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AskTP – Boxes Boxes Everywhere

July 24, 2013

I have no idea where I’ll be the next time Ask the Profussor rolls around. Maybe I’ll be in Providence. It’s possible I’ll be in remote rural Pennsylvania, or maybe basking in the bright lights of midtown Manhattan. August is going to be a month of traveling before getting the key to our new place in Princeton at the beginning of September.

Daily posts at this point are as much a compulsion as anything else. Still, it’s possible that in the chaos of the move, or with the pitfalls of spotty internet access while traveling, that August will see some occasional dark days.

I know, perish the thought. A day without Fussy is like a day without sunshine. Still, you will have the blogroll. And there is always the archive. That stuff goes back all the way to the beginning.

Speaking of the beginning, way back then I committed to answering every question asked of me in the comments section. And I’m keeping good to my word. The only caveat is that questions need to include a question mark. You know, because if they don’t, it’s a statement and not a question.

So without any further ado, here’s what slipped through the cracks this go around.

Bill was intrigued:
Wing tour?

Oh yes. We need to settle this wing argument. And the only way to do it is with a tour. Wings need to be eaten in their native environment. Fried foods fade fast. They need to be eaten as soon as humanly possible. Styrofoam containers is where good wings go to die. So a select group of people are going to be tasked with the heavy responsibility of going around and evaluating the top wings of Troy. Afterwards we can talk about tackling some of the other wing micro-regions in the Capital Region. But let’s focus on one thing at a time.

CMaxby has some further thoughts on the wing tour:
I wonder if it’s worth doing a comparison study with each establishment’s medium and hot orders of wings?

There is absolutely value in this. However, tours have limits. Limits of time, limits of stomach capacity, and limits on palates to differentiate after too many samples. Five joints with two heat levels equals ten samples. And that’s too many. Medium wings should be plenty hot. And in this town hot wings are often adulterated versions of the medium, or so it would seem. If the trend was that medium was a dumbed down version of hot, we might go the other way. Still, a follow up independent study project that took the tour’s two top taverns, and subjected them to this level of analysis would make an amazing guest post.

I’ll put you down as a volunteer. Thanks.

Thomas F. Nolan IV asks the question that’s on everyone’s tingling lips:
How do I become part of this tour du wings in Troy?

Luck? Lavishing Jessica R. with compliments and diamonds? Sadly, given the nature of this tour, it has to be kept small and is not open to everyone. Part of me dies to have to say that. But most tours are entirely open to whomever wants to dedicate their bodies to science. And I’d encourage you to try one out down the road. The cider donut tours in the fall are always a good time.

Mr. Dave obviously isn’t as big a fan of bacon as he thinks:
But isn’t it funny? As much as I am a fan of bacon, I sort of prefer copious amounts of really good butter in my eggs…

It’s hysterical. But I’m totally revoking your bacon card.

Ed does a good job replicating my state of mind about foreign travel when I was in college:
We went there for the first time I think it was 2009 or 2010 AND I went kicking and screaming, “Why would anyone want to go to Paris?”

Most people don’t travel the way I do. People want to see sights and visit landmarks. And possibly there is something to be gained by that. But it never did anything for me. When I realized that there are some foods that you cannot get in America, that’s when the bug bit me. Young raw milk cheeses, here I come.

The Cheese Traveler is trying to tempt me to return to Albany early:
You’ve got me thinking about the 1 Year Anniversary, now. If we pull together something awesome, do you think we can get you back up to the area for a day? (You might have some sort of business in Albany.) It’s exciting to hear about your your going to Paris again. I can’t wait to hear about it. How about next Bastille Day considering a simple celebration with French cheeses?

It’s possible, but probably unlikely. Instead I’ll have to drown out my sorrow for not being able to make it up in a Fat Darrell. But I do like the idea of celebrating Bastille Day with French wines and cheeses. But it would have to be something rustic like Cantal. We wouldn’t want to associate ourselves with the aristocracy and get sent to the guillotine. Actually, I don’t know who was being executed back then. My French history professor and I never quite got along.

caravan70 and I have had many of the same experiences:
I sometimes stand in line at a place (Blue Bottle in the Ferry Building would be a good example) and bitch to myself about the length of that line, and then think: well, isn’t it a good thing that people are still willing to put up with this in order to enjoy a wonderful experience?

That’s very true. But imagine how intolerable those lines would have been before smart phones. For the record, the one thing I will never wait in line for is a bar. Seriously, I can’t believe how many people engage in this practice. Although to be fair, I do make a small allowance for showing up a few minutes before Rickhouse opens for the day.

WrigsMac will not be going out or taking her guests to fish fry:
Don’t get me wrong, I live for fried food, but why buy it when it’s better made at home?

Frying is one of those things I don’t do at home for a variety of reasons. So for me, frying is always better out of the home. But I get where you are coming from.

