Skin in the game — The Public Advocate race is on the fast track, with all manner of candidates vying for the prize. Each has to come up with a name for the line on which they’ll run, but they can’t use Democrat, Republican, Liberal or any of the standard party names. And they must file 3,750 petition signatures with the NYC Board of Elections by January 13, 2019. The order of names on the ballot will be determined by who files first. Of course, there’s always the possibility that there will be challenges and names will be removed from the ballot. At least that’s the general procedure. Last I heard, there were at least 31 candidates in the race, mostly Democrats. Must be why only Democratic clubs, at least in Manhattan, have been having forum after forum so the public can find out what the candidates advocate. The only Republicans running that I can identify are Eric Ulrich from Staten Island and Mike Zumbluskas from Manhattan. None of the Republicans or other affiliated or non-affiliated candidates appeared at these forums. Were they invited? Apparently, NYC Republicans don’t think they have a chance, so they aren’t out there supporting or promoting Republican candidates or holding forums. True, New York’s a tough place for Republican candidates, but they have to be in it to win ... have skin in the game ... that kind of thing. While there aren’t any citywide Republican officeholders, the Public Advocate is in line of succession to the mayoralty. History reminds us that death isn’t the only route in the line of succession — think Eric Schneiderman, who resigned his office, and Tish James, who was elected to fill his seat.
Midblock high — Start looking up when you’re midblock on the north side of East 79th Street between First and Second Avenues. The four-story apartment building between an open space plaza and an identical-looking apartment building will be demolished and replaced with a 17-story residential development with 15 apartments. On the street level of the next-door building is the popular French restaurant Quartoze Bis. Hope developers won’t set their sights on that site. S’il vous plait.
Lost in translation — Let’s Meat is a new AYCE (all-you-can-eat) Korean barbecue restaurant on Fifth Avenue between East 31st and 32nd Streets. For $40 you get to eat all the meat you can eat in 100 minutes, grilled by your table’s personal griller. Korean and American BBQs are different when it comes to the types of meat used and the manner of barbecuing. So are the sides that come with it, or so I thought. In my experience, side dishes are included in the price of the Korean bbq meal (as it is at Let’s Meat). Not so in the American bbq where you pay extra for the sides - like corn, baked beans, cornbread, maybe some greens, and, of course, cole slaw. The Korean sides are unending - radish/daikon salads, cabbage, cucumber scallion salads, bean sprouts, kimchi, sesame broccoli. All very Asian. So why, I asked the griller, was cole slaw among the sides at Let’s Meat. She smiled sheepishly and didn’t answer. “Oh, because it’s American?,” I asked. She nodded, and we both smiled. Aside: skip the cole slaw and stick with the Korean standards.
Bus bunching — The starting point for the Q32 bus is across from Penn Station. The next stop is 32nd Street between Fifth and Madison. But don’t count on boarding there. That stop is also the starting point for the M4, and at any given time, day or night, there are at least three M4 buses lined up, all dark, with no passenegers. That’s bad enough if you want an M4. But anyone waiting for the Q32 will find themselves forced to navigate out from the curb to the waiting Q32 (if it even stops with all the curb traffic). If it does stop, there’s danger in trying to find a space between the M4’s to get to the waiting bus. Maybe riders should think about starting a union.