So, toward the end of August in my last post I recounted being a fat bastard and diagnosed a Type II diabetic. After the Labor Day holiday weekend I got serious. I'm pleased to have lost 33 pounds in 40 days, I'm still a fat bastard but I'm making real progress. My hope is that by early December I'll be down another 15 pounds and that my A1C number will show significant improvement. I want my doctor to notice the weight loss then comment that the medication is doing well. Which I'll reply that I haven't taken the medication for the diabetes or high cholesterol.
What am I doing right? Well first I'm doing what is right for me. I'm convinced that a big part of weight loss and diet is finding what works for you. If your plan is a constant struggle that you can't do long term then find another plan. Another thing I'm convinced of is that sugar and corn syrup have absolutely no positive effect on the body. Which brings me to Keto. That is what I'm doing combined with intermittent fasting. Keto isn't something completely foreign to me. I had great success with the Atkins diet in the late 1990s. I chose the Keto route because I felt I could stick with it and people with very similar health goals were having great success. I needed to know what Keto was compared to Atkins, short answer not really different. So I did a deep dive. While researching Keto the subject of intermittent fasting came up. That was a piece that now makes so much sense, something I was unaware of. I'm also getting a decent amount of cardio. Coincidently I'm also doing Sober October...and September, November and probably December. When I hit my ideal weight I can bring wine back in, not a bottle a night like my old life. I've had a few glasses of wine since starting Keto. I find it stalls my weight loss, so I'll leave that for spring when I should be 200 pounds. I feel great and I'm sleeping better.
What am I doing wrong? I'm not doing enough weight training. I really need to get serious about incorporating resistance training. I can continue losing weight without it but I'll drop the weight quicker with resistance training. There is the added benefit of being stronger.
I still don't know what the future holds for this Prudencio blog. NYC is alive but still a mess. I believe Keto is a way of life for me. That means a lot of foods are for a lack of a better term off limits. So can I really food blog eating just steak, broccoli, salad, cheese and eggs?
For more on a Keto diet life check out: http://www.dietdoctor.com
“If folks miss the theater, if they miss indoor dining, those things will be back. They’ll be back next year at some point. I think that is overwhelmingly the case...indoor dining, there is not a plan right now," Mayor DeBlasio.
I've known for some time this blog will need a complete retooling. 2020 has completely wrecked my plans for it, New York City will come back some day. Unfortunately, it will probably get worse before it gets better. Can the city come back in a few years? Yes but it could also take a decade or more.
In the mean time while our society upended everything for COVID-19 my health got worse. I was in terrible shape to begin with, I had been since 2016. I started February with a good gym routine, then March 2020 happened. Closing the gyms is more than figuratively killing people. Muscle mass aside putting on weight sets one on a downward spiral. The sleep apnea wrecks your sleep, which affects everything else. The diabetes sets out to wreck how your body functions. Intimacy, non-existent. Snarky people on social media will say "go outside" displaying their ignorance of weather and fitness training.
Wine, Rum-Chata and Netflix every night certainly doesn't help. It doesn't effect getting up at 9am but isn't good for beating the heat at 5am.
So yeah I had some big plans for this year. Weighing 300 pounds and New York City being a dumpster fire has put that all on hold. I need to get right with my body. I refuse to live the rest of my life a type 2 diabetic. With that all said yes another damn weight loss blog. I'll chronical my journey back to good health with every ugly setback along the way.
We've mostly converted the guest bedroom into a gym...my treadmill was supposed to come today. Now it's looking like another two weeks, at least the weather will cooperate for a park trail day tomorrow.
I don't get political on this blog but I'm angry and sad over George Floyd's death. I'm angry and sad that rioting and looting is taking the focus off George Floyd's death. George Floyd's death shouldn't be political, it should be about getting swift justice.
There are signs that The City will be opening soon. I'll probably go back to Mustang Sally's where normal in NYC ended for me.
