Sigmund’s excellent eating adventure, with a Francis Collins chaser

Alert reader Sigmund (a contributor and also creator of Sneer Review), who lives in Europe, took his family to New York City this week.  He asked me for restaurant recommendations (I sent him to the Lower East Side, of course), and I also called upon food writer Josh Ozersky, a reader of this website.

Today, a bit heftier in the midsection, Sigmund sent me a report of his culinary peregrinations in NYC:

My favorite was the pastrami at Katz deli – although it filled me up so much I wasn’t able to manage a knish to go along with it!


The Texan barbeque at ‘Hill Country’ was good but a bit too carnivorous for my taste – we found a few great korean barbecues that were easier to manage (I like eating meat but the US barbeque style makes it feel like you are eating a whole cow at one sitting!)

The Korean restaurant was the New Wonjo, on West 32nd street, ‘Korea-Town’. We tried a couple of K-barbecues in that street and this was the best (there are plenty more to try in the vicinity, so there may be better options!) Apparently it’s open 24 hrs a day and was very busy when we were there. If you go, avoid the chicken (it’s just OK) and stick with the beef and pork barbecue.

I also found that Economy Candy shop you featured —and bought some WEIT themed candy: picture attached.

We managed to get to a couple of decent Chinese restaurants too – ‘Joe’s Shanghai’ for dumplings and Dim Sum Go-Go for (surprise) Dim Sum – although the latter was forced upon us, as our original choice, The Golden Unicorn, was being raided by the police when we turned up!

Speaking of cat butts, Sigmund had an unexpected encounter with a famous accommodationist:

PS We went to the Natural History Museum last week and the only downside was the sudden appearance of Francis Collins (in a video) in the Human Origins section – who proceeded to needlessly inject his own religion into things. There was absolutely no need for this in the exhibition – it is essentially a sectarian sermon in a museum devoted to science. I can understand the possible value of this in an evangelical church setting but not in a science museum.

In his looped video in the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins, Collins seems to be either promoting one type of religion (that which involves belief in a personal God) or, alternatively, extolling the value of cognitive dissonance:

“I’m a scientist who believes the tools of science are the way to understand the natural world and one needs to be rigorous about that. But I’m also a believer in a personal God. I find the scientific worldview and the spiritual worldview to be entirely complementary. And I find it quite wonderful to be able to have both of those worldviews existing in my life in a given day, because each illuminates the other.”

But belief in a personal God is not compatible with other religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism or multiple other faiths. Why privilege evangelical Christianity above all others in this setting?

JAC:  This sort of thing really ticks me off: it’s not science but theology. Let people reconcile their faith with the truth on their own time. And I wouldn’t be surprised if some public money went toward creating this exhibit, which if true would violate the First Amendment.

12 Comments

  1. newenglandbob
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Looking at those pictures made me so hungry. Time to go make my salad for lunch.

  2. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    … although the latter was forced upon us, as our original choice, The Golden Unicorn, was being raided by the police when we turned up!

    That’s an interesting aside. I wonder if it has anything to do with shark fin soup

  3. Ms. Fastspeed
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I’d love to try pastrami that looks like that. We have pastrami in supermarkets but unless I read the label I’d have no idea it was supposed to be the same stuff!

  4. Posted April 4, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    The looped video of Collins is also featured at the FMNH in Chicago. I was expecting a frozen waterfall diorama in the next room.

  5. Ken Pidcock
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Why privilege evangelical Christianity above all others in this setting?

    Simple. Evangelical Christians are most likely to make trouble for a natural history museum.

  6. Michael Scullin
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Just looking at the first picture reminded me of Dave Frishberg’s “Do You Miss New York?.”

    That is certain one very good reason.
    (written in southcentral Iowa)

  7. Alektorophile
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I think that one underlying problem with exhibits such as the Origins Hall at the AMNH is that researchers in the museum’s science divisions usually don’t have the final word and often only have a relatively limited say in what an exhibit will look like in the end. That is usually up to people in departments such as exhibition and education, and they mostly have a limited background in science and a different agenda from researchers, i.e. keeping donors happy, kids “edutained”, and feathers unruffled. The end product, I know for a fact, rarely makes people in the research departments completely happy.

  8. Kirth Gersen
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    The only saving grace of living in Houston is that we also have a Katz’ Deli here (the grandson of the NY Katzes, I’m told). As far as listing pastrami and barbecue together, that’s entirely appropriate — I’m reminded of the Mad Men episode in which they serve the client pastrami sandwiches, AKA “Yankee Barbecue!”

  9. Filippo
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Do I correctly understand that the Hayden Planetarium (headed by Neil de Grasse Tyson), is part of the Natural History Museum? Would he tolerate – would he have to tolerate – a Collinsesque video at the Planetarium?

  10. the Siliconopolitan
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    I shouldn’t look at food just after eating. That pastrami thing looks disgusting. And what’s with the bread?

    Still, I should take notes since I hope to go to NY again this October.

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted April 4, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Oh man, I weep for you. . . .

      • the Siliconopolitan
        Posted April 5, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        For not going until October?

        But that is a ridiculous amount of meat for one sandwich. The colour is one I associate with meat pumped full of nitrites. And the bread still looks bland, but I’ll admit that only being able to see the crust makes that judgement possibly a bit rash.

        Anyway, I’ll try it if I get the chance.


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