Potato King is the sole commenter on my recommendations tab:
This list is a bit how do i say it? POTATO!

I don’t know who this person is. But if they are the self appointed King of Potato, I can only assume that “POTATO!” is a good thing indeed.

Chef Paul apparently believes that I am competent at frying chicken:
Why don’t you invite all of your readers over for some fried chicken? Peanut oil problem solved!!

That’s a lot of chicken. But like I said, I don’t fry at home. Fried foods are terrible for you. If I’m going to eat them, I want them to be prepared by a master. It would be a good skill to learn, but it’s not really something I want to undertake. Fortunately there are plenty of places to get good versions of these dishes when the mood strikes.

Mary thinks that I’m going to hate New Jersey:
Whenever I hopped over to NYC- all people would do was ask me “how do people meet other people there? There’s no sense of community.” And they were absolutely correct. Also, Outdoorsy? What? No one I knew there growing up was anything of the sort.

I expect meeting other people to be easy on this sabbatical. We’ll be living in a faculty village, surrounded by colleagues and their families. And pretty much everyone there will be from someplace else and only staying for the year. Plus there are all kinds of orientation activities. It sounds a lot like camp. Except longer. And with merit badges for research instead of archery. Apparently the place also has grounds. People have been known to walk them in the past. We’ll have to check them out on our arrival.

Suzanne had her question answered, but I had a corollary:
We walk by a restaurant called Polock Johnny’s in Ocean City MD. I wondered about the name but I’m not Polish so it really doesn’t bother me. It’s a third generation family restaurant originated in Baltimore and they are, of course, Polish. I can’t find anything that talks about people being up in arms about the derogatory(?) name. If you read their history you can see where their name comes from. Are people here just to sensitive?

Just to follow the logic of your example. Let’s assume the Super Bowl was coming to Baltimore and Polock Johnny’s had a mobile truck. Despite their local popularity, they might not be invited to represent their city at this international event where Baltimore would be seen on a more global stage.

Like Polock Johnny, Wandering Dago has enjoyed a great deal of support from their local community. But choosing a name that some people find offensive immediately limits your potential audience and your business opportunities. Nobody is saying the truck owners can’t name their business what they like. It’s just seems the track realized a little too late that perhaps this state-owned property shouldn’t be doing business with a truck that some of their patrons find offensive.

Enough Already! thinks I’m bringing on a temp:
Who will be the temporary fussperson? Hard shoes to fill. But new adventures await you and your family. Enjoy the year and y’all come back, hear?

I know that All Over Albany has tapped someone to continue to Eat This! feature. I don’t want to ruin the surprise. But I do know this person and I’m very happy about the selection. From the rest of the blogosphere, I’m really hoping that others step up. I will open the FLB up to guest posts to try and funnel readers to other blogs. But we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, I still plan to write almost every day. And when I come back next July, then the topics can get more Albany centric.

Susan L. must not live in Guilderland:
Do you have a reliable vehicle that gets decent gas mileage? You’re going to need it where you’re headed. No one seems to walk in that neck of NJ.

Nobody walks in Guilderland. Well, they do at the mall. But Mrs. Fussy is known around the neighborhood as the crazy lady who walks. And presumably she’ll be that in New Jersey too.

Our car is reliable and does get good gas mileage. Despite the walking, it will be important to bring back all our groceries from Wegmans. What I won’t have is a good mechanic I trust to keep it tuned in tip-top shape like Steve and his team at Larry’s Foreign Auto here in Albany. Those guys are the best. And I’ll look forward to getting back here to mechanics who earned my trust almost immediately.

J. WELF asks and will receive:
GET IT, TINY TOWN … THE DEAD MILKMEN! AMIRITE? Anyway, more Dead Milkmen talk on this blog would be appreciated.

It’s certainly a small town. But here’s a little known fact about the Dead Milkmen. Back in college I lived in a house that was an informal part of the Philadelphia music scene. And the Dead Milkmen played there. In the living room. Granted, it was before my day, but it was an important part of the history of the place. Especially because the show was so crowded, and the mosh pit was so intense, that the floor caved in. Subsequently the floor was shored up so that when The Murder Junkies played, we had no structural issues.

Another little known fact about that period of my life is that I drank more Frank’s Black Cherry Wishniak than any other soda for a period of years. To this day I have no idea what a wishniak is, and dammit don’t you dare google it. Sometime the joy in life is its mysteries.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura Northrup permalink
    July 24, 2013 11:02 am

    Museums and landmarks are what you do to pass the time between restaurants. That’s the best way to travel.

    • July 24, 2013 11:08 am

      It’s true. But one should not forget exploring grocery stores, sitting in cafes, and wandering the streets of the city.

      I also happen to like getting a little lost on the public transit system. There’s a lot to be said for serendipity.

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