Pearl Snap Redux

Lots of folks – good folks, I’m sure – navigate their way on the information superhighway over to this site looking for details on pearl snap shirts, since I have written about them in the context of saying that the Lovely K once quipped that “only cowboys and dorks wear pearl snap shirts, and [the author of this blog is] no cowboy,” which leaves me with limited identity options in her declarative analysis.

123007pearlsnap.jpgI am sure they are well-intentioned folks who Googled their way over here, but they are also for certain to be disappointed, by about $70 and 1853.56 miles.  Where they’ll end up is a computer on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, not far from Billy Martin’s, one of the only stores around these parts that sell pearl snap shirts, about a mile and a quarter southeast from here and a world apart from the southwest, since its retail locations exist around the corner from Bloomingdale’s and – in California – on Sunset Boulevard.  Billy Bob Thornton bought a gift for Dwight Yoakam from the store, or so he attested in a reprinted testimonial about how he is one of Billy Martin’s most consistent customers.  Now, I like Dwight Yoakam, and the Lovely K likes his voice.  Sounds a lot like Roy Orbison.

But $95 for pearl snap shirts…

And next to Bloomingdale’s…

Where they really need to go is the Cowboy Store on Junction Highway in Kerrville, Texas.  They sell Wrangler pearl snap shirts for $27 on sale.

That’s where I got mine.

photo:  Cavender’s online store


Six fingers on each hand

We took the boys to Magnolia Bakery down in the Village last night.  What a disappointment.  Not only did they not have a 122807kelsey_r.jpgbathroom for children in distress – we went to the nicely-staffed Chinese restaurant down the street with the sign in the door that read, “Restrooms for Customer Only” – but the baked goods were not all they used to be.  “Sex in the City” ruined it.  Besides, they had one table only inside, occupied by two lazy employees.  And the employee we met was overly aggressive about the new procedure for picking your stuff.  And they no longer employed the young woman who told us once she was born with six fingers on each hand but her parents had them surgically removed so she wouldn’t be a freak and now she was into wicca or something.

She was nice.  I miss her.

photo:  kelsey r


In a bold intellectual property rights grasp, Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities plans to send legislation to the Egyptian Parliament that will force others to share profits from the use of ancient and museum objects like the pyramid, the Times 122807woodsy.jpgreported today (“Egypt to copyright landmarks”).  Case in point: more people visit the pyramid-shaped Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas each year than the pyramids in Luxor, Egypt.  Egypt wants its cut.

photo: woodsy

Herkies for the basketball players

My high school, Trinity, on West 91st Street, didn’t have a football team, but we did offer fencing.

Litigious parents made sure that our mascot, The Trinity Tiger, never appeared next to a gridiron after about 1972, but come 1976 or so these same parents – effete and urbane – made sure their kids participated in a sport designed to help them excel socially in 17th century France.

122907doortenj.jpgI remember seeing my classmates – usually the intellectuals – wearing their croissards and plastrons heading off to fencing class while some of us went off to wrestling.  We thought wrestling was cool.  The girls thought it was disgusting.  They were off watching the cool basketball players – Miles (now a successful lawyer), Phil (a Hollywood comedy writer), and Alec (co-wrote a hit animated movie), their real names because, after all, these guys were the cool clique.  A clique of which I was not a part, because I stuck my wannabee-cool nose in other guys’ sweaty armpits for my after-school sport.

I remember one time we wrestled against Yeshiva High School.  On paper, it was a win before we even got on the mat.  Their team, apparently, had been established that year, and they had had next to no live practice.  It was a favor our coach was doing for theirs.  But, after all, they were God’s chosen people.  That counted for something.

I pinned my opponent late in the first period, but I felt remorse afterwards.  I don’t know why.

Wrestling was the closest thing I had to being a tough guy.  Being 5’8″ and 120 pounds in high school, I had been in but few fights, usually on the business end of a loss.  One time, though, I fought Michael, a black kid I had previously been friends with, and then to whom apparently I had made a rude comment about something – could have been race, could have been something else, can’t remember – which led to a Fight Appointment one afternoon at 4 p.m. by the book lockers behind the chapel.  (This was an historically Episcopal School and, yet, as a late 20th century Episcopal institution its chapel was used less as a place of worship as it was a vacant spot whose outer hallway contained our lockers and had multiple unsupervised locations for drug deals, gossip, and settling disputes the old fashioned way.)

Michael and I squared off, and I quipped with a smile, “So, how do we start this thing?”

