Christmas shopping, a very special sushi platter, an ice sculptor, the $40 hot dog, and a moose

It's been a little busy around here. I will address the most serious topic first, the Moose.

Himself's alma mater has been enmeshed in a controversy over the school mascot, a British aristocrat, officer and racist oppressor from colonial times. Having Lord Jeff as a mascot gave generations of young men the opportunity to dress up with a wig, a lace-trimmed red coat, knee britches, shoes with big buckles, and a very conspicuous hat.  Views on the mascot have, um, changed.

It was never a secret that the original Lord Jeff, while serving in the King's Army, committed his views on North America (dangerous terrain, rebellious, tricky, difficult to deal with) and its inhabitants (not worthy of one's attention because Not English and Not Aristocratic) to paper. His suggestions on dealing with his situation (he was losing) could have been written by Goering. North America was not an agrarian society at the time, so crop failures, blight, starvation and emigration were not practical. Lord J suggested the distribution of blankets previously used (and infected) by smallpox patients. This is not a new discovery, what's new is that the insensitivity and the hurt and the feelings of alienation engendered by the acts and writings of the Mascot are at last being taken seriously. Should feelings of hurt and rage engendered by statements made centuries ago be taken seriously? Hey, ask any Irishman.

The college itself was actually named after the town in which it's located, and the town is named after the racist oppressor. Apparently the town's attitude to date has been something along the lines of "Well, nobody's perfect," but the school population has decided that enough is enough and it's time to replace the mascot. At the noisiest part of the campus controversy, a moose wandered on to the campus and is believed to have volunteered to be the new mascot. The moose doesn't seem to have a history of war crimes and offensive language, and was received with some enthusiasm, although at this writing a permanent appointment to the position has yet to be made.

I didn't attend this school, although a few of my ancestors had their own experiences with colonial oppression. So I've watched from the sidelines, as it were, but to show where my sympathies lie in this controversy, I've patrolled the Internet for moosewear and moose regalia. In case, you know, I get involved with another reunion.

This year's Christmas tee:

The shirt's been sold out but is still popping back, so in case anyone's wondering, the boys' size 14 is a comfortable equivalent of a women's Small-Going-On-Medium. There was also a web-only size 16, but good luck finding it. And although the website describes the beast as a reindeer, that's probably due to the copywriter's lack of familiarity with terrestrial fauna. 'Tis a moose.

I found a cute little hat for Himself at The Gap. The purple pompom is a nice touch.

And of course, the teenies are getting moose shirts.

I bought myself a few non-moose items as well. Very happy with these. The dress is a color called Smoked Aubergine, which is also the secret of making good baba ghanoush. Recipe available on request. Both shirts are nicely made, I'm quite satisfied with the attention to detail in the construction and finishing. And I gotta tell you, that dress is a dream.
Holiday parties are upon us, at one in particular we were impressed by the sushi platter:

Barney's Christmas windows have featured performers recently. This year there's a live ice sculptor. Or maybe it's a team of ice sculptors, sculpting in shifts. That window must be refrigerated, last year there was a live dancer in a tutu, twirling on her toes and doing very careful grand jet├ęs.

Recently, amid all our back and forth-ing to shop, see a few movies, etc, we sat down to rest and have a nibble at Bar Boulud,  because Himself is uncomfortable with my trick of becoming invisible by sitting down in a department store shoe department, near some boxes, and removing my shoes. You will be ignored like crazy. 

Anyway, there we were on the West Side, we hadn't been to Bar Boulud for some time, we wanted to sit down and regroup, and in recent past, when we've had anything to eat there, it's been a shared charcuterie platter or some onion soup. 
This time we ordered main dishes. Note the "Boudin Blanc" above. When I was last at this establishment, that was two or three grown-up sized sausages. This time it was one small sausage all by its lonesome. However, the price had increased. And before you tell me about the cost of truffles, let me point out that there were none in said sausage. So after tax at 8.75%, and tip at 20%, that single midget hot dog cost $39.91. Well. Let us draw the veil of discretion over the events of the rest of that afternoon.

On a happier note, today we headed out East and stopped for lunch in a town called Patchogue. which  is working on becoming a restaurant destination. This is a good thing as Long Island already has enough shopping destinations. I had a plate of Buffalo wings and two mugs of Hefeweizen for $15, all in, and felt quite well treated.

And, and, and, the bar was having a Christmas party for the staff's children, all under 8. They were having a great time striding over to the bar, climbing precariously on a barstools, and ordering ginger ale.

Here's the bar's Christmas Tree! Oh, this is the spirit that makes our country great.

Not only creative, but a good application of principles of recycling.


  1. When we were in NYC we had dinner at Bar Boulud before "Turandot." I think the pumpkin ravioli worked out to $6 per square.

    1. eeps!

      upon reflection, continued expansion, loss of star at flagship, venturing from reliably good food into snacks and catering, shrinking portions, higher prices... sounds like the Millard S. Drexler School of Management and Merchandising.

  2. When we were in NYC we had dinner at Bar Boulud before "Turandot." I think the pumpkin ravioli worked out to $6 per square.

  3. The moose is an animal over here and where I am from in other places hold much symbolism. But for a shirt to sell out I must be out of the loop. I'm so over over charging. It's getting rather boring. Fool me once but not twice!

    1. A considerable segment of our population wants a "witty" Christmas tee every year. The moose tee was marked down and promo'd before management realized that people would actually want it.

  4. Hmmm - we see moose fairly regularly here - will mention they are in high demand next time I see them. A wee sausage for $31? Obviously the end is nigh. But good to give himself a break and already imagining his delight with pompon!

  5. I miss seeing the windows-- must get to NYC next year around the holidays! Colder in that Barney's window than it's been outside.

    It does seem tardy for Lord A's biological warfare to raise hackles. Still, I'd rather have a moose than what I have ( a camel). Just had moosemeatballs at a Christmas party.

    Whose dress is that? Yes, smoked eggplant recipe...

    1. the dress is J. Crew, unusually good for them in that it's wool and was made with some attention to detail. It popped back this morning in a 12, it's gone now but may show up again. Style no. C9057

      I will add recipe when I get a minute

    2. Recipe -


  6. A moose mascot? Do they play sports at this college? Hmmm...the fighting come the moose... Go moose. Just doesn't work but better than racist asshole. Oh, and that sausage, I am sure it exited ones body with such a flair the next morning. Love the dress!

    1. I get the feeling the smaller Northeast schools aren't as serious about sports as those in other parts of the country. Although a friend says that the mascot at Swarthmore when she was there was The Fighting Quaker, a guy dressed as William Penn (long blue coat) - who carried an axe and swung it at the other team. As peaceloving folk do.

      Re dress - best part of weekend so far.


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