In geek genre TV, news about Battlestar Peacock continues to leak out. Executive producer Sam Esmail announced that the first season won't just be a "ten hour movie". Episode run times can vary from a 30 minutes to 90 minutes. On the Star Trek scene it appears the fans' voices have been heard. A new series focused on the Captain Pike era Enterprise is coming to CBS All Access. Anson Mount, Ethan Peck and Rebecca Romijn have signed on to reprise their roles in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. CBS has a wonderful opportunity, will they screw it up?
It's May 4th, once again Star Wars fans are celebrating all over social media. Yet the big genre news today was all Battlestar Peacock. If you didn't know, NBC Universal has launched it's own streaming service last month, Peacock. Among the original programing, movies, sports and reruns of TV favorites, there are Universal owned properties getting taken off the shelf to be reused. To much fanfare last September 17th it was announced that Sam Esmail would be rebooting Battlestar Galactica.
Within days of the announcement Sam Esmail sent out a tweet that the new show would not be a reboot but another story told in the Moore universe. Citing the 2003 series as perfection, you don't mess with perfection. During an interview for his show Outlander, Ron Moore described a phone call in which Moore gave Esmail his blessing. This immediately pleased some people while angering others. From that point forward the only mention of Battlestar Galactica were one line sentences in Peacock related news and press releases.
Basically fans of the franchise didn't know anything about this new show. I asked if Peacock wanted a show called Battlestar Galactica, since it is a known property. With the 2003 series having a very definitive ending. How do you tell a story of the good ship Galactica in the Moore universe? Prequel? Well that was Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome. I was left with the impression that Sam Esmail's tweet was nothing more than a hasty stroking of Ron Moore's ego and placating part of the fanbase.
Today, first reported by Deadline. deadline.com/2020/05/battlestar-galactica-michael-lesslie-showrunner-peacock-reboot-1202923668/
We learned that Battlestar Peacock has a new show runner, "worldbuilder". Michael Lesslie, "will work up a reimagined world". Here is the quote for fans to dissect while sheltering in place waiting for more news.
“I am beyond excited to be taking on this iconic and inspirational show. As a lifelong devotee, I know that the possibilities of Battlestar Galactica‘s world are infinite and that each iteration has raised the bar for epic and intelligent sci-fi storytelling. The teams at Esmail Corp, UCP and Peacock are second to none, and I already know that we are going to honor Glen A. Larson and Ronald D. Moore’s landmark series and break new boundaries with our own vision. It’s a dream come true — one I just can’t wait to share with fans, new and old alike. So say we all.”
Time heals most wounds, at conventions around the world fans of both versions of Battlestar Galactica cosplay well with one another. Still the original Toxic Fandom exists, the warring tribes of Moore vs Larson. Those that feel the 2003 series was perfection not needing a reboot and those who feel robbed of a proper ending for the original series. The later almost having no interest in the franchise at all, which is sad in my opinion. Despite critical accolades the 2003 series was not a huge success. It went on four seasons barely being renewed each time. It is my guess that UCP wants a bigger hit, a bigger cash return on investment. So, I'll dissect that paragraph above hoping Michael Lesslie will cast a wider net with some good story telling.
I've been revisiting the 2003 series during the pandemic. Cutting out the waste, sticking to the better stuff. That's for another time.
So as March comes to a sad end New York City, the entire metro-region, is closed. The grim forecast is close to a thousand bars and restaurants won’t reopen at the end of April when restrictions are supposed to be lifted. Many other businesses won’t survive. Your favorite non-profit museums may also feel the pain. Some of you may be losing sleep wondering how you’ll keep it all together because you’re essentially jobless at the moment. Some of you may have already given all you can at this point, donating to many great causes. If you’re still doing well not worried where the next dollar is coming from consider helping those places you enjoy. Gift cards from restaurants, cafes or bars you like.
