Friday, July 11, 2014

A Second Letter to Judy Wenzel of 307 N 12th Ave Wasau, WI

Dear Judy Wenzel of 307 N 12th Ave Wasau, WI,

What happened last year? This is the second time you have used my email address to book yourself into a hotel during the month of September--this time it's the Best Western on 1001 N. 14th Ave in Sturgeon Bay, WI--and I can't help but notice that you skipped 2013. Was there a family emergency? Was $377.40 more than you were comfortable spending to spend three days in Door Country's premier year-round city? Or did you perhaps decide to experiment with using your own damn email for once?

The Person Whose Email You Use To Book Hotels Near the Great Lakes in September

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Fifth Annual Cheesemonger Invitiational

Picture, if you will, a cold storage unit in Long Island City. Outside it is a grubby wasteland of featureless warehouses and tiny pieces of broken glass, with only a few taped-up signs and a line of suspiciously young and well-dressed people to mark the door. Inside, a man in a cow costume is standing on a stage, calling himself "Mr. Moo" and periodically shouting things like "If you love raw milk, let me hear you say 'Mooo!'" to a moderately responsive crowd. Around the two large rooms of the warehouse tables have been set up, some offering small samples of cheese while others serve dishes like raclette and fondue and a ploughman's lunch with a whole roast pig. Drink tickets are handed out at the door, and then promptly ignored by the servers behind the two bars, who are distributing cans of craft beer and plastic cups of wine as fast as the lines can reach them. On the stage with Mr. Moo a small group of people who sell cheese for a living are preparing to demonstrate their skills. An Australian television personality stands by and tries to make sense of it all. This is the 5th Annual Cheesemonger Invitational, and I really wish I had thought to take some photos.

We did not go to New York with the intention of having surreal cheese-based experiences. We were there to visit with friends, see the city, and maybe do a little shopping. But when the announcement of the event happened to cross my path two days before, I have to admit that I was powerless to resist. You know me.