Monday, March 27, 2023

Damn My Favorite Dumpling Shop Closed Chinatown NYC




"BUMMER" !!!

C & L DUMPLING HOUSE has Closed 

Just read on Eater that the C & L Dumpling House closed. "Bummer" I loved that place. went there numerous times over the years. I usually went when I'd get my haircut at the Chinese Hair Salon around the block on Eldridge Street (just $5).  I'd get my haircut, only $5, plus a $5 tip, then I'd scoot over to C& L for some dinner, 2 orders of Dumplings for just $2. What a deal? Yes, I'd get a haircut and dinner for just $14, including the $5 tip. There was a cool little Bar - Restaurant on Stanton Street that was serving Aperol Spritz's during Happy Hour for just $5 each, so for a while, I'd get my haircut, dinner (Pork Dumplings) and an Aperol Spritz, all for just $20 ... "Wow, what a Deal?" It certainly was. And that was just 3 short years a go, before the Covid 19 Pandemic that hit in March of 2020 ... Another bummer. Majorly. Anyway, adly for me, the place I got the haircut is gone, and I go to another place near by, but they charge $15. Not bad, but quite a difference from just $5, and $10 total for haircut and tip at the old place, but $20 with the tip at the new place. Double the price. It wouldn't be bad, if I could go and get 2 orders of Dumplings for $3 (went up to $1.50), and even though the total price of my haircut with tip in Chinatown is now $20, if I could still get those tasty Pork Dumplings at C&L, a total price of $23 for my haircut in dinner, still, it wouldn't be bad. But no, now they tell me that my favorite dumpling joint, C&L Dumpling House has closed? "Bummer" ? Big Time ! Well, what the Hell can I do? Not much. 

My last two haircuts, I got at a place on East 28th Street. I go when I have a doctors visit at Bellevue Hospital. It's $22, plus a $5 tip, for a total of $27. Not the bargain of $10 I was paying 3 years ago, but, that's life. Things change. And change they have, especially inflation. Almost everything has gone up. My groceries are costing me, and everyone else I guess, 25% more or so, than 3 years ago, before the Pandemic hit. Now instead of getting my haircut and going out for a cheap but tasty dinner, I just get my haircut, and go home and make dinner, or lunch, whatever the case may be at the time I get my haircut, in the afternoon, or early evening. Now I can't get a haircut, dinner, and an Aperol Spritz, all for just a Twenty Dollar Bill. Boy, were those the days? And it's not a long time ago. It's just 3 years.

Well, such is life. Things can be worse. We can be in a war zone, like the poor people in Syria and Ukraine. We're not. Though things aren't quite as good as they were 3 years a ago, (Americans) we still have a lot to be grateful for, and things are quite bad in those two countries, and all over the World. We've got it good, and believe me, I am very grateful. So don't think I was complaining about my hair salon, and the dumpling house closing. I'm not. "Well, maybe just a little." But I'm stating facts, plain and simple/ Those are the facts. Anyway, since the price of just about everything is going up, and if you don't have a lot of money, and you're on a budget, there are always things you can do to save money, and one of the best ways to do that, is not to go out to eat too much, and to cook and eat most of your meals at home, or brown-bag it when you go to work, make a sandwich, and bring a banana or two, and a bit of sweets if you crave them, when you go to work most days. Don't piss your money away eating out, eat at home and brown-bag it to work.

And if you want to cook at home, and you need a little guidance, the books below. The Badass Cookbook and Got Any Kahlua, are both designed with the novice cook in mind. Both books have lots of great easy to cook recipes and helpful hints on cooking to save both time and money. So pick up one today, and "Cook & Save Money" just like I do.

Good Luck, and all the best to you.

Basta !








Thursday, March 23, 2023

Going to ITALY This Year



Marina Grande


Summer has started, and we’re dreaming of the islands – the gorgeous islands off the coast of Italy, each with its own distinct flavor and character. One of our favorites, Capri, has for thousands of years been known as a place of allure – rumored once to be the home of the mythical sirens who lured sailors to their doom, then later luring artists, writers, and philosophers from across Europe to bask in its natural beauty and air of pure romance.  It is also the home of legendary beauty house, Carthusia.

An island of rocky limestone, jagged coastline, and sandstone cliffs in the Gulf of Napoli, Capri has been a resort destination since the second century BC, when Roman emperors used it as a retreat and playground for what were rumored to be a wild slate of personal pleasures. Today, its natural wonders, medieval fortresses, rustic villas, posh shopping, and rugged coastline make it one of Italy’s most beloved travel destinations.

