Friday, July 23, 2010

Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives and Boys in Envelopes

The blue cheese olive combines the pungent taste of the cheese with the salty flavor of the marinated olive. Perfect to dress up your martini, for a meat and cheese tray, the blue cheese stuffed olive can even smarten up your salad. - from "How to Stuff an Olive with Blue Cheese"

Annie Hall is as white bread as people come. In fact, in an New York deli she orders a pastrami on white bread with mayonnaise, which would be like ordering a taco with mayonnaise in an East L.A. - from "Woody on the Cusp - a Review of Annie Hall"

As we approached the Triborough Bridge the high rises of Manhattan came into full view. I was home.

We got closer and it was as if the buildings were wrapping round me, enclosing me. Welcoming me. There are few sights as appealing as the Manhattan skyline. Or as comforting

I'd been away. In the Mid-West. The American Heartland. One forgets when one has left. Typical Mid-West things get buried in the more immediate concerns of New York. Take their restaurants, for example.

But that'll have to wait. My trip to Illinois was marked by my saying goodbye to my friend of three weeks, Flat Stanley. Here he is at LaGuardia airport where we parted ways.

Flat Stanley has his own website Flat Stanley is a drawing on a piece of paper (hence the "Flat"). He visits people all over the world, moving from place to place in an envelope. He usually stays about a week and during that time you take photos of him in landmark places and write letters to his parents, pretending to be him. In actual fact it is a child who gets the letters, and he or she takes them to school so that all the grade school children can learn about other places.

At first I was a bit concerned. How could I photograph a piece of paper near the Rockefeller Center, at Central Park, in Greenwich Village? But it turned out not to be so difficult. People were only too happy to join in and help me position Flat Stanley so that the landmarks were visible in the photos.

Here is Flat Stanley at the Admiral's Club at LaGuardia. On his way home to San Diego.

As for me. I was going in another direction. To Illinois.

It seems to me that Illinois is not much different from New York. Except for the accents. And the clothes (colored) and the food.

You are probably wondering what this photo is of. I will not keep you in suspense. It is of an olive, stuffed with blue cheese. One of the more exotic offerings at J. Alexanders, a restaurant in Deerfield, Illinois. You get three of them stabbed with a toothpick in your martini.

At J. Alexanders I was reminded of the first place I lived in when coming to America. Edmond, Oklahoma. The restaurants have identical layouts. A horseshoe-shaped bar in the middle and sit-down areas were on either side.

The food was good, though I gave the blue cheese olives a miss.

Back at the hotel (a Marriott) I asked about WiFi. No we don't have it but we might get it in the future I was told. I mosied down to the hotel's "Business Center", sure that there'd be some ethernet connected PCs for guests to use. There was. One.

Now I don't want to sound like a critical New Yorker. Because of course I am not.

I don't like Kate Miller-Heidke any more and she's from my home country, Australia. And I do like Flat Stanley, and he isn't from New York. I don't like a certain person in Spain, and he has never been to New York. I don't like people who cannot write in complete sentences, even if they ARE fans (see HERE). And I don't think I could EVER like

blue cheese stuffed olives.


Jaded NYer said...

Well I bet those Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives would go great with some of the tasty entrees they have in the Midwest Remember to visit the famous

Road Kill Cafe - with specialties such as:

Boiled Possum Bottom

Raccoon Ratatouille

Squirrel Stew

Coyote Consumme'

Aardvark Appetizer

Falcon Soup

Hyena Burgers

Mongoose Meatloaf

Anonymous said...

Yep, the Middle West has a style all its own. Ask me, I live amongst a ton of 'em. Drive me right up the wall.

Unknown said...

Now Kathleen, you obviously know that playing at grammar police is the refuge of someone who doesn't have a actual argument. You can do better I think. Nice job on the article though, I enjoyed it.

I suppose I might nit pick and mention that if the fact that the business center having only on PC is the worst thing that happened to you on your trip ... but still nice work overall.

Well now look at this! Jaded NYer and I actually agree on something. The only way you would catch me in Road Kill Cafe is if you ran me over.

-- Oh but wait -

Since the Road Kill Cafe doesn't exist except as a web page, it looks like you might be trying to imply something about people who live in the Midwest.

So do you have any other stereotypes you would like to enlighten us about? Any views on religion, minorities or ethnic communities you could share with the rest of us?

Jaded NYer said...


You are correct that the Road Kill Cafe does not exist physically, it exists only in our imagination, and as such can exist anywhere. It is not specific to the midwest or America itself for that matter.

It was created to provide lunch choices for Kate and her coworkers during a long and boring business trip.

On another note - I think I am falling in love with Flat Stanley

Unknown said...

Very good, you finally stumbled on the secret of the internet. Don't feed the trolls.

Goodbye, Jaded NYer, have a nice life.

Turns out not where but who you're with that really matters

- Dave Matthews Band

Jaded NYer said...

Are you saying you are a troll?

You mean I passed the test?


Jaded NYer said...

If you are not a troll then I apologize, because I do know what you mean.

They are everywhere and yeah it gets to be a bit too much.

Have a good one Jeff.

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