I’m a paying member of the New York Transit Museum. Fact is I had hoped to cover some of their stuff by now. Then shelter in place happened. The museum is doing its best to make the online experience more robust. They are also asking that folks Make a Gift, frankly a lot of revenue is being lost and no one wants to lose the museum.
So, if you can find something in the city you love that needs a little love, write that check.
Manhattan, the entire city, the entire metropolitan area of NY is a playground, a land of wonder. The purpose of my blog is to cover all that is great by day in NYC, like a great lunch or cup of coffee. A great event at a museum or park. Maybe the latest buzz worthy film release. Because of Covid-19 literally everything I'd blog about is effectively canceled or banned until further notice. So for the time being I won't have much to say here. I'll keep my Thinking Cap on for subject matter that will allow me to stay in touch. In the meantime take care of yourselves and your loved ones.
Keep Calm, Carry On,
Mustang Harry's, 352 7th Ave, New York, NY, 10001.
I walk in wondering if I had been here before, something feels familiar. Sharon greets me with a smile then eagerly shows me to my table. I look around, it's feels the same but something looks different. Then it dawns on me, American Whiskey around the corner down the street! Is a lunch at Mustang Harry's a copy and paste experience? Sure and that isn't bad at all. So let's give Mustang Harry's it's due.
I looked over the signature cocktails finding the Barrel Aged Boulevardier. Ingredients are listed on the menu along with a helpful flavor profile description. When sipping the boulevardier expect it to be spirit forward, bitter sweet, aromatic and complex, as per the menu. Sharon took the time to ask if I'd had one before, explained how many others described it before sending the cocktail back. We had a nice little back and forth, I knew I was in good hands. Feeling properly warned and clear of what to expect I ordered my BAB. The Starters a.k.a. appetizers list is interesting devoid of the diner standards of most joints. The To Share menu is where you'll find familiar favorites, like Disco Fries "Jersey Style". The Charred Lamb Lollipops on chimichurri sauce piqued my curiosity. Sharon confirmed wise choice. My cocktail arrived, I ripped open a Trip Wipes to relax Covid-19 free and take in the rest.
You get a single laminated page menu and printed daily specials. Yes, one of those interesting menus with something for everyone yet not overburdened with options, so ordering decisions should go quickly. Sharon recommended the ribs or the porkchop special. I wanted the Prime Hanger Steak Frites with garlicky greens, cowboy butter and fries. I expressed desire for the Smoky Mac & Cheese because I like smoked gouda and bacon crumbs, Sharon helped me save $9 by ditching the fries. Deep into my Barrel Aged Boulevardier the cough medicine vibe is long gone and I had been enjoying something different. Time for a fresh drink Sharon waves me off the Caribbean Old Fashioned assuring me Mustang Harry's take on the classic will be satisfying and it does meet expectations.
The Lamb Lollipops arrived and were heavenly. Ordered medium they were so tender, full of flavor. You get three per plate, for $5 more they'll serve you a forth one. I could eat these like wings. Don't get crazy with the chimichurri sauce the lamb doesn't need it. I gnawed on the bones like junkyard dog.
The place gets little loud as the Happy Hour crowd comes in. If there is music I'm not hearing it. The flat panels are broadcasting ESPN and FOX Sports on mute. A conversation can be had just speak up a little.
Hanger steak and a Malbec-Syrah blend arrive then every moment is great. My steak frites are medium-rare, each bite has a slight bulgogi note and that's good! The garlicky greens are flavor packed and even welcome a sip of wine. My side dish of adult macaroni and cheese are also 4 stars. Mustang Harry's quickly gets on the Visit Again List. While the hanger steak is near perfection it will cool quickly, so quit yapping and eat!
I finished with a Bourbon Walnut brownie topped with Vanilla ice cream, also a nice cup of joe. MSRP on this meal was $110, this included two cocktails and a glass of wine. Great service from Sharon with an assist from Collen, we all joked about social distancing. A pleasurable meal in everyway. I look forward to coming back and I was thanked quite a bit for coming out. I think the restaurant scene worries about a city-wide closing. That would be a shame.
