EAST SIDE ENCOUNTERS
BY ARLENE KAYATT
Politics and Primaries — It's September and if it's the UES and Roosevelt Island, there must be a Democratic Primary for judicial and alternate delegates and a party position, this time for male state committee member. The clubs involved are the Lenox Hill Democratic Club and the Four Freedoms Democratic Club (of which I'm a member and candidate for judicial delegate). If the two clubs could get back on track and honor a system of selection for these positions that worked for many years, it would be beneficial to taxpayers (primaries are paid for with taxpayer dollars) and to the club members and candidates who should be working together more collaboratively on community issues and interests and getting Democrats elected to county, city, statewide and national races. Each club is putting up a slate of 14 judicial/alternate delegate candidates in the Sept. 13 Primary this year and each club is running a candidate for male state committee member. Frank Wilkinson, the Four Freedoms candidate, was district leader for over 20 years and is an experienced, effective leader who has won the endorsement of the UES's and Roosevelt Island's former Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, and current Councilmembers Dan Garodnick and Rosie Mendez. Kudos and congratulations to Frank.
Poor Piff or what is going on at the ASPCA — A reader's 12-year-old male cat wasn't eating or roaming around the house as he usually did. A quick look-see revealed that his right paw had ballooned to three times its normal size. Reader and her niece hurried him over to the walk-in emergency at ASPCA, three blocks from their home, on a Monday at 2:30 in the afternoon. Piff was weighed and measured. Not examined. Reader paid the $85 fee and was told they would have to wait between two to ten hours for Piff to be seen; that there were other animals ahead of Piff. Amazing that he wasn't examined to determine if he required immediate attention — and equally, if not more amazing, is that the person at the Admissions Desk imparting all this news, the reader learned, was a veterinarian. While Piff waited, other dogs and maybe a cat were seen. None were emergencies. At 5 p.m., reader asked the vet at the desk when Piff would be seen. She said that Piff was “next” except if a dying animal came in and then Piff would be returned to his place on the list. Piff, the reader and her niece had had enough. They got back the $85 fee and left. At a private vet visit the next day, Piff was diagnosed with a either a bacterial infection or cancer. They will know more in about a week. He's on antibiotics and is being treated. So far the bill's over $3,000. The reader's conclusion to the ASPCA's conduct is that they don't want to deal with walk-ins and prefer to take people they know and who use the ASPCA for their veterinary services. If they haven't seen you before, they aren't interested, and from Piff's experience at the ASPCA, thinks that they don't care if your pet dies in their waiting room. Pretty strong stuff. Over the years the ASPCA has made a complete turnabout in its policies and procedures for the betterment of animals. Hopefully the reader's experience is not emblematic that the ASPCA is on a reverse course. But something has to be done about that veterinarian at the Admissions Desk. Like Now.
Dog days on the UES — Thanks to staffer at Gristedes (86th-87th Street/York Avenue) for walking the aisles of the supermarket calling out and looking for whoever left their leashed dog tethered on the street while they shopped. No comers until a young child, shopping with her mother, came running out to the dog. Perhaps she could have done duty staying with the dog on the street while mom shopped, or vice versa. Or walked the dog before or after shopping. Whatever — there's no excuse for leaving a dog tied up while you shop leaving the dog subject to theft and fear.
Sliced, not diced — What's a big fat juicy rare hamburger without a big fat slice of raw onion? Answer: It's not a hamburger. A big fat juicy hamburger — rare, very rare — deserves lettuce, maybe tomato but it must have a thick slice of raw onion. Trust me, it does. But it's not easy these days to find servers, kitchen staffers, and maybe owners who know that a slice of raw onion is NOT strands of onion (usually Bermuda). It's not diced. It's not chopped. It's not frizzled. It's not an onion ring. It's not fried. It's not sauteed. Anyway, none of these versions of onion belong ON a burger. They belong on the side along with an order of french fries, unless you're in a Food Network fressing contest with Adam Richman. Where does one go to get a thick slice of raw onion on top of their burger?
Designer cups — Who would think that a dollar cup of coffee would be served in seemingly high-end, architecturally structured cups? It happens at Delizia on First Ave (73th-74th Streets). The oval-shaped, narrow handle is designed so that there's no wiggle room for fingers to tilt the cup leading to spilled coffee, and the saucer has a raised cut-out to set the cup so there's no spillage. And, let me assure you, the coffee is excellent.
Out-of-store smells — This is a plea to patrons and proprietors — Keep outside food out of self-serve establishments. In recent months, in places like Lenwich and Starbucks, to name but two, I've encountered the smells of pickles, pastrami, curry, to name but three. If I want pickles and pastrami, I'll go to Katz's. I don't want to endure the sight and smell of some guy cutting up an oversized pickle and chomping away at a sandwich he brings in from someplace else. The sight is bad enough. The smell unbearable.