What I would like to discuss is how a roll of toilet paper changed my life. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Hamdel
I watched PCU while running on the treadmill and don’t remember much besides George Clinton’s appearance at a Port Chester University kegger. If only parties at Columbia could hijack Parliament-Funkadelic for impromptu concerts. Alas, we’re stuck with a nightmare set of top 40 hits. After attending one too many Parties in the U.S.A., I swore off frat row. To revise, after suffering through one “Party in the U.S.A.” playlist, I abandoned the possibility of entertainment along 114th Street. Operation Ivy League turned a once greasy skeezing block into a ghost town. Tumbleweed substitutes for empty beer cases on the street corner; bustiered harlots no longer beckon from Campo’s swinging saloon doors. It’s a quiet semester at Columbia so far—we badly need Mr. Wiggles to make the Mothership Connection. We want George Clinton. Someone start a write-in campaign. Continue reading
I was sitting on a bench by Morningside Park, eating my Hamdel Tuna Melt and enjoying the unseasonably cool weather, when a lingering question turned into an obsession. Who invented the tuna melt? Tuna salad griddled with cheese between bread seems like a simple concept, but at some far removed point in the mists of American history, some hitherto anonymous chef decided to conduct a sandwich experiment. After I finished my lunch, I set out to uncover the tuna melt’s story. Continue reading
During my marathon preparation, I abandoned weight lifting for six weeks. This was not my wisest decision, since I proceeded to lose all my (already negligible) muscle mass. Unlike aerobic activities like running—and now, swimming—which I enjoy, I hate the exhausting pain of weight lifting. In order to perform well in my upcoming triathlon, however, I need to build a functional base of strength. Besides the constant, low-level muscular exertion of swimming, I started using a few free weights, too. Beginning back at the little dumbbells feels a little disheartening—but I’ve learned a little patience over the last semester. Not surprisingly, I crave meat and high-protein foods constantly—eating animals indeed. Weight lifting calls for increased protein intake, because all those microscopically torn muscles require repair. Continue reading
Knute Rockne, All American is the stuff sports dreams are made of. In the film’s most famous scene, legendary Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne inspires his team with a quote from George Gipp: “sometime when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go out there with all they’ve got and win just one for the Gipper.” Continue reading
The Jose Special. You know what it is, right? It’s that thing where Jose Canseco comes up to you in the locker room waggling a big needle and offers to give you an injection you won’t ever forget. In his controversial memoir Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big, Canseco talks about his own steroid use, and then starts naming names. It’s as predictable as a Mark McGwire home run circa 1998—that one handed backswing caught many a camera flash. Canseco claims he shot up teammates Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez, and Ivan Rodriguez with anabolic steroids. The Jose Special made baseball exciting for a new generation of fans. I remember following McGwire’s ’98 streak—as a second grader, the world of professional baseball seemed populated by mythical heroes, giants that rose above the ranks of mere mortals. When McGwire broke Roger Maris’s single season home run record with a steroid-powered blast that ricocheted off the upper deck, I probably sacrificed a bull to Zeus. Continue reading
On October 30, 2002, a mesothelioma-stricken Warren Zevon appeared on Letterman one last time. He played a few songs, talked with Dave for about 10 minutes, and made an inconspicuous exit from the public eye. Of course, Zevon never enjoyed the pop stardom of his peers. Despite hit albums like Excitable Boy, he labored in relative obscurity. Critically but not commercially successful, Zevon was the consummate rock poet, a fringe figure whose quirky tunes never connected with the Billboard charts.
“Do you know something about life and death that maybe I don’t know now?” Letterman asked Zevon. “Not unless I know how much you’re supposed to enjoy every sandwich,” Zevon replied. I won’t try to directly explicate Zevon’s comment. What follows is an implicit explanation grounded in a humble Hamdel hero.
This week, I was scheduled to eat the Cheese Tease: American, Swiss, Muenster, and Provolone cheese with lettuce, tomato, pickles, oil, and vinegar. Continue reading
Every Friday, an “interesting” pseudo-celebrity—often a food professional—publishes their diet on Grub Street. This egoistic and strangely entertaining exercise in narcissism seemed like fun, so I decided to keep track of what I ate for a week. Currently, I’m about three weeks away from running the Fargo marathon; tomorrow, I plan on an 18 miler. Without further ado, my marathoning diet. Continue reading
During the Bush administration, Garry Trudeau’s cartoon Doonesbury took the Texas saying “all hat, no cattle” literally—President Bush appeared as an empty cowboy hat, all talk and no action. Thanks to Trudeau, this idiom now possesses a decidedly political valance. But cowboy hats have captivated the political imagination since Teddy Roosevelt. President Johnson gave the German delegation 50 hats at his ranch, a gesture of friendship, gratitude, and appreciation. As Peter Tamony writes in “The Ten-Gallon or Texas Hat,” receiving a hat “from a friend was a symbol of real acceptance—a nullification of any anxiety that might lurk in thought of the Indian crypticism, ‘Big hat—no cattle.’”
Unfortunately, Hamdel often flaunts sandwiches without any substance. For instance, the Tex-Mex sounds like a brisket bonanza: hot roast beef, cheddar cheese, hot peppers, onions, and barbecue sauce. While the shredded beef hints of juicy Texas barbecue, the sauce and “Mex” elements taste more Jersey than El Paso. Continue reading
I think the Big Bird would frighten small children. Not the Muppet on Sesame Street, although I did fear that yellow monstrosity for a short period—rather, the sandwich at Hamilton Deli, a combination of smoked turkey, sliced chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, coleslaw, and Russian dressing. Lovers of Big Bird the character might wonder—what exactly is on this sandwich? Is it Big Bird himself, plucked and smoked and chopped into an 8 ounce heap of meat? “Am I eating Big Bird?” My imaginary kid questions, peering at the leering counterman with hot tears welling over exaggerated lashes. Continue reading