Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

eG Foodblog: johnder - Bouncing Around Brooklyn


Recommended Posts

Early morning greetings everyone!

I guess my hint photos for this blog were somewhat of a giveaway, especially to Megan. Oh well. For those that don't know, the bridge picture is a shot from my walk from the subway to work -- it is the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan bridge and if you look closely, you can see the Empire State building framed within the arch of the bridge.

gallery_28660_3644_65524.jpg

It was an overcast day when I took the photo; I will try to get a better picture this week.

For those that don't know much about me, I will give a quick background. My name is John Deragon, a native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. My father’s heritage is Quebecois and my mother’s heritage is Norwegian. My grandfather on my mother’s side was a lobster fisherman in Coney Island, so I spent quite a bit of time on a boat as a child, and still love being around the water to this day.

Growing up as a child in Brooklyn was a pretty awesome experience. Not only was I exposed to the great foods Brooklyn had to offer (Knishes, Bagels, Nathan's franks, etc.) we had tons of ways to entertain ourselves with various games we learned (stickball, stoopball, ball & crack, skulls…). I will get into more detail on the food and games as the week progresses. :smile:

I currently live in Park Slope, which is a neighborhood in Southern Brooklyn that is framed by Prospect Park along with my wife Jeannie and our dog Dune. (Which is whom you see in my avatar photo)

Prospect Park is the sister park of Central park and was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux who also designed Central Park. The rumor is by designing Prospect Park after Central Park, they fixed all the mistakes they made in CP.

More info about our great park can be found at the Prospect Park website.

We purchased a small wood frame house about 2 years ago with the purpose of doing a lot of the renovations ourselves. The house was priced right mainly due to the dysfunctional layout of the first floor, mainly the pathetic kitchen and bathroom layout.

From what we could tell, the house was built sometime between 1915 and 1920, and for the most part is pretty sound. The kitchen was built in the back of the house and was roughly 5’ by 6’ with a small window going out to our relatively (by NY comparison) backyard. To the right of the kitchen was a small bathroom with another very small window.

gallery_28660_3644_12976.jpg

gallery_28660_3644_33729.jpg

Those two photos are as the kitchen right before we moved in, as the previous owners were packing up. We made a decision to start the construction (or more precisely the demolition) on the kitchen immediately as you can see from these photos:

gallery_28660_3644_23687.jpg

gallery_28660_3644_12285.jpg

gallery_28660_3644_30885.jpg

Needless to say we found a lot of surprises along the way. (more details on that later this week, including that chimney you see, along with some nasty termite damage)

All the work was done while I was working a full time job at an interactive advertising agency, so all the work was done at nights and weekends, which lead to us living with a fridge, laundry sink and microwave for almost 10 months.

Fast forward to today and our kitchen is done and is awesome, if I say so myself. :biggrin:

During the day I am now the Chief Technology Officer for Waterfront Media which is a company that provides online versions of many popular diets, as well as a health related reference site EverydayHealth. The offices are located in Dumbo, which stands for Down Under [the] Manhattan Bridge Overpass, hence the teaser photo!

Ok -- given it is getting late and I have a early meeting tomorrow morning I am going to wrap it up for now. As far as what to expect this week here is the schedule as it stands now:

Monday:

Dinner at home, or possibly out at a friends Birthday dinner. Still up in the air.

Tuesday:

Dinner at Applewood Restaurant one of our favorite local restaurants here in Park Slope.

Wednesday:

Dinner at Annisa, Anita Lo’s restaurant.

Thursday:

Pegu Club

Friday:

Still up in the air.

Saturday:

Dinner party for 8 at home.

All during the week I will be preparing for the dinner party on Saturday, so there will be bits and pieces of Saturdays dinner spread throughout the week, from tracking down ingredients, to prep work, to figuring out the wine pairings.

With that, I will see everyone back here in a few hours!

