runs, 1,015 RBIs - 1946-1955
During his first seven seasons, all with Pittsburgh, Kiner led the National League in home runs every year, still a record streak for either league. (Twice he tied with Johnny Mize, once with Hank Sauer.)From 1947 to 1951, he had home run totals of 51, 40, 54, 47 and 42, becoming only the second player in history — Babe Ruth was the first — to hit at least 40 home runs in five consecutive seasons, and the third (after Ruth and Jimmie Foxx) to hit 100 over two consecutive seasons.From 1932, when Hack Wilson hit 56 homers for the Chicago Cubs, to baseball’s steroid era in the 1990s, Kiner’s 54 homers in 1949 was the highest single-season total for a National Leaguer; Henry Aaron never matched him, nor did Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, Mike Schmidt or Willie McCovey, all Hall of Famers with more than 500 career homers.Kiner never made it to the World Series; the Pirates of his era were perpetually mediocre (or worse), and so were the Cubs. In 1955, traded to the American League for his last season, he got closest: the Indians finished second to the Yankees."

'via Blog this'

Still winter in New York