NYC Days 4-5: Pastrami, chess boards and Chinese food

I didn’t give a last update of my recent NYC trip.  I went because my friend Fr. Murray was receiving an award.  Of course I had to get some of the things I can’t get in Madison.

Like decent pastrami.  I’ll just lead with that.

It seems as if everywhere I went during the trip there were chess boards of some kind.

Here is an amazing set from the “Making Marvels” exhibit at the Met.  Indian, late 16th c.  Inside is a backgammon board.  Ivory, ebony and gold wire.

The Christmas tree at the Met was a disappointment, but at least the pig is still crossing the bridge.

There is a fascinating exhibit at the Met about the comparative worth of objects.  This German chalice from 1608 had the equivalent value at the time of about 255 cows.

Yes, holy cow is in order.

One of my cop friends has a good challenge coin collection going.  This one is great.

At the Met, again, there is a scale model of the ancient Temple of Solomon.  Very cool.

Photo of the inside.

I’d like to do shots with the little figures having dialogues.

Another chess board, on the exterior wall of a building.  Not all there.  Just an object, I wonder?

The event I came for.

The library of the University Club.  Looks like the Borgia apartments in the Apostolic Palace.

Another chess board.

And another.


On the way to the airport it was necessary to stop in Queens for Chinese.

Scallion pancake wrap.

The best

I have ever had.


Dan dan noodles.

Eggplant and beans.  Was that good.

Shanghai noodles.

Shredded potatoes and hot peppers.

Crispy beef.  Paired intentionally with the potatoes.

The tree in DTW.  I liked the juxtaposition with the cone.

The first batch of CHRISTMAS CARDS when I got home!

You folks are great.  When I get back from my funeral trip, more about that.

Please share!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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11 Responses to NYC Days 4-5: Pastrami, chess boards and Chinese food

  1. acardnal says:

    Good stuff! As a player (novice) I love the chess references and the challenge coins are great! I guess you did not touch the Ark . . . you are still alive after all.

    By the way, I loaded up on Zed Head gear from your CafePress link. I hope you get some royalties. I’m now proudly displaying the magnetic Zed Head fixture on my car.

  2. Gab says:

    That pastrami made my mouth water. It looks soooo juicy.
    As for the rest of the food, I’m now hungry! The crispy beef looks highly palatable.

  3. Jacob says:

    The chessboard on the wall looks like something you’d see at a tournament to show what the current state of the board is for players playing at a regular sized board.

  4. teomatteo says:

    Fr Z, I don’t get much oriental food but could you write where that resteraunt was so I can put it in my contacts and maybe someday (when you wrote, ‘the best i ever had’ that meant a lot to me)

  5. chantgirl says:

    Yes, please tell us which Chinese restaurant this is!

  6. Semper Gumby says:

    Congratulations to Fr. Murray and that’s a spiffy challenge coin.

    About the Giant Chessboard on the building, here’s what the Waymarking site (this site has Categories such as Religious Statues, Old Churches, Beach Huts, Doorways of the World, Landlocked Lighthouses etc., and the site has options for Groups and Scavenger Hunts) has to say about it:

    “Moves are made every Wednesday by workers using hydraulic cherry pickers. A flag next to the board signals who has the next move or the status of a finished game.”

    A nearby sign is inscribed:

    “For your information about the Chess game in progress
    see the Concierge in the lobby.”

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  7. Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao, 59-16 Main St, Flushing, NY 11355.

  8. adriennep says:

    Thanks for Chinese in Queens recommendations. Where, pray tell, was the pastrami from?

  9. Semper Gumby says:

    acardnal: “I guess you did not touch the Ark . . . you are still alive after all.” Good one. The Ark of the Covenant had quite a security system. Even the Philistines reconsidered and returned it to Israel.

    Speaking of the New Ark, the Franciscan International Christmas card with the Blessed Virgin Mary and Pachamama is…not a good idea.

    Back to the Exodus Ark. A couple of days ago the Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel ran stories about a stone table found at Beit Shemesh which was one of the resting places of the Ark after the Philistines sent it back.

    “The find is significant because it ties in with the time frame of the ‘large stone’ the Ark of the Covenant was said to have been placed upon when brought to Beit Shemesh after being returned by the Philistines, as recounted in the book of Samuel.”

    The popular archaeologist Israel Finkelstein is quoted in one article, but he’s best ignored as he is a biblical “minimalist.” Regardless, the lead archaeologist at Beit Shemesh says there’s no way to prove that the stone table in Samuel and the excavated stone table are the same.

  10. Semper Gumby says:

    adriennep: Hopefully you have an answer by now about the mysterious pastrami. As in April 2016 with the Case of the Mysterious Restaurant, Tracer Bullet won’t be much help here. He’s got a new lead on the Ark of the Covenant with this Beit Shemesh discovery, and after Mass today, and a stop at the tobacco store, he’s off to the Holy Land via Lisbon on the PanAm Clipper.

  11. adriennep: That particular sandwich was consumed at PJ Bernstein on the East side. The pastrami was really good. The best, however, in Manhattan has to be a Pastrami Queen, also on the East side. A caveat about high end pastrami. In my discussions with staff at good pastrami places, and my sampling, I’ve learned that pastrami is up or down depending on the quality of the meat they are able to get at a given time. Makes sense. Sometimes its a little fattier, sometimes leaner. That changes the experience quite a bit. However, consistently, Pastrami Queen is best.