The center of social life on Capri is the popular Piazza Umberto I, “La Piazzetta,” which was once a fish market and now is one of the world’s most fashionable squares. It’s where locals and celebrities alike can be found sipping coffee or cocktails and people watching, surrounded by breathtaking views and architecture, including restored palaces, the Town Hall, and the famous Torre dell’Orologio, the clock tower that once was the bell tower of the Church of Santo Stefano.

In 1826, the re-discovery of the legendary Grotta Azzurra made Capri an even more desired destination. “The Blue Grotto” is a natural sea cavern and miracle of nature, where the water glows azure blue, illuminated by sunlight from an underwater cavity. Once feared to be the home of demons and spirits, it found new fame that drew artists, writers, and philosophers -- including Maxim Gorky, Henry James, Pablo Neruda, and Friederich Nietzsche – to the island, along with millions of tourists from around the world.

 Dining on Capri can be as simple as a picnic of caprese sandwiches on the beach, a late-night pizza along Via Tommaso de Tommasi, or an unforgettable meal of authentic, artfully prepared delights at one of the island’s Michelin-starred destination restaurants. You can enjoy flawlessly prepared fish and shellfish in restaurants set in a lemon grove or on a cliff overlooking the sea – the options are as rich and delightful as the island itself.

“There is no spot in the world with such delightful possibilities of repose as this little isle.”

English writer and social critic Charles Dickens (1812-1870), on Capri

Looking to Marina Grande

From the Top of The Phoenician Stairs

Capri, Italy

Photo Daniel Bellino Zwicke

Home to Carthusia

It’s fitting that an island famed for its beauty would give birth to one of Italy’s most iconic beauty brands: Carthusia.

Legend maintains that the father prior of the Carthusian Monastery of St. Giacomo on Capri was surprised by an unexpected visit from Queen Joanna I of Anjou in 1380. He scrambled to pick the most beautiful flowers on the island to present her in a bouquet. After the bouquet stood in a vase for three days, the water had taken on a haunting and beautiful fragrance – a scent of wild carnations that became the first perfume of Capri.

 Whether there’s truth to this legend or not, in 1681, the monastery began distilling local flowers and herbs to create essential oils and fragrance blends. Those same, centuries-old formulas were rediscovered in the 1940s, and Carthusia uses them today to continue the tradition of limited-production, finely crafted, hand-produced fragrances of magnificent quality.

 Here are three of Mozzafiato’s Carthusia favorites to bring the magic of Capri into your heart and home:

  • The Fiori Di Capri scent is Carthusia's iconic bouquet of handpicked wild carnations and Capri's most precious floral essences. It's based on the legendary fragrance formula dating back to 1380. A frosted glass engraved with the logo Carthusia is perfect for perfuming every corner of your home.


From The Summit of Mt Solaro

Phot Daniel Bellino Zwicke



Italian Cookbook Author

Daniel Bellino Zwicke (M)

With some Friends on ISCHIA

"A Day of Swimming"

Old CAPRI Taxi


Find a ROOM in CAPRI


"My Favorite Lemonade Stand"

Daniel Bellino Zwicke


"My Favorite Swimming spot on CAPRI"


Author Daniel Bellino Zwicke






Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Frank Sinatra had a Cold Esquire Magazine



  It was the Winter of 1965. Gay Talese arrived in Los Angeles to write an article on Frank Sinatra. Talese was on assignment from Esquire Magazine, one of the “It” magazines of the day. Sinatra was approaching 50, and Esquire, along with numerous others, wanted to do a piece on the great one, the legendary Frank Sinatra. There was just one problem, Frank Sinatra had a Cold. Yesm the man was under the weather as they say, and refused to do the previously agreed upon interview for the piece that Talese would write. Like Sinatra, Talese was an Italian-American from New Jersey, and one of the top writers of the day, to Sinatra’s iconic status as not only a great singer, actor, and live showman, Sinatra was on his way to becoming the century’s greatest entertainer. 

   Unable to get an in person interview, Talese resorted to talking to as many people as he could, who were close to the man, in the forms of; friends, family, associates, workers, and the multitude of flunkies and hangers-on of the Sinatara. Talese also observed Sinatra when and wherever he could.

   Talese gathered all the info he could, and wrote the article. He titled it “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold.” Esquire published the article in the April 1966 issue of Esquire Magazine, and the rest is magazine and writing history. Gay Talese’s piece on Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, was and still is highly exalted, and is considered one of the greatest articles ever written, if not still the greatest. 