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

Link to post
Share on other sites

**Happy Dance**

YAY! A blog with lots of great food and lots of fine cocktails. Looking forward to this immensely.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so looking forward to this blog. It promises to be very interesting. I can't wait to see the kitchen finsihed and what you are able to produce in it.

I've heard so much about this Pegu Club on eG, will be great to see it on your blog.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yay, John's blogging! Can't wait to see the pictures of the finished kitchen, which is no doubt your pride and joy for a very good reason.

The rumor is by designing Prospect Park after Central Park, they fixed all the mistakes they made in CP.

I feel like you're calling the Manhattanites out, John, but I'm too sleepy to come up with a decent response. Check back with me later. :wink:

Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had not a clue, but the picture was certainly a tease---I first viewed it without my glasses, on a quick sign-on to see if the new blogger could be seen. The bridge rose imposing in its graceful symmetry, and the line of little modern compacts distance-morphed into what seemed to be small roadsters and Model-T's of the early era. I squinted, hoping to see a telltale small black speck climbing the Empire State Building in the distance.

Alas, no Fay Wray, no angst-ridden apes, but a bright, happy prospect of good times, friendly gatherings, and some good cooking in a kitchen brought from dowdy to dashing, from its century-ago beginnings to a shining future full of lovely aromas and delicious dishes.

We haven't met yet, but I thank you for the invitation into your kitchen and your week.

Link to post
Share on other sites
.... the line of little modern compacts distance-morphed into what seemed to be small roadsters and Model-T's of the early era.

I wondered about that too? :huh:

SB (whose neither eyes nor moniter are that great any more :sad: )

Link to post
Share on other sites
.... the line of little modern compacts distance-morphed into what seemed to be small roadsters and Model-T's of the early era.

I wondered about that too? :huh:

SB (whose neither eyes nor moniter are that great any more :sad: )

I saw them too. Thought maybe it was organized to be a movie set.

Link to post
Share on other sites
.... the line of little modern compacts distance-morphed into what seemed to be small roadsters and Model-T's of the early era.

I wondered about that too? :huh:

SB (whose neither eyes nor moniter are that great any more :sad: )

I saw them too. Thought maybe it was organized to be a movie set.

Ummmm...aren't those construction vehicles? A bulldozer and a backhoe? Or am I crazy?

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Link to post
Share on other sites
That's what they look like to me.

PS -- That thing about Olmstead and Vaux's preference for Prospect Park over Central Park is historical fact.  Take that, Megan!

Damn! Taken, taken! :wink:

I could make some crack about stroller volume in Park Slope, but, then, I used to live on the UWS.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, phew. Done with my first round of meetings for this morning. I overslept this morning, so as a result didn't really have any breakfast. I am not a huge breakfast person normally, mostly it just involves copious amounts of coffee -- if I am lucky some wasa bread with butter and cheese.

Alas this morning I only had time for coffee. Depending on how late I am on a given day I will either make a latte at home, or stop by my favorite cafe, Cafe Regular.

gallery_28660_3644_34750.jpg

They serve coffee by La Colombe Torrefaction, pretty awesome stuff.

gallery_28660_3644_4538.jpg

Sorry for the blurred photo, I was walking pretty fast trying to take the photo so I wouldn't be late for my meeting.

Once I got out of the subway, I decided to take the shortcut underneath the Manhattan bridge. Looks pretty ominous, but it is pretty safe. I am mostly concerned with crap falling from the bridge, but recently they put up the protective undercover you see in the photo.

gallery_28660_3644_6.jpg

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

Link to post
Share on other sites
**Happy Dance**

YAY!  A blog with lots of great food and lots of fine cocktails.  Looking forward to this immensely.

Oh, there will be quite a few cocktails this week I expect. Both at home, at Pegu and now it seems at Donbert's place!

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

Link to post
Share on other sites
I was going to ask whether Thursday is the night Jeannie is going to Idomeneo (since I just got tickets for then), but I guess not.

She actually is going to the opera, but I am not. I will be seeing my own show at Pegu, mainly in the form of them making many, many cocktails for me.