The film and television landscape has shifted in two huge ways. Streaming and Disney's buying spree. The content providers that haven't been bought by Disney need their own streaming service and big franchises to compete. It now appears that NBC Universal is going to fully tap the potential of the Battlestar Galactica franchise. With lofty goals of having an MCU and Star Wars mega profit center? Why not? It wouldn't be the first time.
In 1978 Battlestar Galactica was created to tap into the cultural phenomenon that was Star Wars. Originally conceived as a mini-series with TV movies to follow. The ABC television network liked what they were seeing and pressed for a full TV series. Nearly 70 million people tuned in to the premier 3 hour episode. While Battlestar Galactica couldn't maintain 70 million tuning in weekly it's viewership numbers were good enough to guarantee a second season. Then something surprising happened, ABC canceled it after one season. The show didn't have the typical budget. The FX, sets, costumes and ensemble cast were expensive. A letter writing campaign would spawn the retooled and much unloved Galactica 1980 it was canceled after 10 episodes. An edited version of the premier episode was shown in movie theaters in 1979. The episodes of the show were edited together shown as tele-movies in various markets of North America and Europe. Tie in toys, books, model kits, comic books, trading cards, lunch boxes and glasses from Burger King were everywhere. The fun characters and rich universe of Battlestar Galactica were all the rage while we waited for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
Throughout the 1990s there were rumors of Battlestar Galactica returning in some form, be it big screen or small. No one got Universal to open the check book.
At the turn of the century the biggest names in Hollywood were Bryan Singer and Tom DeSanto. The FOX TV network gave the greenlight to Tom DeSanto's Battlestar Galactica with Bryan Singer to direct the first few hours. Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict of the original show would return with young new actors starring as the hot-shot Viper pilots. FOX wanted to market the show as directed by Bryan Singer. When the September 11th attacks happened travel came to a stand still. Singer's small window to direct the first episode had quickly closed. While interior sets of the Galactica and two full size Viper mock-ups had been built FOX pulled the plug, uninterested in moving forward without Bryan Singer.
Universal's television division still wanted to develop the property and had it's own network the Sci-Fi Channel to air it on. Star Trek veteran writer Ron Moore and television producer David Eick were brought on to develop the 2003 Battlestar Galactica mini-series that would serve as a backdoor pilot for a full series. The 2004-2009 Battlestar Galactica was a consistent critic's favorite through out it's run. It upended the structure and narrative of the television space opera attracting viewers who normally eschew the science fiction genre. The Ron Moore show still has an impassioned fanbase that purchases new show related merchandise today.
Several years ago Universal announced a Battlestar Galactica film for cinemas after having acquired the film rights from the estate of Glen A Larson, the Battlestar Galactica universe creator. Over the years various producers and writers had been attached to the project. Only for nothing to actually happen. September of 2019 Peacock was announced. This new streaming service from NBC Universal would dust off old titles it owns and mine them for new content. Sam Esmail was announced to produce a new Battlestar Galactica for Peacock. A few days later in a tweet Esmail said his show was not a reboot but will be a story in the Ron Moore universe. In the flurry of articles and blog posts covering the news occasionally some writer would mention the Battlestar Galactica film in development. I took this to be the result of lazy writers not exercising due diligence. Then DJ Rivera at We Got This Covered comes along clearly stating the Battlestar Galactica movie is still on. Not just rehashing old news but that producers are currently casting the roles of Adama and Starbuck.
