Tag Archives: local

Cheesy goodness

I’m not a big one for tradition.  I’m not sentimental or conventional.  I actually enjoy being a bit of an outlier.

Call me, Malcolm.

But when I come back to Kansas City, there is a ritual that I simply have to complete before the first 24 hours are through.

I gotta go to Margarita’s.

I love everything about this local Mexican restaurant.  I love driving up and seeing its homely exterior.  I love the crowded parking lot that challenges every visitor.  I love the swoosh of heat and cheese that greets you when you open the door.

I love the expected wait (but I love last night’s unexpected quick seating even better).  I love the utilitarian tables, menus and rolled silverware.  I love the freaky, modernistic artwork that hasn’t changed in a decade.

Most of all, I love the food.  The chips and salsa.  The queso dip.  The nachos.  The quesadillas and burritos.  The fried ice cream like no other.  The simple yummy goodness, the sameness of my Mexican food home away from home.

Well, what do you know?

I am sentimental after all.

Local color

I spent the day in Queens on a video shoot for CollegeHumor.com.

The script was funny — a parody that should be online sometime next week. The cast and crew were great to work with, the weather smiled on us, and we were released on time.

And did I mention the food was great?

What made this shoot especially memorable were the locals who stopped by during the day to see ‘what the heck we were doing.’ I realized very quickly that TV crews were an event in Astoria, whereas in Manhattan they are an everyday, ho hum occurrence.

It began with cars slowing down, their drivers inquiring about the tent that contained our holding area.  Then an older woman pushing her shopping cart down the street asked the production assistant why our ‘cult’ was demonstrating.

A cult?  In business suits?

But my favorite moment by far happened between takes.  A couple of guys and I from the cast were standing next to a front yard gate when a little white dog came over to check us out.  As Justin leaned over to say hello, the dog sweetly kissed his hand…and then peed on him.

Welcome to Queens.

Off the menu

People are always asking, “Where should I eat when I visit New York City?”

How about a suggestion of where you definitely should not?

Park Avenue Autumn, located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, is famous for changing their menu and decor each season.  (It was called Park Avenue Summer until a couple of weeks ago; I think you catch my drift.)

Chef Kevin Lasko has included venison and date syrup, a noted Iraqi delicacy, on this season’s menu.  What’s wrong with that, you ask?  Nothing…except he and artist Michael Rakowitz are serving the dish on plates once owned by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

The restaurant attempted to explain their decision to use the china in a press release, saying the plates “represent the rich and complicated history of a place long misunderstood by its invaders.

I’m sure they do.  Doesn’t mean I want to eat off of them.

You’d think a restaurant would have a bit more taste.


Are potholes big news in the Big Apple?

They are on PIX11.

The Anderson show airs on this local CW station, and after I finished watching it yesterday, their local news came on.  That’s when their PIXFIX series — which focuses on ‘fixing the community one issue at a time’ — zeroed in on that day’s issue.

A pothole in Queens.

Now, in reporter Monica Morales’ defense, it was a big pothole.  And according to residents on Fordham Road that she interviewed, it’d been around long enough to earn the nickname “Fordham Road Crater.”

They’d clearly put some thought into that one.

When word of Monica’s presence got around the neighborhood, a local councilmen swung by to report that the pothole was scheduled to be filled that very day.

Coincidence?  I think not.

But you have to wonder…could Monica have predicted — way back in journalism school — that she would grow up to be a big city pothole reporter?

And if so, would she have simply thrown herself in one?