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October 07, 2008


michael C

Great post, Bronwyn.
Vietnamese heroes (or grinders as they're called in Southeast Asia), are awesome. I love the mystery meat part...
But as for the beverages, durian milkshakes (or pastries) are not bad. You only get a bit of the mustiness/stinkyness of the "king of fruits" because they use durians that are put in the deep freeze before being shipped here. I was forced multiple times in Malaysia--where my wife is from--to have freshly hacked durian, and I can say that it was very challenging. I never got used to the taste of raw onions mingled with ice cream, with a hint of vomit...But her family kept pushing it on me...time after time. I've actually grown to like those shakes and pastries made with the de-natured stuff.
And the Malaysians knock the Vietnamese and Thai people for eating lame, under-ripe durians, that don't stench enough. Go figure.
But nothing--NOTHING--compares with what I tasted this weekend in Elmhurst at a Taiwanese restaurant. My friend, who is Hong Kong, ordered something she translated as "rotten tofu." It looked like normal cubes of friend tofu covered in chilies and scallions...and oh my god, when I tasted it, I had to spit it into the bowl filled with fish bones. Another friend, who is from Malaysia and loves "stinking beans" and durian, almost threw up. The tofu smelt like a piece of meat that was left in the back of the fridge for two months...and it tasted worse. I challenge that bizarre foods guy on the cooking channel to eat some...
Cheers! Michael C
PS--the birds at Green-Wood are called monk parakeets, but they're actually parrots from Argentina. They're said to be the descendants of escaped or released pets. They were the target of an eradication campaign conducted in the 1970s because they are agricultural pests (they rip up fruit trees), however, the powers that be at Green-Wood wouldn't let the hit squad kill the birds on cemetery turf. They live in giant communal nests made out of mud and sticks (the parrots, not the hit squads).

michael C

that's "My friend, who is FROM hong kong"


I've seen Monk parakeets flying wild in Miami Beach. Apparently over the last twenty years they've formed colonies in Chicago and also in a city in Spain. There are colonies of feral Ring necked parakeets flying around suburban London.

Listener R. McNally

Just out of curiosity, how many hours did it take you to get to Sunset Park, DJ Bronwyn?


Bronwyn-- First let me say how much I enjoy regularly listening to your (and Kelly's) show. Sadly, let me follow up by saying that I think (the area between Park Slope and Bay Ridge) is very quickly gentrifying. It's a process that doesn't exactly trickle to a halt when it gets repeatedly hyped in paper media (I feel like I read a very similar Times article about banh mi and Greenwood like 3 years ago) and on the web and then seized upon as cachet by realtors (I'm sure this post will see some links back from some "neighborhood bloggers" in short order).

For the record, I moved in 4 years ago, a musician, and my roommate, an artist, 6 years ago. You're right that it's not quite out of control yet, but looking at our rent increases, he and I will quite literally be out of here in a couple of years. I know, Bronwyn: these sad violins change the more they stay the same.

I'm a also a little puzzled about what you mean when you write, "we will all end up living here"-- who exactly is meant by "we?" The "we" I see ending up here seem more and more to be kid-friendly-to-a-fault and of undue privilege-- not so much WFMU listeners as soy-zombified pirate-booty munching NPR ones, spillover from Park Slope and elsewhere. Sure, I'm glad I'm not living in a bombed-out hellhole (at least for the moment), but I sure hope I'm unscientific and non-expert in my observations on what appears to have gone on here for at mimimum the better part of a decade. Those are some damned good Vietnamese sandwiches, though.


now that i have left nyc and moved to portland, i gotta ask - WHERE is the parakeet mausoleum? have to have sumpin to do here.....

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