Tag Archives: Hamdel

Tour de Hamdel: The Starr Report Edition

Tour de Hamdel two-ply.

Last time I wiped one more off the list: the Clinton. 

What I would like to discuss is how a roll of toilet paper changed my life. Continue reading


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Tour de Hamdel: “It’s a Bad Sandwich, Stupid” Edition

An announcement of Tour de Hamdel candidacy.

Last time on the campaign trail: the Tuna Melt.

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

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Tour de Hamdel: Chicken of the Sea Edition, or Who Invented the Tuna Melt?

Allow me to introduce the Tour.

Last time I had the Gipper.

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


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Triathloning: The Protein Fetish

In my last triathloning column, I talked about the stasis of swimming.

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

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Tour de Hamdel: Knute Rockne, All American Edition

Here’s the playbook.

Last time I had the Jose Special.

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

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Tour de Hamdel: Juiced Edition

Official rules and regulations located here.

Last time I had the Cheese Tease.

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

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Tour de Hamdel: Enjoy Every Sandwich Edition

Liner notes available here.

Last time I had the Balboa.

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

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