Thursday, May 28, 2015

Food and drink

So the Rockets lost in the Western Conference Finals to the Golden State Warriors 4-1 tonight, ending the basketball season as far as I'm concerned. It was the first conference finals since 1997 when they lost to the Utah Jazz. Anyway, life goes on.

It sometimes strikes me as odd that I hang on to my Rockets fandom so tenaciously when I've let go nearly everything else that ties me to Houston. But I think it all comes down to the things I really love, like the food I grew up with: Cajun food, Sichuan cuisine, jalapenos on hamburgers, 24 hour Tex-Mex and Texas barbecue. So when the Rockets won their back-to-back championships in 1994-1995, I fell irrevocably in love with the franchise and have been a loyal fan even from afar.

In the evening on Mother's Day I met up with Chelsea to see a SAG screening (she's a member of the Screen Actors Guild) of a movie called I'll See You In My Dreams followed by a talkback with the stars, Blythe Danner and Sam Elliott. Afterward we went to a pub and had a bite to eat, and found out from the bartender that my elusive Swedish pear cider was available at a bar called House of Brews across Eighth Avenue from where we were sitting. All in all, it was an enjoyable evening and helped to distract from the unpleasantness of the holiday for me.

On Friday the 15th, Katie B invited me to another happy hour and I suggested the House of Brews - quite selfishly because I wanted that Kopparberg pear cider and it's close enough for me to walk. It was nice to see Carolyn there, a familiar face, and I finally got to meet Rin, of whom I've heard much about. I actually didn't stay too long because I was pretty tired after having come back from Staten Island and Princeton in the prior 48 hours, but I will see Katie on Saturday for our long-awaited Steven Wilson concert.

Last weekend I attended the 60th birthday of Puck's dad with all the usual fanfare that brought their extended family from all over to the Verrazano Grill near their house. The food was very good, although the Russian music got a little loud for my taste.

On Sunday Puck went to Philly for their session while I met up with Liz, Josh and Lytle at the Brooklyn Bagel Company for breakfast and then went on a whiskey distillery tour in Red Hook. It took a few tries to get there - subway, buses and shuttles, but we finally found it. Since the distillery was so small the tour was short but it was followed, as such things usually are, by tastings and free drinks of Old Fashioneds and Gold Rushes in a charming tasting room hosted by a friendly Chihuahua.

Lytle had to scoot after a few rounds, but we made plans to meet up the next day to see the new Mad Max movie. The three of us had an early dinner at Hill Country Barbecue (which I'd been to once before after the New York Audio Show. We ran into one of Josh's friends from the PIT at the place next door and he treated us to dessert pies. I got some very tasty barbecue pork belly that was dripping with fat - so delicious but so bad for me - with green bean casserole and coleslaw.