   Yes, “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold” is considered the pinnacle of what has been deemed New Journalism, and was a feat of epic proportions of immersive reporting of a non-participating subject (Sinatra). Gay Talese turned a very difficult assignment into journalistic gold.

   In the article, Sinatra, the man who led The Rat Pack of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and himself as the undisputed ring leader, Sinatra was The King of Las Vegas, a movie star and one of America’s greatest recording artists.

Talese describes Sinatra as a sublime singer, and a man of two distinct types, the masculine Jet-Set Swinger, and ancient Sicilian Padrone ( Boss ), and a man who commanded respect, settled scores, solved problems, and a man who righted wrongs. Talese wrote, “Sinatra with a cold is like Picasso without paint, and a Ferrari without fuel, only worst.”

   Talese writes, Foe Frank Sinatra was now involved with many things involving many people - his own film company, his record company, his private airline, missile-parts frim, his real-estate holdings across the nation, his personal staff of seventy-five people - which are only a portion of the power he is and has come to represent. He seemed now to be also the embodiment of the fully emancipated male, perhaps the only one in America, the man who can do anything he wants, anything, can do it because he has money, the energy, and no apparent guilt. In an age when the very young seem to be taking over, protesting and picketing and demanding change, Frank Sinatra survives as a national phenomenon, one of the few prewar products to withstand the test of time. He is the Champ who made the big comeback, the man who had everything, lost it,then got it back, letting nothing stand in his way, doing what few men can do: he uprooted his life, left his family, broke with everything that was familiar, learning in the process that one way to hold a woman is not to hold her. Now he has the affection of Nancy amd Ava and Mia, the fine female produce of three generations, and still has the adoration of his children, the freedom of a bachelor, he does not feel old, he makes old men feel young, makes them think that if Frank Sinatra can do it, it can be done; not that they could do it, but it is still nice for other men to know, at fifty, that it can be done.” - Gay Talese - Esquire Magazine 1966 -

  Wow! That says quite a lot. Yes, but the man (Frank Sinatra) and the myth, it’s all true, and so beautifully told by Gay Talese, and we love it. That is Sinatra in just so many words, “A Man’s Man,” Cool, suave, confident, powerful, talented, “One of a Kind,” there was only one Sinatra, never another quite like Frank, at this and that point in time (1966 to 2023), and as many have saide, “There will never be another Sinatra.”


... DBZ ...

NYC ... 2023


Frank with Daughter Nancy

And Yule Brenner

Frank signals "A OK" !!!

With Ed Sullivan and Friends






Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Worlds Tastiest Pasta Recipe - Pasta Bolgnese








KIM P says "GOOD GOD I'm HUNGRY" !  

I got this cookbook first, because the cover, and second, because I absolutely adore Italian Cuisine. 
This cookbook is authentic, hearty recipes that feature a famous Bolognese Sauce (and more), is one that I will use over and over again with pleasure. Everything is easy to understand, it's all easy to come by on a quick stop at the grocer, and you get to hear Danny Bolognese became the renowned chef he is today. I felt like I was sitting at his kitchen counter, sipping a nice red wine, listening to Frank Sinatra playing in the background, while reading his introduction to the cookbook. Love it !!

Great Book !!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Joe Pepitone RIP



"It's a sad day in New York, and especially for Italian-American New Yorker's, and those who loved the late great Joe Pepitone, of Brooklyn, New York. 

The Yankees are deeply saddened by the passing of former Yankee Joe Pepitone, whose playful and charismatic personality and on-field contributions made him a favorite of generations of Yankees fans even beyond his years with the team in the 1960s,” the Yankees said in a statement.

“As a native New Yorker, he embraced everything about being a Yankee during both his playing career -- which included three All-Star appearances and three Gold Gloves -- and in the decades thereafter. You always knew when Joe walked into a room -- his immense pride in being a Yankee was always on display. He will be missed by our entire organization, and we offer our deepest condolences to his family, friends and all who knew him."

Joe Pepitone with Mickey Mantle

and Roger Maris

If Joe Pepitone were a car, he’d be a Ferrari — powerful, Italian, and high-performance. Though his career .258 batting average may not evidence power, Pepitone placed in the American League’s top 10 in total bases twice, in RBI twice, and in home runs thrice in his 12-year major-league career (1962-1973). He also clouted seven grand slams.

