Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Miss and Don't Miss #1

It’s going on two months that we have been here in the desert following our week long drive across country. We do not regret the move. In spite of the record breaking heat we had in June we are on the road to becoming Las Vegans (Vegans? – we are certainly not giving up meat! Las Vegians?).

There are, however, things that I miss about the east in general and the New York Metropolitan area in particular.

Pizza (and by extension BREAD) – The number of pizza places in the Las Vegas area advertising themselves as “New York Pizza” establishments is astounding. I attribute this advertising gimmick to pandering to the easterner’s need for good pizza. Some of the ones I have tried are passable, as in edible, but something’s missing. I have eaten decent crust, middling mozzarella, and tolerable sauce rarely if ever all on the same slice. Years ago when I first starting coming to Vegas as a tourist, not even this level of average excellence was available so kudos to those who are trying. My latest thinking is that the NY “environment” is missing and no one can transport that here or anywhere. Rarely are there lines of people queued up for slices and cokes even at lunch time. Never thus far has there been yelling, pushing, jockeying for better places in line or mean, threatening looks from those behind the counter. Rarely have I been told that a “pie is coming out soon,” first of all because they never call pizza “pie.” Secondly, because there is seldom enough business for anyone to be in a rush so spare slices are always waiting. 

Also, pizza joints in Las Vegas are really into “toppings.” Aside from a sausage, pepperoni, or mushrooms slice here and there, New Yorkers are content with what is called the “cheese slice” here in Vegas as if you can have a slice of pizza without cheese. Here the menu of toppings includes all those available in NY with the addition of exotic extras like pineapple and avocado. “Gimme a break!!! Pineapple pizza? I’ll never get used to that.

My best guess though is that there is more wrong with desert pizza at the foundation level than anywhere else, which brings me to bread! There ae so many kinds of exceptional, breath-taking, scrumptious breads in the New York area that the old saw, “Man does not live by bread alone,” is way off base. In New York you CAN live by bread alone – maybe a little olive oil or butter too but that’s plenty. So if it’s difficult to get good bread here it’s not because there isn’t any good flour – there’s lots of it and it grows closer to Vegas than it does to NY. Believe me, I drove passed all those amber waves of grain on my way out here. The problem with bread here is water. Not only do we have lousy water in Las Vegas but the issue is magnified by the fact that New York City and its environs have world class water. The city we lived in, Mount Vernon, had its water judged the best in New York State multiple times. So, I’m spoiled. And, this all runs down hill – lousy water, lousy dough; lousy dough lousy pizza. I’ll live with this situation but I still miss NY pizza.

Humidity – Hate it with a passion and I do not miss it at all. Give me humidity under 20% any day of the week and you can jack the temperature up as high as you want.

If I understand humidity correctly, 100% humidity means wet, right – wet like raining, or submerged in the ocean, or doused with a hose. I don’t think there is anything like 100%+ humidity. 100% is the limit and anything close to that yields buckets of sweat and oodles of discomfort. This week, while it has been a tolerable 111 degrees Fahrenheit with about 15% humidity in Las Vegas, it has been in the 90s in New York with humidity of 80% as well. Brutal! That’s stay indoors weather, not just to get cool in the AC, but so as not to die on the street from heat stroke. 

And if you really want to thank your lucky stars that you are in the desert instead of the east coast, think of those poor devils in Orlando or Miami, Florida. Daily, this time of year, they are treated to 90+/90+ situations. Icky! Sticky! Goo!

God bless Las Vegas.

Poker - Although I am not doing as well as I hope to do in the near future, especially online, I relish the fact that in Las Vegas adults are treated like adults and “allowed” to play games of chance (skill too!) like poker whenever the hell they please. It’s my money. I earned it and if I want to put it at risk on a card table that’s my business, not the state government’s. Wake up New York. Let them play!!!

More later.