Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Jupiter Street in Makati has been in the commercial "intensive care unit" for several years now.
Once a center of crowd filled exuberance, it had slowly lost its luster.
It was slowly dying a natural death -suffering from the intense competition of areas like Greenbelt, Rockwell and Taguig's Global City.
Even as I write this, the city is wracking its brains to come up with a strategy to lure entrepreneurs back to the area.
And maybe something is working ...
It was a pleasant surprise to see new enterprises open along the strip
Wonderful retail niche stores
Avant garde health and wellness units
And refreshing food concepts ...
Among them is Mickey's
Mickey's positions itself as a delicatessen
In it's original European essence, the "delikatessen" is a source of top quality "fine foods" without the take -out (fast)food component that has evolved in the American version of the "deli".
Mickey's is an interesting mix of both versions
One enters with a full view of a delicatessen display counter
As well as a flamed grilling kiosk
Mouthwatering cuts of sausages, hams,meats, cold cuts, cheese, and other products pleasantly greets the eyes
Servers in dainty uniforms smile and answer inquiries readily
Prices appear reasonable
Perhaps while waiting - you might want to sample some of the resto fare as we did
Tasty Hungarian Goulash got the ball rolling
Then a Sausage Platter to really get the juices going
Crunchy delicious stuff ...
The driving force behind this project is Michael Beck - former chef/butcher of Manila Hotel
That explains the quality and professonalism that prevails
If you are in the area
And are in a sausage mood ...
Try it out
4 Jupiter St.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
China is an amazing country
Full of culture and heritage
The strength of their past is the foundation of their future
That plus the fact that there are over 1 BILLION of them to push their country forward
The cities are full of dynamism
You can feel change as it occurs
The vibrance of progress is tangible
The power of commerce is explosive
Truly - China will be a major part of the world's future
Whenever I travel in China, I have illusions of being able to find one product or perhaps one store that might "click" in the Philippines
I kid myself that I will find this product or store - and bring it to Manila where it will be a resounding success
So successful that I will be able to retire in peace on some quiet white sand beach - away from the cruelties of urban life ...
Surrounded only by the basics in life like airconditioning , a large format plasma screen with 5.1 surround sound, an ipod, a MacBook, satellite TV and DSL.
The SUV outside will of course always be on the ready to whisk me off to another part of the island to play the compulsory game on the neatly manicured international play level Tiger Woods designed golf course.
All this under the watchful caring eyes of my designated sex slave of the day ...
Nothing much - just a simple life
A Lear jet's ride away from the craziness of Manila
And on this last trip of mine to China , I think I may have found the store - or at least, the brand.
The product I might sell has been historically successful throughout the ages
The interest is overwhelming
The market is endless
The demand is insatiable
Wish me luck
There is much development to be done on the product
But I really think it will sell ...
You might want to place an advance order ...
Act now - before the best ones are taken
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Well - I was in China
And as I found out to my disappointment, China has blocked the "BLOGGER" or "BLOGSPOT" site.
(Heyyyyyy - they have even blocked Wikipedia)
Arrrrrghhhhhhhhh - no blogging for me
I felt decapitated
It is at times like this that I realize how much the freedom of the Internet has become such a part of me ....
And when it is taken away
It is really weird
Scary actually ...
Anyway - I was in China on mission for my office
I had to visit a factory which was about one and a half hours away from a major Chinese city center
A very dark and dreary industrial zone
My hosts were beside themselves in trying to please me
They conferred upon me the status of "honored guest"
Accordingly they fed me like a king ...
Only the best for me
And the "best" in their eyes included such honorific cuisine as pigeon, duck, snake, rabbit and turtle ...
Not exactly my cup of tea
But -uhhhmmmmmmm - I was an honored guest
I really had no choice except to just bear it and grin
Not only that, I had to finish everything on my plate - lest I inadvertently insult their sensitivities
And so it was that for the first time in my life I had not just turtle soup but turtle meat
The whole idea of eating a "turtle" just boggled my mind
I tried to block off mental pictures of cutie little "pet turtles" ...
And having done that, I had to contend with the concept itself, of having to swallow "turtle" as food
I know it is considered a "delicacy"
And the intent of my hosts were noble
But I just really had difficulty with the idea
I slowly chomped through the rubbery meat
And chewed on the slimy gelatinous film that had formed on the shell as it was cooked
Then - I slurped my way through the oily soup down to the bottom of the bowl
Perhaps as some consolation - I was told that eating turtle was not only beneficial to the immune system and health in general but that it was also an aphrodisiac ...
Ohhhhhhhhh great - an aphrodisiac
Only problem was that I was traveling alone ...
It is hard enough to be alone ...
But it is even harder to be "hard"... alone !
Sunday, November 11, 2007
It is slowly taking shape and will clearly be up and running by Christmas.
There is a frenzy of activity as stores are finishing the necessary construction work to outdo each other in this high end mall
Even now some food and retail outlets have “soft opened” to lead the pack …
Clearly a take-off from the iconic Beatle John Lennon and his beloved Yoko Ono, the name also implies a mix of East and West as reflected in fusion dishes that are strangely familiar but new
The restaurant is immediately attractive even from a distance as its neon inspired colors beckon
An innovative mix of stainless steel and warehouse drab completes a look that is Japanese in a very modern anime way …
Young very today music airs in the background
And the lighting will keep you mesmerized
Among its owners is Marvin Agustin – a showbiz personality who is wisely investing his hard-earned money in restaurant ventures (this being his third)…
The celebrity ownership adds to John and Yoko’s allure
It is, as early as now, being touted as a “must go” or at the very least a “must try”
The food offering is not surprisingly simila
The menu offers both traditional Japanese fare, and interesting neoNippon concoctions
Endless rockin’ sashimi and rollin’ sushi choices
Times passes by rather quickly as one chomps through one dish to the next
The food offering is not surprisingly similar to another Marvin Agustin resto, Sumo Sam…
But it may be the “coolest” …
“Kewl” enough for me to want to go back … preferably with a big group of buddies who can share the bill
"Sakatatawananigaska neh" !!!
John and Yoko
Greenbelt Mall 5
Friday, November 09, 2007
And then … I slept even more.
Note the lack of blog posts
But – I am back
Ready to write again
Let’s see …
On my last trip to the United States, I was innocently browsing through the intellectual material in the condom section of the friendly Walgreens Drug Store down the street from my hotel.
Wala lang – just browsing
I was reading labels
Educating myself with the differences between “ribbed” and “ultra-thin”
Enlightening myself with the concept of “pleasure dots”
Researching the antibacterial properties of “non-oxynol”
Contemplating the joys of “vibration rings”
Toying with the art of “neon colors”
And asking for a taste test of “fruity flavors” … (a request that the attendant promptly refused to agree to)
Then something struck me
There were sizes !
S, M, L, XL (I guessed that was small, medium, large and “Xcessively long” ?)
In Asia – condoms are pretty much one size fits all.
No need to return to the drug store to change sizes coz’ it didn’t fit
One size – simple
So this concept of choosing sizes was new to me – a cultural shock
I stood there stumped
Looking down at my crotch and painting a visual picture
The labels carried no clue as to what dimensions constituted S, M , L and XL
I had hit an intellectual blank wall
If I chose the wrong size – I was concerned about “slippage”
On the other hand I was equally afraid of “gangrene”
So I took a leap of faith
I recalled all the sweet whisperings in my ear by the sweet little things with whom I had had a sexual encounter in my lifetime ( yup … all two of them)
Then I assessed the norms of dimension that I had presumed after going cross-eyed while inadvertently glancing at my neighbors in men’s room urinals
I multiplied that against the square root of the median of male to female population ratios
Inputted the racial genetic index of Asia
And subtracted the possibility of error as defined in Einstein’s theory of relativity
And finally –I made a choice
Americans make life so complicated
Choices, choices, choices …
I was homesick for my simple Asian life
But then … all is well that ends well
Despite the necessary mental calisthenics – I had chosen the right size
The fit was perfect
I had confronted my doubts
I had faced my fears
I had reviewed the "hard" facts
Travel is full of education and experience
On this trip- I had learned a valuable lesson
Size matters .....
Thursday, November 01, 2007
All Saints Day
It's been a year and four months since my Dad passed away
I still feel him around me
I laugh with him
I talk to him
His earthly remains are in a place of his own choice
Resting peacefully under the powerful arms of a centuries old tree
Covered with a wonderful carpet of grass
Showered by sunlight
Occasionally bathed by the gentle drops of rain
I visited as the sun was setting
Day slowly losing its radiance to the calmness of night
The heat dissipating into the coolness of the evening
An orderly line of candles started flickering in the darkness
Conferring a sense of solemnity to the moment
I stopped to pray
I knew in my heart that Dad was listening
I could see his smile
I could feel his pulse
I could hear his voice
My Dad passed away
But he will always be around ...