Dec 5 2019

Leaves

The foliage, of different kinds, shapes and colors.


Dec 3 2019

Ukraine, Burisma and Hunter Biden


I was out for a walk after the first snow of the season while listening to the podcasts. I’ve been listening to NPR for a long while but never figured it out how not to replay what I’ve heard. And have no idea which and when the past episodes reappear again. One of the Planet Money episodes (#868) Moneyland came up today. I was about to change then I stopped, dead in my track. I remembered this piece well from last October (2018), because of the subject matter and lavishly interesting anecdotes.

Ukraine is a gut-rotten corrupted country, even the government couldn’t do a thing without bribery.

The reason for the episode was to a British journalist Oliver Bullough’s book, under the same title. Moneyland is an imaginary country where ill-gotten money around the world is resting safely and peacefully. The 12 minutes long episode on Planet Money was aired on 2018.10.05, (the 37 minutes Fresh Air on 2019.5.01) opening with the downfall of Viktor Yanukovych in 2014’s Euromaidan revolution (wiki). The protest began small, as he decided to ditch the EU and cozy up to Putin. As the protest grew bigger, Yanukovych was toppled and he fled his palace, hunting lodge… etc. in a hast where the gates were left wide open. The Ukrainian protesters and British journalist Bullough went in and saw the unbelievable lavish lifestyle, vulgar, trashy,  bling – the escaped president lived while the country was in ruin. There was the giant tv in front of the toilet, golf course, hunting lodge and sauna room where they dried the documents rescued from the bottom of the swimming pool. The docs showed Bullough the money trail. Having bitten by Yanukovych’s female press secretary once (on the shoulder, trying from stopping him asking touch questions) Bullough wrote, some the property isn’t even owned by Ukraine but England and layers of shell companies.

Ok, enough tidbits of the story to show how corrupted Ukraine was (or maybe is), which is what has stopped me dead in my track: it’s about the same time that Hunter Biden joined the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings. Hunter has no experience in Ukraine, except he’s the then Vice President’s son. Does it matter if Joe the VP has talked with his son Hunter about Ukraine? I don’t think Burisma’s boss Zlochevsky paid Hunter $50,000 a month cared if the father and son had talked. All he needed was the fact, the son of the VP of US was on his board and that simple fact, worth $50,000 a month.

As I’m writing this, US Senator Kamala Harris has dropped out of presidential race. Hmmm… IF president Trump has any legacy, I would like to think, he is very inspiring. He inspired twenty able and smart adults to believe they could become just like him, to live in the White House. And the fact that Michael Bloomberg is running at such late time, is because, even as the impeachment proceeding is going on, he feels none of the 20 comrades could NOT beat Trump. Just sad.

  

第一场小雪后出去走走,边听播客。收听这个台很久了,但一直不知道怎么设置不重复。 今天 Moneyland 金钱乐园 (?)又跳出来了。我正要删但是一听到’乌克兰‘我突然决定再听几分钟。这个去年的采访给我留下的印象挺深的。

乌克兰是一个烂透顶的腐败国家,不贿赂连政府都无法做任何事。英国记者奥利弗·布洛夫(Oliver Bullough)的香肩曾被亚努科维奇的女新闻秘书咬过一次(试图阻止他提问题 – 嗯 没有伤到肉 但是外套咬破了。。。咱中国大妈还有段路要赶喔)。 2014, 亚努科维奇决定倒向普京 (欧盟你见鬼去吧!)。刚开始只有少数人在抗议 但是慢慢大到‘欧洲革命’把他推翻了。速度之快他只能裸身奔向普京。他的宫殿,狩猎小屋等都来不及处理。 给他贫穷的臣民一个难得的机会去开开眼界 他们总统难以置信的奢华生活方式,粗俗,肮脏,金光闪闪。马桶前有电视机,高尔夫球场,桑拿房 – 喔在那里他们烘干了从游泳池底部救出的文件。亚努科维奇的贪和洗钱的轨迹一览无余。

简单的故事但是今天 另我想起来。。。大约在同一时间,亨特·拜登(Hunter Biden)加入了乌克兰能源公司Burisma Holdings。Burisma的老板兹洛切夫斯基(Zlochevsky)每月给小拜5万美元,他才不在意美国副总统与儿子有否谈过乌克兰;小拜在乌克兰没有任何经验也不会乌语也无所谓, 他那5万美金买的是副总统之子的牌子。