Defensively, Pepitone showed merit at first base in the junior circuit with a top-10 ranking four times for putouts, four times for assists, and four times for double plays. He also occupied the number-one slot in fielding percentage three times; in addition to first base, he played all three outfield positions.

But it is Pepitone’s off-the-field exploits that often grab more attention. For a Yankee in the 1960s, New York City was a playground of nightclubs, saloons, and crash pads; Pepitone soaked it up like a sponge with teammates, mobsters, and women. There was no If Joe Pepitone were a car, he’d be a Ferrari — powerful, Italian, and high-performance. Though his career .258 batting average may not evidence power, Pepitone placed in the American League’s top 10 in total bases twice, in RBI twice, and in home runs thrice in his 12-year major-league career (1962-1973). He also clouted seven grand slams.

Defensively, Pepitone showed merit at first base in the junior circuit with a top-10 ranking four times for putouts, four times for assists, and four times for double plays. He also occupied the number-one slot in fielding percentage three times; in addition to first base, he played all three outfield positions.


ART by artist PhilMcKenney


Wednesday, March 8, 2023

The Super Bowl of Italian Wine in NYC



It's that time of year again. Time for Tre Bicchieri. What's Tre Bicchieri you want to know? Well, as a metaphor, I myself call it "The Super Bowl of Italian Wine" in New York. That's what it's like for me. As the Super Bowl is the greatest most glorious, and Biggest Day of The Year to watch football, that is what Tre Bicchieri is to me, an Italian Wine Geek, it is the biggest, most important day of the year for Italian Wine Lovers like myself.

Tre Bicchieri is an Italian Wine Tasting of what are considered the Best Italian Wines of the year as are deemd by Gambero Rosso, Italy's most influential Italian Food & Wine Magazine, and the people of Slow Foods. Gambero Rosso awards what they considered the top echolon, best Italian Wines are awarded 3 Glasses (Tre Bicchieri), and considered Italy's best wines for that year. Then there are the Tre Bicchieri Wine Events / Tastings held at a few cities around the World to showcase the wines. Some cities that are lucky enough to have these Tre Bicchieri Tastings, are : New York, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, and Torino.
I myself love this event most, not just for being able drink so many great Italian Wines, but even more to see all my friends from Italy who own wine estates from all Italy. They are at  eventand I get to visit with them, taste their latest vintages of the variif I have an upcomongous wines, we -chat, and if I have an up-c0ming trip to Italy, We might make plans for when I'll visit th, with all their wine estate, perhaps once again, or for the first time, if I haven't been to their windery before. 

It's great being there. All that great Italian Wine, but even more so, all the great Italian Wine people. People like my good friend Antonio Rallo of Donnafugata in Marsala, Sicily, Francesca Planet of Planet WInes also in  Sicily, my pal Luigi Cappellini who makes my favorite Chianti, at his beautiful wine estate Castello Verrrazzano in Greve, or his nieghbor the Conti Capponi whose wine estate  Villa Calcinaia is also in Greve, and whose Chianti I love so very much as well. And speaking  Chianti, there;s my freind Mr. Giovanni Manetti who not only makes great Chianti and the Super Tuscan Wine Flacianella, but is had of the Chianti Consorzio as well, not to mention that his family makes beautiful terracotta pieces in the factory in Tuscany as well. Yes there will be a lot of wonderful people there, and I hope that I'll see my old buddy Gianpaulo Venica, who along with his father Gianni make some of Italy's greates white wines in their estate - Venica, in Friuli, Italy. :Pve their Ronc d' Mele Sauvignon Blanc. It's killer."

Along with all my Italian fiends from Italy, I will be able to catch up with my New York Italian Wine Friends, like my old pal Pietro Cavallo, and my pals Angelo R, and Vince V, not to mention all the others.

Yes it's going be a Great Day, drinking great Italian Wine, socializing, and what not. That's Tre Biccheri, a day I long forward til all year long.

Basta !

Daniel Bellino Zwicke

I will report back here in a couple days, after the Tasting, and report as usual on the day, and the wines I liked best. So "Caio for now. Daniele"



With Sebastiano Rosa (former Winemaker of SASSICAIA







Greve, Italy


Contii Sebastaino Capponi

Myself (Daniel Bellino Zwicke)

And Giovanni Manetti

Me & Sebastiano Rosa

And a bottle of his BARUA

Vajra Barolo

M. Vajra

M. Argiolis

With a bottke of his Family's  "TURIGA"