I can't belive that's what your kitchen used to look like. Perhaps we can sling some drinks at my place friday night for other eG folks in the city if you don't have any plans yet.

Donbert and Sneakeater actually saw the kitchen last week, so they are privy to the after construction look. Friday looks good for drinks to me!

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

Link to post
Share on other sites
.... the line of little modern compacts distance-morphed into what seemed to be small roadsters and Model-T's of the early era.

I wondered about that too? :huh:

SB (whose neither eyes nor moniter are that great any more :sad: )

I saw them too. Thought maybe it was organized to be a movie set.

Ummmm...aren't those construction vehicles? A bulldozer and a backhoe?

It turns out the picture is clearer but smaller on my Apple G4, and yes, you're probably right. But it's nowhere near as much fun as having a picture morph backwards in time as it receeds into the distance?

I was thinking maybe the food would start with the latest fads and morph back to traditional dishes as the week transpired?

Or am I crazy?

:wacko: ?

SB (no comment)

Link to post
Share on other sites
.... the line of little modern compacts distance-morphed into what seemed to be small roadsters and Model-T's of the early era.

I wondered about that too? :huh:

SB (whose neither eyes nor moniter are that great any more :sad: )

I saw them too. Thought maybe it was organized to be a movie set.

Ummmm...aren't those construction vehicles? A bulldozer and a backhoe? Or am I crazy?

To answer all your questions, those are just plain old construction workers tearing up the street. There is a crazy amount of construction going on down here. They are building 4 or 5 huge condos within 3 blocks of our office. As a result there are numerous public utilities digging up the street everywhere.

On the topic of movie sets, that is another normal thing down here. Just last week Adam Sandler was filming a movie directly outside our front door. A slight verbal altercation occurred between myself and the stagehand when he tried to prevent me from getting my coffee the other day.

This week they are supposedly filming an episode of Law and Order. Hopefully I can grab some pictures.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ooooh, just had a thought - do we get to pick what John tries at Pegu?  Like an interactive thing?  That could be good times...

That could be dangerous. Even more dangerous than my normal experience at Pegu where Brian/Phil/Jim/Chad just pick the cocktails I am drinking on a given night!

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

Link to post
Share on other sites

This could either be a major walk down Nostalgia Lane for me as I grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn or just a reminder of how old I am getting and how long ago I lived there. unfortunately, I fear the latter is more likely.

John, what part of Park Slope do you live in? I grew up on 9th St between 8th Ave. and the Park. BTW, Prospect park is all that. It is a beautiful park, that is probably in better shape today than when I lived there. I still remember having my bicycle stolen from me in the park when I was 14 years old. Now the area is restaurantville. Back in my day, we could get a decent slice of pizza or a good meatball hero and not much more.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to post
Share on other sites
Donbert and Sneakeater actually saw the kitchen last week, so they are privy to the after construction look.

I can't speak for Donbert, but I for one was concentrating more on what was in my glass than what was in the kitchen.

While the drinks I were making were good, they are no match for the kitchen. At least that is what I am told. :huh:

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Similar Content

    • By Drew777
      I'm a Brit. I'm also a closet Frenchman.  To cap it all, I'm happily retired in Bangkok, the city of a street food culture that's second to none. The Thais are healthy and slim. I'm just this side of alive and far from slim. Lockdown has me fantasizing about my days working in London, Paris and New York, an existence, if one could call it that, revolving around gastronomy of one kind or another. They paid me, not so very much as it happens, to do what I enjoy doing most in life. We all get to do it, but I was one of a fortunate few who made it his metier. Well all that's in the past now, but I still dream of my time in Paris when lunch was a tad short of 2-hours, little-known local bistros remained affordable until the day they were discovered by La Bible (Michelin Guide) and the students were revolting - this was the summer of '68, for heaven's sake. Someone should open bistro here in Bangkok with a table d'hote of Soupe a l'Oignon gratinee, Blanquette de Veau, a stinky Epoisses and Tarte Tatin to finsih with creme fraiche. Ah, it's back to lockdown and pad Thai. 
    • By KennethT
      I was thinking of doing a food blog of my recent trip through parts of New Zealand's south island.  Most of the food we had was nothing spectacular, but the experiences and various scenery we had over the trip were amazing.  Is there any interest in this?
    • By Melania
      It's one o'clock on a warm summer's day in Florence, I'm on my way to get ingredients for lunch. The sun is high in the sky, the cobblestones are warm under my feet and the aroma of something delicious is in the air. My mind starts to drift to the onions, celery and tomatoes I need for my pasta sauce, oh and don't forget something sweet for dessert...this truly is la dolce vita.
       