Back in the day a property was television or film but usually not both at the same time. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has changed all that. The MCU has the biggest budget films breaking box office records while others Marvel characters are engaging on the small screens at home. Star Wars films continue while the Mandalorian is off to great success on TV. Star Trek has had a long history co-existing with film and television productions at the same time. For all the accolades the 2004 Battlestar Galactica achieved it was never hugely popular. It ran on a smaller TV network with less reach. It suffered from Toxic Fandom, with fans of the original show and the new at each others throats. Executives had a hard time determining value of those binge-watching the show on iTunes. Streaming was at it's infancy. Universal always wanted a bigger audience. If Sam Esmail is going to base his story on some other element of the Ron Moore universe. Then it's likely to be TV-MA and not likely a story happening on a battlestar named Galactica. This leaves room for a big budget film rebooting the Galactica story to a wider PG-13 audience. Lunching a new sci-fi action franchise, with all the merch that comes with it.
I've long had doubts a movie will happen but DJ Rivera apparently has sources that have been right before. Will it be successful? Way to early to say. One thing for sure Andrew Fullen won't be pleased.
Take the 7 train to the end in Queens, you'll arrive in NYC's legit Chinatown. Around the turn of the century Flushing's Chinatown had surpassed the Manhattan neighborhood, now with nearly twice as many Chinese Americans and immigrants. In Flushing you won't find faux pagoda roofs on buildings and phone booths, you'll also find very little English on store signs and windows. Flushing is not a seedy Cantonese tourist trap but a fully functioning community of Mandarin. Due the histrionics surrounding the Coronavirus both Chinatowns are suffering from a lack of visitors spending cash. Since I rarely turndown an opportunity to ride the 7 train I decided to explore Flushing's Chinatown and get lunch.
Eger to warm up on a cold February afternoon, I stopped into Szechuan House, 133-47 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing, NY, 11354. I welcomed the hot tea whiling flipping through the menu. You'll quickly realize they specialize in the spicy. They use a 1 through 3 red pepper icon warning system. I don't handle the heat as well as I used to so everything 2 pepper and higher was off my consideration list. Pig brain, frog, quail and rabbit were all 3 peppers. I'd start simple with steamed pork dumplings. I chose two entrées the Braised Lamb with Chinese Cabbage in Brown Sauce, a mild dish needing no pepper icon warning. Also the one pepper Beer Flavored Duck with Bamboo in Spicy Sauce. I opened a Trip Wipes to freshen my hands then relaxed to take the atmosphere in.
Szechuan House is a simple single dining room. A nice clean look with white ceiling, walls and table cloths. No music, some Asian soap opera on a big screen that the waitstaff seems enthralled with. I was quickly informed the lamb had been eighty-sixed for the day. The two waitresses work in tandem. They are pleasant and don't keep you waiting.
Surprisingly the duck showed up first. It looks like a big bowl of warm delicious on a cold winter afternoon. Big chunks of duck, the bamboo looks like pasta and tastes like it too. The spicy comes from the tasty sauce so if you want more kick lap it up on the big spoon. I went about the duck a few different ways. Carefully picking out pieces with my spoon that appeared boneless. Eating chunks of the duck with the bones as the bone seemed soft enough to chew from the cooking. Fumbled with the chopsticks, I gave that up quickly. Finally I tried using my paws. With my fear of choking on a bone I settled with using my hands eating the duck like fried chicken. That worked great all I needed was extra napkins. I really gave up drinking beer years ago but I must say the Corona was perfect with this dish. Three pieces of duck then a nice gulp of Corona to cool the palate, rinse and repeat. I would also dunk my steamed pork dumplings into the spicy duck sauce. After a very satisfying lunch my thoughts were about the bakery I passed earlier.
In the mood for a coffee and a sweet treat I stopped into Tous les Jours, 39-16 Prince St, Flushing, NY, 11354. Meaning everyday in French this Korean franchise is an Asian-French bakery. You'll find a nice selection of cakes, cookies and pastry. Various coffee drinks, tea and other beverages are available to accompany your treats. I was intrigued by the idea of Bulgogi Sausage Rolls but filed that For Later. I ordered a cup fresh coffee. Also three macaroons Oreo, Earl Grey and Coffee. It's a large space with chill music although the small steel and wood chairs probably discourage spending hours there on your laptop.