He took a swing and caught me on the chin.  “How’s this?!”

We fought for 15 minutes, with a crowd of our peers gathering and cheering on one or the other, or both, so that the fight would continue and keep us all from getting on to more mundane matters like American History or Geometry.  I finally took a desperate swipe at his face with a hooking left and caught him squarely on the jaw.

He backed away and looked straight at me.  He smiled.  “Wow.  What a hit!”

He laughed, and so did I.

photo:  doortenJ

Nadler’s for Hillary

Ran into Congressman Jerrold Nadler about twenty minutes ago at the Barnes & Noble on 82nd and Broadway.122607nadler.jpg

He went to the wrong area in the checkout line and a cashier corrected him on where to stand.  He started to walk past me – I had arrived there after him.  He wore dirty white running shoes, jeans, a greyish herringbone outer coat, and a 3-inch Hillary for President button on his left lapel.

As he walked past, I corrected him again.

“You were before me,” I said.

He seemed surprised.

“Oh.  Okay.”  And he turned to go to the next available cashier.

I hope Hillary does not become president.  That’s all I have to say.

Sarabeth’s Kitchen for $5.99

The line at H&H Bagels this morning was out the door.  People were still streaming down the street with Zabar’s and Fairways bags.

Yesterday, I had braved both the latter; Karen had gone to H&H.

122507keira.jpgZabar’s meat line took me about twenty minutes of standing, after which I was able to tell a man of about 75 that I wanted a smoked turkey – $4.99 a pound…not bad – so he picked up a beige wall phone and hollored into the mouthpiece, “Jimmy!  I need a smoked turkey!”  He turned to me and lowered his eyes above his bifocals to indicate that my order was on its way.

Once I had the smoked turkey in the bag, it was home for drop off and then down to Modell’s at 42nd Street.  Exiting the #1 train at Times Square, I entered the Tourist Amoeba that moves around Manhattan during the holidays like a drunk slug.  Once in the store, I found a football for Bennett – a Wilson NFL style for juniors – and navy blue Under Armour shirts for all four of us.  Like T.O. wears on the tv commercial.  Team Freeman.  I picked up Bennett some receiver gloves so he could do his best Randy Moss impersonation.

Then it was off to Fairway.  (Fairway is a staple for fresh food on the Upper West Side.)

I should have known.  It was Christmas Eve and they have some of the best food around and New Yorkers love food and you eat a lot of good food on Christmas.

In New York.

On the Upper West Side.

I made the dubious decision to use a shopping cart instead of a hand basket.  It was like trying to navigate a Hummer around your bathroom.  To make matters more challenging, the aisles are organized more like a labyrinth – you know, the walking mazes that are on the floors of monasteries and which you wander through as you meditate.  Meditate for hours.  For hours without much tangible result besides a deeper understanding of your soul and your ultimate destiny.

So I had been in a quandary somewhere after the produce aisle, where I picked up fresh sage and the most perfect green beans I had seen, and the bread aisle, where you line up – as it were – and order your baked good.

“Do you have any of the small fruit cheesecakes?” asked the woman in front of me.


“Okay.  I guess I’ll get two of the large ones.”

I got a regular 10-inch cheesecake.  Bennett has lately starting liking it, having tried it at school and enjoyed it.  I had first tried it as a kid at Dave K’s house at Point O’ Woods.  I had always thought it would be gross, having “cheese” in it and all.  Bennett’s exact concern.

I couldn’t find cranberry relish and therefore, because I had a sinking feeling it was behind me by the time I got to the other side of the store, decided to skip it and get it later at Broadway Farm on 85th and Broadway, because turning the Hummer around would have been more pain than worth it.  (Note to readers:  do not seek cranberry relish at Broadway Farm; all they have is Ocean Spray whole berry and jellied.)

Checking out, I walked home listening to JoDee Messina on the iPod.

Once at home, we were chagrined to discover in my bags no beans, no potatoes, no onions and no bananas, a result of the crushing press of people all in Hummers trying to get around one 8×10-foot bathroom.

I went back today and described my predicament to the manager while holding replacement produce.

“Normally we have a book–” his associate had shown me five minutes earlier a black-and-white school notebook that contained all items left behind, and my bag was not in it, “–but we’re going to do it because, number one, today is Christmas and, number two, yesterday was nutso.”

I had added some Sarabeth’s Kitchen cranberry relish to my basket, and after shelling out $5.99 (a discount today only on the $7.49 Sarabeth’s), I was off and marching home, today to Phil Vassar.

photo:  keira