      My thoughts are soon interrupted by an unwelcome "chiuso" sign on the door of my new favorite deli. The blinds are closed and the friendly owners are nowhere in sight. The reality of having my favorite pasta dish for lunch was slipping further and further away.
       
       
      What a nightmare! How can this be?
        A local passing by must have noticed my frustration.   "Signorina, è riposo. Tutto è chiuso!"
        Of course! How could I forget about the sacred Italian siesta?
        A siesta or riposo, as most Italians call it, is a time of rest. This time is usually around midday, or the hottest part of the day (very inconvenient if you're craving a bowl of pasta.) No one can really say where the tradition of the siesta originates, but many say it's all about food (no surprises there really).
        For many Italian families the main meal of the day is lunch. This heavy meal in the middle of the day is attributed to the standard Mediterranean diet: A minuscule breakfast of a coffee and pastry , a heavy lunch and an evening meal around 10 o'clock. The logic is that after such a heavy meal one would surely be drowsy and need to rest, no one can work efficiently on a full stomach!
        Post offices, car rentals, supermarkets and even coffee shops (in some smaller towns police stations too) all close their doors for a riposo. Everything comes to a standstill as every Italian goes home to kick of their shoes, enjoy a homemade lunch with family and bask in the Italian sunshine for three to four hours. This is serious business. One would not dare work for 8 hours straight. After their riposo most businesses open again around 4 o'clock and stay open till 7pm. Its the perfect balance between work and play and does wonders for your digestive system!
        "Grazie!" I thanked her for the reminder. The midday sun started to become unbearable. The streets had cleared with only a few tourists braving the midday heat still around. I thought about the strawberries I bought from the market earlier that week. Strawberries for lunch on my shaded balcony and maybe a nap afterwards sounded like my perfect riposo. The pasta will have to wait till 4.
               
           
    • By KennethT
      OK.... here we go again!!!  While this post is a bit premature (we don't take off until around 1:30AM tonight), I am extremely excited so I figured I'd just set up the topic now.  As in previous foodblogs, I may post a bit from time to time while we're there, depending on how good my internet connection is, and how much free time I have... but the bulk of posting will really get started around July 9th - the day after we get home (hopefully without too much jetlag!!!)
    • By KennethT
      Happy New Year!  I'm sitting at the gate waiting for my flight from Saigon to NYC connecting through Taipei so I figured this would be a good opportunity to get started... But this is just the intro- the rest will gave to wait until I land about 22 hours from now, sleep for about 12 hours, then get my photos in order! We had a great week enjoying beautiful weather, taking in the frenetic yet relaxed street life and eating some amazing local food...
      Our flight here was on EVA Airline and was very pleasant and uneventful. Our flight from Nyc to Taipei left around 12:20 AM on the 24th. I love those night flights since it makes it very easy to get a decent amount of sleep, even in coach. EVAs food is quite good eith both Chinese and western choices for dinner and breakfast, and they came through several times with snacks such as a fried chicken sandwich with some kind of mustard. I think I had 4 of them!
      Once I get home, I'll continue posting with pics from our feast in the Taipei airport.... Spoiler: those who have read my Singapore foodblog from July may see a slight trend...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...