Thursday, November 20, 2003

Add Tito Puente's to my short list of favorite restaurants; top of the list on City Island.

Went last night for Salomé's birthday and I am still full! We both had these monster seafood dishes - lobster, snow crab, scallops, clams, mussels, oh my!; her's with pasta, mine with mofongo, both in an amazing red sauce - along with a filling appetizer of lobster empanadas, coconut shrimp, maduros and tostones. Yum! Their mojitos are really good, too; nice and smooth, less hardcore than Esperanto's. It's on the pricey side and I'd never go anywhere near it on the weekends, but last night was perfect with salsa playing quietly in the background and only a handful of tables full ensuring attentive service. Compared to the other seafood places we've been to on the strip - from the cheap fry shacks to the ones with valet parking - the latin flavor of the dishes puts Tito's a step above all of them.

Other favorites: Acme, Esperanto, Ghenet, Lan, Rice.

Earlier in the day, I finally broke down and went to the eye doctor for an exam and new glasses. My current pair broke again and I'm tired of krazy gluing the damn things back together. Plus, it's been at least two years, maybe three, since I got them so I figured it's time to give in to nature and get a new prescription. Surprisingly, the doctor tells me he's going to decrease the prescription as it's stronger than I need! That's what I get for going to LensCrafters last time, I guess. The downside is that the insurance I have - VSP - while pretty good, is primarily taken by small optometrists who generally have a limited selection of frames. (Damn the Wal-Marting of my thinking sometimes!) Even looking beyond the ones I'd get free, it was slim pickings. It's also the first time I picked out frames without anyone else's input! By the time I picked something I think I liked, I was practically blind from my dilated pupils and am now crossing my fingers that they look okay. They're kind of a Batman-variation of my current frames so we'll see in two weeks.

The cool thing is that, even with the slimming of what would otherwise be Coke-bottle lenses, the exam and everything came out to only $89! Mind you, that is in no way an endorsement of the profit-driven system of insurance in this country. I know several people who are stuck in a job they hate - or worse, may actually be life-threatening - purely because they can't afford to lose their insurance. Never mind those who don't have any at all because of shady employers. But there I go getting political again!


Rocking the Hip-Hop Vote

deMOCKcracyIn accordance with the short tradition of youth-vote mobilization, rockers, rappers and wrestlers hope to spark a good debate. But they are keeping it nonpartisan. The punks are a different story. "We are taking sides, and we want to offend a lot of people," says NOFX's Fat Mike (Mike Burkett), who founded a voter-registration website called Punkvoter "to expose the Bush administration and unite punks to stand against their inane policies." The website is the first step in an effort to spur punks to vote against Bush in 2004; next is a compilation album called Rock Against Bush. There will be some twenty bands on the album – including hot sellers Green Day and Sum 41 and the more politically charged Anti-Flag – some of which will kick off a tour in March to spread the outrage, and registration booths will be on-site at every event.

The website lists a few reasons the young voting bloc should be angry at the Bush Administration: Kids under the legal drinking age are dying in Iraq, the unemployment rate hit a nine-year high in 2003, more college graduates are moving back in with their parents because they can't find jobs. Whereas Hip-Hop Team Vote is supported by Simmons and other deep-pockets music industry types, on-the-cheap Punkvoter hopes to harness pure punk-rock rage to achieve its goals, one punk at a time. After the 2000 presidential election, says Fat Mike, "I wasn't sleeping well because of the outcome. I thought that if only 600 NOFX fans in Florida would have voted, everything could have been different."

By Kristin V. Jones, The Nation, November 20, 2003

No comments: