Food and a Movie: Kaju Tofu House, Boston, and American Hustle/Wolf of Wall Street

Work has ramped up a lot in the first few weeks of the year, but the weather certainly hasn’t made me feel that guilty about staying inside.  Man, it’s been gross out.  Yesterday I hit Newbury Street in Boston for some shopping, expecting a light drizzle, and instead got a weird mix of half-and-half clumpy snow and rain that eventually became a full-on snowstorm.  I’ve never used an umbrella in a snowstorm before, but yesterday it was necessary if I didn’t want to get drenched and then end up with hair icicles.

This, of course, meant it was time for spicy Korean:

Kaju Tofu House specializes in tofu soup, which has a base of savory, rich soup and pillow-soft tofu chunks.  You get to choose what meat you add to it–I went with pork intestines, which ended up being deliciously tender and silky, little melt-in-your-mouth tubes that weren’t funky or chewy at all.  Just a couple chomps and they’d just dissolve on your tongue.  And the banchan spread, as you can see, was quite respectable.  Warm and filling and good.

I’ve also been catching up on my movie-watching.  Of the two, I prefer American Hustle over Wolf of Wall Street.  Both are comedies of excess, mocking a particular time and place centered around people’s greed and their inability to see past it, but American Hustle remembers that the base of really good comedy is a sense of tragedy.  It has moments where you understand that it’s funny because it’s genuinely painful, these characters’ lives.  Wolf of Wall Street has no such foundation.  And for the life of me, I really can’t see how that, even, is of any note.  It’s a well-shot movie.  Is it the grossest, most extreme depiction of rich people going bananas?  Er, no, not by a long shot (just watch an episode of Real Housewives).  Does it convey any sense of going downhill?  No–even the spousal abuse and a very rapey sex scene were somehow downplayed to just queasiness.  I don’t know, I was expecting more from Scorsese and this was just…tame.  Which was the only surprising thing I found about it.

Aquarium: Shrimp No. Five

Unlike entropyenator, I got the fur allergies in the family gene pool, so I don’t have a ravenous cat waiting to greet me with its daily catch when I get home at night.  However, I still have the urge to have something living in the place (and mobile, so plants don’t cut it), so I have an aquarium with red cherry shrimp in it.  They’re cute, easy to see when I want to see them and don’t require much more than changing out the water when I don’t want to.

They also aren’t supposed to live longer than two years, so when I realized my current four were nearly a year old and I still hadn’t seen any babies, I decided I’d better rotate in one or two new shrimp–preferably males, since I’m 99% sure I have all females and it’d be nice if they just repopulated themselves.

So I tripped into Boston because the local stores didn’t have any.  But when I got there, the pet store only had one shrimp and it was clearly a female.  On the other hand, this one little juvenile was sharing a tank with three freshwater lobsters that were something like a hundred times its size.  It was clearly destined for a lobster stomach if I left it there.

I bought it and took it home.

Red cherry shrimp, saved from the lobsters

Red cherry shrimp, saved from the lobsters

Urban Fauna

Turkeys in the 'burbs

Turkeys in the ‘burbs

I was in Boston for a day trip and, in keeping with the season, we came across turkeys.  Turkeys.  Not downtown downtown Boston, but only a couple minutes away from South Station.

There were two of them, but one ran off out of frame of the camera.  You can still see from this one that they were wild turkeys, since the breast isn’t gigantic and touching the ground, and they proved it by flying.  I have to say, turkeys don’t really “gobble” so much as make weird gobbly hooting noises.  And they’re pretty big with the feathers on.  These could’ve easily looked over the front of the car and stared at you through the windshield.


Roadtrip: Boston, Massachusetts

Despite the slightly crummy weather, we had a lovely time strolling around.  Half the Freedom Trail, poking our heads into the places where the founders of this nation began the story of America, through the North End and into the currently-hip South End for a look at present-day culture.  Fun, meditative, educational, and peaceful by turns.  We left April 14.

I had an internal debate about whether or not to finish putting up my photos, but you know, this is how the world was, how I like to believe the world truly is, and how I hope the world will be.  So these are the last of them.

Boston-Salem Roadtrip: The In-betweens

Between Boston and Salem lies Malden, MA, where we stopped off for some tasty Szechuan at Fuloon.  The mapo tofu was definitely spicy, not for the faint-hearted, but also had a ton of flavor so it wasn’t just burning off the top few layers of your tongue.  Tea-smoked duck (not pictured) was meh, but the buffet had some neat tidbits like tiny steamed buns filled with pork.

Between Boston and NYC is New Haven.  We ended up on Wooster Square semi-randomly after just searching yelp for a lunch place, and had delicious, not-too-salty, just savory enough anchovy pizza at Anastasio’s.  Also appreciated the mini stromboli (?) tucked into the bread basket.