Lunch set me back $34, the duck or dumplings alone would be filling enough. Happy hour gets you three beers for the price of one. Coffee and macaroons cost me $9.60.
Walking around Chinatown-Flushing looking for a meal is something I'll do again. The sidewalks were full after school with maybe 10% of people wearing masks. Forget Coronavirus get out and get lunch.
We flipped a coin then headed south. Mrs. Columbo and I have a thing a for sun rises over the Atlantic. We've never been to Ocean City and figured that would do for a semi-impromptu road trip. We'd bunk at the Princess Royale Oceanfront Hotel, the balcony just off the beach was great, the suite clean, well equipped, ample in size. The place is dated, the one restaurant open off-season is lackluster with a Golden Girls vibe, towels are tired, the shower head something found in a 2 star motel.
We got up at the crack of dawn to catch the sun rising over the Atlantic, listening to the crash of the waves while sipping coffee. With no schedule to keep we decided to relax then have a late breakfast. We headed over to Layton's Family Restaurant known as Layton's 16th Street since they opened a second location on the north end of town. It's a large kid friendly place with a tacky mix of pirate ship and Top Gun themes. When you look over the two pages of breakfast menu you begin to think a decent meal can be had. Being in Ocean City where crab is king, seafood item breakfast choices are plenty. I stepped out of my breakfast comfort zone ordering the Seafood Omelet, crab cake, grilled shrimp, topped with hollandaise sauce and Old Bay. I added bacon because I have a hard time imagining breakfast without it. I really enjoyed my omelet but to do it again I'd ask to go light on the hollandaise. My wife likes pancakes so I took notice when she exclaimed "fluffiest pancakes ever". The coffee was a C+ at best. The young servers were friendly and fast. This also being a donut shop, it was nice of the manager to walk around offering samples. The donuts are grade A, we took a half dozen back to the hotel.
I Ocean City is nice, we like beach towns, we're also big fans of walkable downtowns with historic charm. Not exactly what Ocean City is offering up. Nearby the town of Belin has a historic Mainstreet Downtown. We took the short drive, walked the charming streets looking for a meal. The Mainstreet Enchanted Tea Room was up for consideration, where we could experience a proper British tea service. Wanting some heftier fare the Atlantic Hotel Bistro Bar a.k.a. Drummer's Café won the day. We sat in the enclosed porch so I could watch the cars and people go by. I started with the Crab Dip, Mrs. Columbo doesn't eat anything from the sea. We shared the Twin Kabobs of Filet Mignon. Both starters were damn tasty. From the Sunday Brunch Special menu I had the Omelet, 3 organic eggs, lobster, spinach, Havarti cheese, home fries, fruit, Texas Toast. The omelet is a joy bite for bite but the home fries were a pleasant surprise not just some after thought. My wife ordered the Avocado Vegetable Wrap, it was large and she seemed to enjoy it. The coffee was great, bold enough to be interesting, perfectly smooth for breakfast.
Some interesting history of the Atlantic Hotel: atlantichotel.com/berlin-md-hotel-history/
Dinner coverage is usually not my purview yet we liked Liquid Assets, 9301 Coastal Hwy, Ocean City, MD 21842. We liked it so much that we went back a second night. An interesting concept, someone dropped a bar right in the middle of a fully stocked liquor store, with an attached dinning room serving 5 star cuisine. Over two nights we had Oyster Rockefeller, Rotisserie Chicken and Dumplings, Seared Scallops Risotto, New York Strip and the Wagyu Burger. "We believe that farm fresh food is always better than frozen...local, freshly prepared, high-quality ingredients", for the first time I had Oyster Rockefeller not frozen from a box and it was amazing. Make reservations this place is very popular.