Sunday, September 28, 2014

Our Enemies to the North!!!!

Dateline:  Halifax, Nova Scotia, 10/24/14....

We Americans continue to have our heads up our asses.  We seem to be obsessively preoccupied with the Mexican border, as if those hungry, tattered, God fearing people knocking at our door, who only want to pick our lettuce and tomatoes and generally make our lives better by cleaning our houses and hotel rooms and cutting our grass pose some kind of threat to our national security and overall well being.  What???  They just want to send a few bucks home to their starving families doing the jobs Americans won't touch, and we treat them like shit.

Just got back from a tour of the Canadian Maritime Provinces, a hotbed of subversive monarchist activity, and I'm here to report that if you are looking for trouble, look north my friends.  It is those pesky Canadians who are biding their time, and if economic conditions continue to evolve in the present trajectory they will be a power to be reckoned with and may just be dreaming about making the USofA their 9th or 12th province or whatever.  Just spent 3 or 4 quite eye opening days in Halifax Nova Scotia and it wasn't a pretty picture.  In their ongoing celebration of the war of 1812 (1812!!!) at the Old Burial Ground, where many of the soldiers of that war are buried,

 they are beating the drums and celebrating the war that they see as the reason that "We are not Americans".  On this day, that I passed up the opportunity to go to the public market with Jackie,  opting to attend a commemoration  honoring and praising British Major General Robert Ross, the guy whose troops sacked Washington, and did a pretty good job of almost burning down the White House.  He was killed in battle a few weeks later, his body was embalmed in a barrel of rum and he was shipped back to Halifax for burial in a crypt like this one.  I'm sure he would have preferred his rum employed more tastefully like in a Mojito or maybe a Daiquiri, but c'est la guerre.

Still a British Colony at the time, Canada provided the northern staging ground for the British invasion of the USA, and while the red coats were ultimately unsuccessful, Canada remained Canada, for which they appear to be eternally grateful, and given the present state of affairs in the world and the ugly state of American politics, they are probably justified in feeling that way.  But even now, that slumbering giant to the north seems to be using the Old Burial Ground to muster the troops...

But is the CIA on top of this?  Given their recent history of ineptitude in dealing with the subtleties international affairs, I doubt it.  If you are in the area, don't miss Halifax or the Old Burial Grounds, and if you see something, say something, comme ont dit...


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Piatto Pizza in Charlottetown PEI

But first some background:
Last time I was in PEI was during the summers of 1978 and 1979 when I was young, brave, and could withstand the rigors of the excruciating 25 hour train trip from Ottawa to Cape Tormentine NB,  take the ferry to PEI and bike around the island for two weeks pitching my tent among the dunes, or on the bluff behind the now vanished Stanhope Inn, gorging myself on wild berries and life, and discovering, among other things, that the earth is not flat.  Many unexpected adventures and unusual circumstances found me back then at a time when I was still a young swarthy curly haired sight to be seen on a bike, that even the mention of which here would be distracting to the subject at hand.  While PEI was recognizable, much has changed over the past 35 years, most of all me.  Over the years I have amused and intrigued Jackie with tales of the road, and seeing the PEI of myth and legend was mandatory for her on this trip, so here we are.  Took few photos though.  Didn't find much to see.  The early autumn weather was mostly moist and overcast while my youthful memories all glow in a warm, radiant maritime sun, bathing the red clay roads and fields of clover flowing down to an awaiting sea that engulfed my still young soul.   But all was not lost.

Jackie on the ferry from Nova Scotia to PEI beaming with anticipation.

As readers of this blog know I am a man in search of the perfect pizza, something that is becoming a more and more rare and elusive commodity.  People don't know how to make real pizza anymore, and hardly anyone seems to know or care, so it is the perfect storm.  As I have said many times, A GOOD PIZZA IS MORE THAT JUST THE SUM OF ITS PARTS.  It requires a visceral understanding of the dynamics of the thing.  You can't just bring your cousin Habibi over from the middle east, provide him with a store front, ready made balls of dough, a can of sauce, and a lump of mozzarella like material and expect him to produce anything more that a round, undercooked cheese covered object that vaguely resembles a pizza.  You can count on one hand the number of pizza places in NYC still run by an Italian who knows what he is doing.

So imagine my surprise to find one of the finest pies I have ever eaten in Charlottetown, PEI.   Piatto authentic wood fired pizza, right there on Queen Street.

I ordered the Margherita pizza, the true test of things, pure and unadorned, with no place to hide.  The crust was thin and crisp, the sauce was generous, mildly herbed and very tasty and the cheese was light, fresh, and applied sparingly to produce a crisp delicious pizza with a zero glop factor.  If it looks a little too well done, I like it that way and the pizza chef was quite accommodating in allowing me to supervise the cooking time to meet my tastes.

It tastes as good as it looks, a work of art.  Would return to Charlottetown for this alone.  
If your tastes run toward thick, gloppy, undercooked pizza topped with bbq chicken, too much rubbery cheese, and a swirl of ranch dressing to top it off, this place is not for you.