就在我胡言乱语时,美国参议员卡玛拉·哈里斯(Kamala Harris)宣布她退出总统大选。嗯…如果大嘴巴床铺有什么总统丰功伟绩的,我想是他很鼓舞人心。他启发了二十位有才能和聪明的成年人,让他们相信他们可以像他一样进驻白宫。20个人,去角逐一个提名 妈妈咪呀。彭博(Michael Bloomberg)这么晚才宣布他也竞选, 是不是因为,即使在弹劾程序还在进行中,他仍觉得20个同志中没有一个能击败床铺?真伤心。


Nov 29 2019

The Two Popes


Times Square, Friday, Nov 29, 2019

Passing by the Square, although it was only at the end of November, the day after Thanksgiving, but Christmas was already in the air. Many characters are dressed up as Santa or in red. As I was heading to the Central Park, I felt very cheerful. Blissful. Peaceful. 


Nov 29 2019

A Black Friday in New York


I rarely venture out on a Black Friday, not to mention shopping.

Not disappointed today.

Not due to shopping (concert tickets) but just enjoyed the day in the Big Apple, from the Park to the shops to the streets. Walked a hearty 6.6 miles.

The Lincoln Center

Columbus Circle, Time Warner Center, Amazon Bookstore

 

The streets


Nov 29 2019

I fall in love with Central Park

I see something golden and yellow … on a Black Friday.

 


Nov 26 2019

A winter sunset

The sun sets at different angle in different seasons – here was during the summer months. I sat out by the water to read, on a 60 degree day. 

 

 


Nov 24 2019

Bouchon Bakery & Cafe


10 Columbus Cir, 3rd Flr
New York, NY 10019

Probably will return?

Been here before for a tea, loved their view and casual attitude. It’s just right for us, before a 3pm concert.

I enjoyed my spicy mint tea and smoked salmon (lox), but the sliced cucumber are old, and their service could have been a little more attentive – like not wet my phone when putting down the tea pot with hot water for my tea. Not sure I heard “I’m sorry” …

My friend said it’s the best French toast ever. Maybe it is or maybe bec I was paying … Overall, the food is good …

    

On a Black Friday


Nov 24 2019

Night Falls on Manhattan

The sunset is beautiful. And where is Andy Garcia?

 


Nov 24 2019

The Hungarian trio


First row’s trauma: the belly attack. I’m not a fan of front rows and this is a good reminder, ha ha ha.

The trio Bence Szepesi (clarinet), Kristóf Baráti (violin) and Éva Polgár on the piano, played @ Judy and Arthur Zankel Hall – Carnegie Hall:

  1. Aram Khachaturian, trio for clarinet, violin & piano
  2. Schuman’s Fantasy Pieces for clarinet & piano
  3. Brahms’ Intermezzo in A-major
  4. Béla Bartók, contrasts for clarinet, violin & piano

I enjoyed the second and third pieces but the fourth was bit too modern for me. It’s my first time to Zankel Hall, its interior decor reminds me of Shalin Liu Center in Rockport.

Their performance is arranged by AGP Agency, an international full service talent management and production company, based in New York, with remote outlets in Singapore, Budapest, Tokyo and Taiwan. I think the host mentioned that one of the musicians (Kristóf Baráti ?) is heading off to China after the performance.

As we entered the building for the performance, an Asian woman was handing out 神韵 Shen Yun booklet. Oh boy …

第一排的坏处是 … 7⃣️ OMG 欧嘛膏
小鲜肉 … 不好意思 (俺够讨厌[捂脸])
Éva Polgár 小姑凉的上衣漂亮喔

 


Nov 22 2019

Taci’s Beyti


1953 Coney Island Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11223

Turkish, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean.

Will return.

Inviting ambience, delicious food and good service.


7pm on a Friday evening, we were seated right away. A waiting staff was examining two wine glass against the light and when he was satisfied, he put on our table, which was next to their glass cabinet. Throughout the evening, more glasses were added to the cabinet and inspected before being placed on the tables. I thought about the dirty fork at Half Moon the other day … the devil is in the details.

Although all the food we ordered and shared were delicious, but the tender cubical calf liver is worth an extra shout: for I rarely eat inside stuff and they were yummy.

We finished two bottles of red: you can bring your own wine. Not sure they charge corkage. Before we left, they surprised us with a huge plate of fruits.

Thank you so much!!

Street parking, free after 7pm.