Finally got back on my bike today. I love my bike. It’s the tires. At over 100psi and just the right thinness, with Kevlar to keep the flats away, it’s the fastest way around downtown.
My adventure was only 2 blocks. That’s the distance to anything downtown, in my estimation. To misquote Everett from Oh Brother Where Art Thou?,“what a geographical oddity, 2 blocks from everywhere!” But in this case I’m not too far off.
Weaver Street Market opened in Raleigh today at 10:30am, and I was there to become a member (and get a t-shirt!). Sure I have everything delivered, from Purple Carrot to Papa Spuds to (embarrassingly) Amazon… so it’s a double win as it will get me off my ass and get me better produce.
I’m over 100 days in on this round of GI troubles, which means no meals all summer. My food comes from a bag on my back. Sad. So I’m obsessing about better days head. I read all the local restaurant menus, look into vegan meetups, I read cookbooks… I’m also targeting the oldest farmers market around, 2 blocks away (honestly it is), which has evaded me as it is only open Th-Sat. Wish me luck towards finding a better day! Peace.
I finally got out for an Animal Show in NYC! Landed on Friday and found BKLYN House Hotel, our base of operations for the long weekend that included a Reiley move.
We met Al for lunch/dinner at Loving Hut, which I will always be grateful for. Hi Al! Great to meet you. :-)
First night, Reiley took me out to Bruno’s bar, Cape House, and he took far too good of us. His favorite, Fernet-Branca, a very complex tasty digestif, left me feeling far too happy and DJ’ing until 4am. I regret some song choices.
Saturday started out with recovery – sleeping and Champs breakfast in the afternoon – well worth the 30 minute wait for takeout of scrambled tofu, seitan strips, vegan sausage, hash browns, and coffee, which when combined made a miracle.
Al got a bass string replacement at Johhny Albino Music Center, and we picked up a tuner for Rei too.
We were ready to walk to the gig. Al said we are NOT getting an uber that is NOT Animal Show, awesome oops my bad, rofl… Reiley held out for Julian to skateboard up, and a ride with Dave that we heard rumble up from a couple blocks away. Dave’s southern charm had us all at ease and instantly smiling. This gang is beautiful and thick as thieves, I have to say.
The show was beyond high expectations, the videos speak for themselves. SO GOOD.
The Brooklyn Bazaar venue was crazy fun on multiple stories. Lower level was a barcade with pool and sweet potato fries that Eli and I had been obsessing over (and they payed off). Upstairs was the stage and dancehall. Highlights included the passing of the pink cowboy hat from stage to crowd and eventually landing on my head for most of the night. My first green room experience was full of friendly folks and free water (no drinking for me thank you!) and plenty of free second hand smoke, heh. Met Andy and Dale and Jonathan the MC, lots of band members including introducing myself to headliner Brianna who politely gave me a warm hello, spun on her heel, stepped up two steps to the stage, and crushed the audience within a moment. After the bands played, Jonathan and crew hosted a dance party, with Reiley and the other band members as judges. Reiley called me out to join the dance party! I again proved my cowardice. Next time I’m all in. Dave drove us home, what a gentleman, and I hit the sack at 2am while everyone else carried on.
Sunday started with vegan donuts at Dun-Well the vegan donut Mecca, as I watched the owner pour hand-brewed french presses one after the other into a huge tub from which we filled our silk-creamer-primed cups.
Monday morning allowed for another donut indulgence, you can never get enough and its a good thing I dont live close…. Then Reiley and I went shopping for some basics, and finished up with a game of Palace, before I headed to the airport. Wow!
I get the freshest beans possible from multiple sources: air dropped from Coffee Fool, Larry’s Beans super-secret warehouse (where you can buy 2.2 lb bags, yes I drink enough to go through that!), Oak City Roasters (when you can find the garage door open, not very often), and Cafe de los Muertos, my fav place to drink it when I dare to leave my cave. Muertos sells Oak City, and roasts their own in-house pretty regularly. One time they didn’t want to sell it to me because it was freshly roasted and needed to settle for 3 days – that’s what I’m talking about here. TOO FRESH.
So yeah, we are talking pots-per-day here. When my Breville goes on the fritz, I get those caffeine jitters Robert Young always warned us about. The Breville has a round steel platter with a single rectangular hole. The hole is over the grinds chute during grinding, letting the grinds through to the hopper, then rotates after grinding to separate the grinder from the steam that comes up from the hot grinds in the hopper. Pretty smart.
With the volume of coffee I ram through this thing though, it is only a matter of time before that platter becomes caked with grinds tar. That happened today, to the point where the platter stopped rotating properly. The grinder sounds like a freight train, and with the grind chute blocked due to the platter not rotating, today it sounded like a seriously wounded freight train squealing to its death. I’m sure the motor would have burned out if I let it try to go the whole cycle. I had to get the platter unstuck.
I tried to find a disassembly guide to remove the platter, and found out that most of the machine is hot-glued together, making repair difficult. In the end, I cleaned the whole thing of beans and grinds, then sprayed soapy suds all over the platter. I turned the machine on, locked down the bean hopper, and closed the door, so the plate would attempt to rotate closed. Then I opened the door and unlocked the hopper, so it would rotate open again. I repeated this several times. Then I wiped it all down very well and repeated with clean water. After a few more rotations, I sprayed canola oil all around the plate, and repeated more open/close rotations. I wiped down around the edges of the platter, that tar kept squeezing out in little bits. I found that if you over-rotated the plate to the left, past the chute, then when the machine went to rotate the plate back to the right, it would KNOW that it was off, and rotate it ALL THE WAY AROUND to the left. Sweet! Gently holding a paper towel in the hole as it did a full rotation allowed me to get the back side of the plate pretty clean. Clean enough to get it all working again. All is full of light.
I have become addicted to what I am calling peasant meals: fresh local veggies, some savory spices, all sauted and served on a bed of rice or pasta. Today’s menu: local farm fresh okra and onions breaded with herbs and pan fried to perfection, on basmati rice: