Tuesday, January 04, 2005
So you are like “Sweet tea? What like tea with sugar? I’ve had that.”
Yea tea with sugar, but there’s a little more to it than that.
You see, the sugar needs to caramalize, to qoute snoop doggy dog “drop it likes it hot”, wizord!
So don’t hand me a packet of sugar and ice cold 4 day old tea and call it sweet. That’s sweetened tea. Hey, I hope that everyone of ya’ll is lucky enough to try a cup of southern style sweet tea, and you know what? Theres a chance you may not like it, but at least there will be this realization that it is different than sweetened tea.
I’m a southern boy, I may not strike some folks as particularly southern acting (or sounding), but it’s there. I can’t stop ending sentences with “sir” or “ma’am”, especially around people I just met, and I can’t stop craving sweet tea. Not just sweet tea, cause once I start to think about sweet tea, then I start thinking about fried catfish… and then I imagine myself buttering up a golden piece of cornbread… and then another big gulp of sweet tea… and a piece of Pecan or Chess Pie.
Here’s a fact, the worst piece of catfish I’ve ever had was better than the best sushi I’ve ever had, and I love my sushi! Hmmm…. Wasabi flavored tartar sauce? It could work.
So I was walking down the street with my friend Leticia when this friend of mine pulls up in a car next to me and yells “Arizona sells Sweet Tea now.”
“Bullshit” I yelled as the car pulled away.
Of course as soon as I got home I checked and I found this stuff.
Disclaimer: I can’t vouch for this in any way. I haven’t had it, so please don’t go out and try this stuff and be like “this is crap, I hate doc for ever suggesting it, and I hate his parents for have ever had him. I wish I could go back in time and seduce one of them on the night they were to of first met, thus preventing them from ever of born Doc in this world and ever suggest drinking Arizona? brand iced tea to me.”
So I’m going to try to get my hands on this stuff. But the cool thing is if I want sweet tea, I can actually just go down to lower haight and get it. It’s unbelievable, I can’t find sweet tea in St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, Charlotsville or Minneapolis, but I can find it in the heart of San Francisco? Its at this place called Memphis Minnies, which also has some damn fine pecan pie, sake, and deep fried cheese grits.
Can’t get enough reading about sweet tea?
Then read the history of sweet tea in the US.
My First S.F. Critical Mass
Friday, October 29, 2004
I just moved to the Mission from Minneapolis, and today was my first critical mass here. I spent the morning searching for a bike, a found a foxy blue Peugeot for sixty bucks. I haven’t owned a gear bike in years, so I was planning on converting it to a single speed when I could afford the parts.
So I rode with a friend to the starting spot and it was already about twice as many people as I had seen in Minneapolis Masses, by the end of the ride I’d say it even doubled in size. It looked like around 700 folks to me about an hour into the ride. As far as riding goes, I sort of like the smaller group in Minneap, it seems like most of my “ride” tonight was actually siting on my bike and walking in a big crowd of other folks doing the same thing. We a;; just wanted to move, but there were too many of us. When we got going it was a blast, the ride stayed mostly in the downtown area, I was surprised that lots of the paths were up some pretty big hills, I figured we’d avoid them. My favorite part of the ride by far was the ride through this big ass tunnel. I remember when I first came to town actually saying that it was a shame that this big tunnel didn’t really have a good way for folks on bikes to cross through it, just a really narrow ledge for walkers. I imagine a lot of local bikers felt great to safely cross through this tunnel by bike. It was an uphill ride, and when we got to the top, we crossed over into the other tunnel and rode back down full speed. It was crazy loud, people yelling, cars honking, and lots of echo. It was so fucking fun I did it three times. We stopped by some hotels where union workers were striking and made some more noise. A few times I wound up in the front of the line, so I’d stop at an intersection, park my bike, and pull out my yo-yo while all the mass went by. If the drivers were pissed about being delayed, at least I hope they enjoyed the yo-yo show.
The evening had a very rave like feeling which was probably mostly because of it being so close to Halloween. There were a couple loud sound systems being carried in a baby add on for bikes. There were some great costumes, including at least three cats who chose not to wear anything at all… Critical Ass? That’s kind-a funny, they should do this more often, like whenever we ride on a full moon.. Get it?
Moon. Ass? Whatever, you know its funny, don’t front.
So to compare SF Mass to Minneapolis, Mpls is usually around 250. Same mix of fixies, recumbants, gears, extended bikes, hippies, crusties, old democrats, etc. Just a smaller group. Hey Minneapolis riders, dig this, there wasn’t one tall bike at all tonight! How weird is that, we usually have a couple rolling each Mass, right? Oh, and in SF there a few skateboarders that partake in the whole ride. Anyway, Minneapolis starts downtown, then travels away from the city, usually I think south, but I’ve only done it a few times. Since the group is smaller there’s less of those “which direction now? who’s going to lead us?” stopping times. Things keep moving.
Around an hour and a half into the ride my bike told me it was time to stop.. With the loudest explosion I’ve ever heard a bike tire make. Bam! So I started asking folks how to get back to the Mission- “I dont know sorry, I just moved here from Boston” ” I don’t know this city sorry” “the mission? Valencia? Dunno” “I just moved here from New Jersey, sorry”. What the fuck? Like nobody knew how to get anywhere, even the cats I bumped into on the street. I think San Franciscans only really tend to stay in their own neighborhood. Occasionally they’ll travel out for Mass and stuff, but nobody knew where they were. So I walked my bike for about two hours before I finally found the pad I’m staying in.
As for my new bike? I dunno, it was great tonight, it’s sooooo fast. I love fast bikes, and gears still freak me a bit ’cause I know a single speed NEVER slips. But this bike did me well. Did I mention it was fast? Next time I’ll bring a pump and a tube. Damn I lucked out on this bike. Oh and this cat’s gonna pay me 40 bucks for my quick release sets! I didn’t even want those ’cause I didn’t want people stealin’ my wheels.
The crowd was friendly of course, but we always are.
Oh, one more thing, I saw a bunch of cats trying to start shit with drivers. I don’t mean like talking back to a driver that’s yelling for us to move.. But more like going out of there way to piss off cars. Often I’d see the biker at the end of the group intentional taking up multiple lanes and going way way way slower than the group. Just to piss somebody off. I know this is an empowering experience, and it proves the point that we are traffic and folks best recognize. But doing shit just to piss off cabbies doesn’t help jack shit, right? Like if they hated bikers before, that’s not going to change their mines for the positive. Many of them have just been waiting for thirty minutes in a traffic jam, why make it worse for them? Any thoughts on the ride tonight?
Don’t just do something..
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Yesterday I was at a stop light waiting for it to change when an older asian gentleman started crossing the street, his eyes fixed on the blinking crosswalk sign. He made it about a qaurter of the way across the street before it turned into a don’t walk symbol. Following the directions, he stopped.. right in the middle of the lane. As our light turned green, he stood there waiting for the crosswalk signal to tell him what to do.
It’s probably the sort of thing that everybody thinks would be funny to see actually happen, but has never witnessed themselves.
I was curious if the guy would stay there the whole time, just waiting for the light to tell him to start walking again, but the truck next to me was apparently not so curious. They honked, and the man awoke as if from a trance, turned around and walked back towards the sidewalk. I wonder if the sign starting blinking “Do the hokey pokey” what the dude would have done.
Friday, November 05, 2004
note: click the links below for pics
Jen picked me up from the train station around three. When asked I wanted to do for dinner I told her about this fancy pants “Pan-Asian cuisine” joint that serves insects. She made an expected “ick” face, but I kept bugging her about it through the evening. I’ve wanted to go to this restaurant for a few years now, I couldn’t come to LA and not eat me some crickets.
With a little time, and many shots of whiskey, Jen was starting to get into the idea of eating bugs, even mentioning that as a child she once ate a live grasshopper. Jen started making calls to friends, pressuring them to eat bug with us.
Finally she reached her friend Andrea. I’m sure Andrea will do it, she works for Fear Factor. Andrea was down with the idea so we met up and drove to the Santa Monica Airport were Typhoon is located (http://www.typhoon-restaurant.com/home.html).
We made it to Typhoon around Nine p.m. and I felt a little underdressed Actually, what should you wear while eating bugs? There was a special section on the menu simply labeled Insect. Under this section were Cricket, Chambai Ants, and White Sea Worms served on spinach leaf.
We started with and order of Devil’s Sake and the Fried Cricket. The sake cups were very large cube shapes, into which the waiter over poured our drinks. It takes a lot of ingenuity to drink from a square shaped cup. Do you drink from the corner? A straw would have been nice.
As we were fumbling with our drinks, the waiter brought our steaming cricket. It was on a large plate with fried noodle and a pineapple garnish. We all dove in. There was a delightfully potent garlic flavor that would make anything taste great. The texture of the crickets was the same as the fried noodle, so it didn’t feel very gross to eat. If you picked out a cricket by itself and ate it you could make out more of a specific texture. We were all surprised because we sort of were expecting something squishy and gross. So we ordered the sea worms.
If you’ve ever been to P.F. Changs, you’ve probably tried the chicken lettuce wrap. Imagine one of those, but instead of lettuce it’s served on not very fresh spinach, and instead of chicken there are hundreds of tiny and extremely fishy tasting worms. The worms were deep-fried. It was sort of like taking the leftover crumbs from a bag of Ripples Potato Chips, and pouring it on top of a piece of wax paper. Add to that an unavoidable musky ocean taste and you’ve got a real unique experience,
By this time I was getting the hang of my square sake cup. I’m still not sure what was more disturbing; eating insects or drinking from those square goblets.
For dessert I ordered ginger krembrule. Which turned out to be an extraordinary tasting krembrule ruined by pompous amounts of ginger root and ginger sauce. This was definitely the grossest thing on the menu, but to be fair we never tried the ant. Im saving that for my next trip to LA.